Marathon man Derek is on the run for Tokyo Paralympics
Fife athlete Derek Rae proved he is on the right road for this summer’s Paralympics in Japan with a fine performance in Scottishathletics’ Tru Wealth Elite Half-Marathon event on Sunday.
Rae’s preparations are really stepping up for the Tokyo games following last year’s false start when the event had to be shelved for a year due to the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Organisers are confident they will be staged this year, with the Fife athlete set to be a leading contender in the marathon.
East Fortune in East Lothian hosted the weekend’s half-marathon, Rae joining fellow Scots Callum Hawkins and Jonny Glen at the small-scale event inside the enclosed venue.
"I’ve not raced for a full year so it was great to get this opportunity. Many thanks to Scottishathletics and Tru Wealth,” said Derek, whose personal best is 68:22, with Sunday the second fastest half-marathon run of his career.
“I’m delighted with 69:17 as my PB is in the 68s and it really was tough in the wind.
"I was very fortunate to have Callum Hawkins working as a wind-breaker for me.
“It is all about preparing for the Paralympics in the summer and hopefully somewhere down the line I can get a couple more races in.
“East Fortune was a good venue, and I hope there was some learning there for the events team at Scottisathletics about what kind of event may work if we come back here again.
“It is enclosed, so you don’t need to shut roads, and there’s room enough for the start-line to take a number of athletes.”
The other positive for Scottishathletics from the weekend was the chance to pilot an event at the East Fortune circuit with a view to holding bigger road events there later in 2021.
The governing body for athletics in the country believes there is potential for 5k, 10k, half marathon or young athletes road races to be staged at the track.
Rae competed for ParalympicsGB at Rio 2016 but did not finish the marathon.
In 2019 he finished second at the World Para Athletics Championships.
Full details of the race are available online now atscottishathletics.org.uk