Plans for the new Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon are gathering pace with news that the event's male elite ambassador will be local hero Derek Rae who will pair up with female ambassador Fife AC's Sheena Logan.
Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon event team has been created and includes representatives from the local council and development agencies and local clubs. Kirkcaldy retailer Dave Morton is also an events team member and he is pleased with progress towards the August race date.
Dave told runABC Scotland online: "Recruiting Derek Rae as an ambassador for the new half marathon is a real plus. Derek is local favourite and his achievements at last year's London Marathon when he won the World Para Athletics Marathon Cup for his class in a time of 2:36 really put him on the map.
"Derek suffered massive injuries to the right side of his body in a road accident which almost killed him in June 2010, and now runs with his arm in a sling. However his courage and perseverance have been rewarded with some amazing achievements.
"A member of Fife AC, Derek is also a regular runner and volunteer at Kirkcaldy parkrun so he's a familiar and much admired figure on the local running scene. His support for the new half marathon is appreciated and reinforces our ambition to create an event that will involve the whole community."
Derek Rae was FPSG Para Athlete of the Year in 2018. He has been training at altitude in Kenya ahead of a return to London Marathon in April. Long-term Derek has his sights firmly set on the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon events team has agreed a route which has been measured and certified (with traffic management plans in place). They are now waiting for notification of their Scottish Athletics permit ahead of entries going live on Entry Central later in March.
The race route is on an undulating course which starts at Beveridge Park and heads north-west before turning back towards Dunnikier Park. It continues towards the coast and the conservation village of Dysart before heading south to Ravenscraig Park. The final stages are back towards the centre of Kirkcaldy and the finish at Beveridge Park.
Dave Morton continued: "The introduction of Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon into the calendar reverses a trend which has seen some big local races disappear. The cost of road closures are always an issue and having the support of the local community has been a positive factor in making the Kirkcaldy Half viable.
"We're a 'not for profit' organisation and we will be using every penny from the race fees to enhance the experience for entrants with technical T-shirt, medal and goody bag all to a high standard. We want to create a high quality event that will be sustainable and that we can build on in coming years. We're also planning a family fun run in Beveridge Park and an event village to create a 'special day' feel around the new race."
Local clubs are already backing the new Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon with Carnegie Harriers, Falkland Trail Runners, Fife AC, Lang Toun Joggers and Leven Las Vegas all involved as part of the events team. Carnegie Harriers said: "Excellent to see the return of a half marathon distance event to Fife. We are eager to support the new event and it will be one of our 2019/20 Grand Prix events. We anticipate a great turnout of Carnegie runners."
PH Racing are also supportive: "It's good to once again have a local half marathon in Fife and it certainly sounds like a challenging route. We wish you the best of luck and hope for a well organised and competitive race.”
To keep in touch with developments around the new Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon follow the event on Facebook.
Image courtesy Willie Law