A memorial road race for a former Glenrothes athlete, who passed away, has proved a huge success without a stride having yet been taken.
The 5k race, organised by Glenrothes postman Paul Roarty to help the charity set up in the wake of his friend and fellow road running enthusiast Stuart Duncan’s death, has been expanded to cope with the demand.
58-year-old Stuart died in April following a cardiac arrest. Since then the family have been fundraising to help the charity Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.
Fellow athlete Paul, the family’s postman for over eight years, said he had been shocked and saddened by Stuart’s death and organised the event in order to pay pack a little of the good charity work Stuart had undertaken before his death.
“Stuart got involved in a few races I’d helped organise in the past and was always on hand to do his bit, so I thought it was right we did something to respect that”, Paul told the Gazette.
Expecting the run to be involving a handful of runners from local clubs, Paul was soon surprised to see he had received dozens of entries.
“I thought I’d be able to accommodate up to 80 runners at a push but the response has been amazing and so we’ve expanded it to 100, which is a real testament to Stuart’s popularity,” said Paul.
Stuart’s wife Margaret said she had been overwhelmed by the level of support and hopes the race could grow into an annual event.
“It’s a lovely gesture and we are very grateful to Paul for his hard work and efforts to help with our charity support,” said Margaret.
“It’s going to be a fantastic event and the whole family will be taking part.”
The Stuart Duncan Memorial Race will start and finish at the Lomond Centre in Glenrothes on Tuesday, September 8 at 7pm.
The event, which will involve road race enthusiasts as well as novice runners, will cover 5km (3.1 miles) and be run through the town using the existing cycle and pedestrian paths.
Organiser Paul Roarty, along with the help of Fife Athletics Association secretary Frank McLean, secured the necessary permits from Scottish Athletics as well as the clearance from Fife Council and Police Scotland to host the event.
“Everyone taking part will receive a medal and the winning male and female race winners will be presented with a trophy which we hope will be contested annually,” Paul explained.