On the back of the recent success of Scotland’s runners in the hills and on the track, scottishathletics has just announced a plan to continue and improve on our strong tradition in the marathon.
The Marathon Project will take an event-based approach to performance and coaching. Robert Hawkins, father and coach of new Scottish marathon record holder Callum and fellow Olympian and twice National XC winner Derek, will take the helm for the next few years. His key objective: to field two full teams of three men and three women at the next Commonwealth Games.
The elder Hawkins told scottishathletics: "The Marathon Project is looking to build on the tradition of strong Scottish performances over 26.2 miles down the years."
The Project also seeks to work with runners capable of building up to solid marathon performances. Robert Hawkins added: "As well as supporting our established marathon runners, the Marathon Project will offer opportunities for support to those who are performing well at the half marathon and who are transitioning to the marathon distance.
"At scottishathletics, we see this as a key point in the marathon journey where support and advice are essential in assisting athletes make that transition and realise their potential at the marathon distance."
To fire the starting gun on the Project, scottishathletics has invited 15 top club and sponsored runners to join established marathoners like Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Robbie Simpson and Steph Twell in developing their skills at the 26.2 mile distance.
The women invited to join the project are Fiona Brian (Metro Aberdeen), Steph Davis (Clapham Chasers), Holly Rees (Cambridge and Coleridge), Avril Mason (Shettleston Harriers), Shona McIntosh (Hunters Bog Trotters), Eilidh Bell (Team Bath), Claire Bruce (Metro Aberdeen) Annabel Simpson (Fife AC) and Gemma Rankin (Kilbarchan AAC).
Mike Crawley (Corstorphine AAC), Sean Fontana (Inverclyde AC), Cameron Milne (Central AC), Kenny Wilson (Moray Road Runners), Nikki Johnstone and Craig Ruddy (Inverclyde AC) will be benefiting from the support of scottishathletics on the men’s side.
All have committed to running a marathon over the next two years, and aiming to qualify for Team Scotland for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Image: Callum Hawkins breaking Scottish Marathon record at London (scottishathletics)