OVER 30,000 people are set to take to the streets of Glasgow for Scotland’s biggest running event – the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish run.
Scot Beth Potter, who represented Team GB in Rio, is in a strong field in the women’s race, with Kenyans Doris Changeiywo and Betsy Saina favourites.
Changeiywo came second to Edna Kiplagat in last year’s event but the 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist over 10,000m is aiming to go one better in 2016.
Saina, a former winner of the Great Manchester Run over 10km, is fresh from the Rio Olympics where she finished fifth in the 10,000m.
They will also be joined by 2015 World Championship silver medalist Helah Kiprop, who was a member of the Kenyan team in Rio this summer.
Callum Hawkins and Tsegai Tewelde will go head to head in a bid to become the first Scottish man to win the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run half marathon.
No Scottish male has crossed the line first since the half marathon was first staged in 1991, but with the resurgence in Scottish distance running in full swing, hopes are high that there will be a local hero in the 2016 event. Hawkins and Tewelde are at the forefront of Scotland’s recent success over the longer distance, having represented Great Britain in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
Kipsiro will be the man to beat as the Ugandan Commonwealth 10,000m champion returns to Scotland to defend his Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run title having taken victory in a time of 62.18 last year.
Bank of Scotland has sponsored the event for eight years and this will be its second year with BBC Children in Need as its chosen Charity of the Year. Philip Grant Chairman, Scottish Executive Committee Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We can’t wait for this year’s Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run to begin. It always promises to be a brilliant weekend for the whole family to enjoy and we’re delighted to be involved once again. We would like to say a special thank you to those running for our Charity of the Year, BBC Children in Need. It’s time for all of your hard work and training to pay off and we’re looking forward to seeing you at the finish line.”
After thousands of children took part in the schools challenge at Glasgow Green on Friday, Saturday sees the Junior Run (10.00am), the Family Mile (11am and noon) followed by the Mascot Race at 12.45pm and the Toddler dash.
Though the half-marathon entries are closed, there is still time to enter the 10k right up until 4pm on /Saturday.
The 10k action begins at 9.38am with the elite wheelchair race, followed by 9.45am (white waved and fast-paced) and 9.55am (green wave), followed by Jog Scotland and pink wave at 10.05am.
The half marathon gets underway at 11.30am for elite athletes and fasted-aced runners (white wave) followed by 11.40am for the green wave and 11.50am for the pink wave.
Entry to the 10k is available until 4pm on Saturday. Runners can enter online and collect their pack from St Enoch’s or on event morning from the Info Point in George Square or they can visit St Enoch’s and enter in person.
Great Scottish Run favourite Betsy Saina starts the schools challenge at Glasgow Green Pictures: GSR/Jeff Holmes