Aberdeen’s Scotland 1500m international Myles Edwards has persuaded three former world record holders to come to the North-east.
Kenyan stars Wilson Kipsang and Gideon Gathimba together with British Olympian Dave Moorcroft will take part in a number of initiatives in support of a children’s charity this weekend.
All three are expected to make an appearance at the Hazlehead park run 5km on Saturday morning, but Gathimba is the only one planning to take part.
They will also share their extensive knowledge and expertise with local athletes and coaches on Sunday morning at Aberdeen Sports Village.
Edwards, who along with Gathimba is co-founder of the Gathimba Edwards Foundation, a charity which helps disadvantaged children in Kenya, is delighted the trio have taken time out from their busy schedules to make the trip.
He said: “They will all be appearing at the GEF fund-raising dinner on Saturday evening. It’s the second time we have held an event like this and the previous one, two years ago, raised an amazing £42,000 for the charity.
“I’m thrilled that Wilson, Gideon and Dave have been able to come to Aberdeen and I’m sure everyone will enjoy meeting them.
“It’s amazing that Wilson is coming here as he is competing in the Tokyo Marathon the following weekend. That’s why he cannot run at Hazlehead as he has a training session planned on Saturday.
“He will fly to Japan immediately after taking part in our charity events over the weekend.”
Kipsang is the former world record holder for the marathon, having clocked 2hr 3min 23secs at Berlin in 2013.
The previous year he was bronze medallist at the London Olympic Games.
He won the 2014 London Marathon in 2:04:29 and he has run faster than 2:05:00 on six occasions. He is still the second fastest marathoner of all-time.
Gathimba has been one of his country’s top middle distance runners for many years.
At the 2009 Van Damme international meeting in Belgium he was part of a Kenyan quartet, along with William Biwott Tanui, Geoffrey Kipkoech Rono and Augustine Kiprono Choge, which set a world record in the rarely run 4x1500m relay in a time of 14:36.23.
That same year Gathimba won the international mile race held to mark the opening of Aberdeen Sports Village, recording 3:57.96 to pip his compatriot Bethwell Birgen who was runner-up in 3:58.01.
Moorcroft set a world 5,000m record of 13:00.41 in 1982, which survived as the British record until 2012 when Mo Farah broke it.
Also in 1982, the Coventry athlete won 5,000m gold at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and broke the European and British 3,000m record when clocking 7:32.79. His British record lasted until last June when Farah, again, took it.
Edwards added: “Gideon plans to run in the Hazlehead parkrun. He set the course record of 15min 2secs when he came over for the previous GEF dinner, in 2015, and he might be keen to break it.
“I hope Wilson will also be there to set the runners on their way. Dave won’t manage to run, but he’ll also come along to lend his support. I might even have a run myself, but I’ll leave that as a late decision.”