Scotland’s leading female athlete and one of the nation’s most listened to radio presenters will lead a group of primary school pupils on a jog around Glasgow Green today to launch this year’s Bank of Scotland Junior Great Scottish Run.
World, European and Commonwealth medallist Lee McConnell and In Demand’s Romeo joined pupils from Blackfriars Primary School for the launch of the Junior Races at the People’s Palace in Glasgow Green – the venue for the annual 1.5k and 3k races. They were joined for the launch by the Chair of Glasgow Life Councillor George Redmond and Bank of Scotland Local Director for North Lanarkshire Karin Brown.
Also making the trip around Glasgow Green were Grant Muir and Beth Potter – two young distance runners from Glasgow who have been selected for the 2011 Bank of Scotland Local Heroes programme. Beth, 19, won the woman’s 10K event at the 2010 Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run and will be looking to retain her title in the same event this September.
Giving people of all ages and abilities the chance to take part, the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run combines the half marathon and 10k senior races, which take place on Sunday 4 September 2011, with the 1.5k and 3k junior races taking place on Saturday 3 September. There is also a Glasgow schools’ event on Friday 2 September.
Last year’s record-breaking Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run was the biggest ever with an incredible 23,386 people signing up for the event. This was an impressive 12% up on the 2009 record of 20,868 and does not include 3,000 children who attended the schools’ day. Organisers Glasgow Life are hoping to build on the success of last year and once again encourage thousands of youngsters to pull on their trainers for the junior races.
Speaking at the launch Lee McConnell said: “It was a lot of fun to go for a training run with Romeo and the pupils from Blackfriars Primary School today. The Junior Races at the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run are an easy and enjoyable way for young people to take part in a mass participation event and hopefully it will give many of them a taste for running that will continue for years to come.”
In Demand’s Romeo is running this year’s half-marathon and is also an ambassador for the Bank of Scotland Junior Great Scottish Run. He will be leading a series of fun runs across Scotland next week as part of Romeo’s Running Tour in a bid to encourage more young people to sign up for the Junior Races.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to this year’s Great Scottish Run and it was fantastic to be out training today with Lee, Beth, Grant and the local school children. There is a real desire from people of all ages and all levels of fitness to get involved and I am sure that once again we will have a truly weekend race weekend in September.
“Last year’s Junior Races were a real highlight and it was great to see so many young people taking part. We are hoping this year will be even bigger than before and I will be out on the streets of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow and Gallashiels next week leading a series of junior fun runs before going on air.”
Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor George Redmond, said: “The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run is the largest mass participation sporting event in the country. It has it all from an exceptional field of elite athletes to thousands of everyday heroes running to raise money for charity.
“Importantly it also caters for young people with the 1.5k and 3k races. Last year it was great to see so many youngsters at Glasgow Green for what was a hugely successful Bank of Scotland Junior Run. I am sure this year will be even better than before and judging by the enthusiasm of the kids at Glasgow Green today that will certainly be the case. Hopefully it will give young people the inspiration to take up sporting activities such as running for years to come.”
Susan Rice, Managing Director for Lloyds Banking Group Scotland, said: "Bank of Scotland is proud to be in its second year as main supporter of the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run. The opportunity for young people to participate in the events across the weekend is every bit as important as the thousands taking part in the senior 10K and Half-Marathon races.
“Glasgow Life do a wonderful job in involving aspiring runners to take part in a weekend of activity at Glasgow Green including the 1.5K and 3k races on Saturday 3rd September as well as the 3,000 local school children participating in the Bank of Scotland Schools Challenge on Friday 2nd September.”
Romeo’s Running Tour will involve five fun runs, each lasting approximately 20 minutes. They will take place at the following locations and times:
Monday 2 May: Aberdeen (3.30pm).
Meet at Northsound Radio, Abbotswell Road, AB12 3AJ.
Tuesday 3 May: Dundee (3.30pm).
Meet at Baxter Park Main Pavillion, Baxter Park, Dundee, DD1 4TF.
Wednesday 4 May: Edinburgh (3.30pm).
Meet at the tennis courts, Inverleith Park, Edinburgh, EH3 5NY.
Thursday 5 May: Glasgow (3.30pm).
Meet at Radio Clyde, Clydebank Business Park, G81 2RX.
Friday 6 May: Borders (3.30pm).
Meet at Radio Borders, Tweedside Park, Gallashiels, TD1 3TD.