Aberdeen AAC’s Michael Ferguson and his partner Roisin Harrison are excited by the possibility of finally getting back into competitive action next month.
Scottishathletics have announced that Aberdeen Sports Village is to host one of the first open track and field meetings of the season on August 23.
It will be part of the 4J Studios National Open series which gets under way at Grangemouth on Saturday August 8 and Sunday August 9.
The series marks an important stage in the sport taking its first tentative steps out of lockdown, while a few other events are also planning to go ahead.
The Aberdeen meeting is to comprise a series of 100m, 800m, shot put and long jump competitions.
A restricted number of places are available in each event and priority will be given to senior, under-20 and U17 athletes.
Ferguson, the Scottish men’s 1,500m champion, is interested in competing on his home track, but also has his eye on another big race in September.
He said: “I’ll probably do the 800m at Aberdeen, although I haven’t finally decided yet.
“I think it’s going to be more like a time trial than a proper race.
“Social distancing rules at the moment mean that there can only be three people in the race and the whole 800m will have to be run in lanes.
“The Monument Mile at Stirling on September 18 is, however, very much on my radar.
“The hope is that it will be a full race if social distancing rules are relaxed a bit more by then.
“Olympic 5,000m runner Andy Butchart is planning to do it and I think he’s hoping to run under four mins.
“Stephen Mackay of Inverness is also in the line-up and it looks like being one of the best quality fields put together in Scotland for quite a while.
“I feel as though my training has gone well over the summer, but it would be good to get a race like this to find out exactly where I’m at. I’d like to think I can get close to 4:05, but we’ll see.”
Harrison, the national women’s 200m title-holder, is also eagerly looking forward to pulling on her spikes for some proper competition.
The former Ireland junior international, who has been based in Aberdeen for the past five years, is raring to go and has enjoyed getting back on to the track to train.
She said: “We’ve been back on the track for the past couple of weeks and I’ve had a big smile on my face. It just felt so bouncy after spending so much time training on grass.
“I feel as though I’m in good shape. My training has gone well this year and I feel I’ve made progress so it would be interesting to find out where I’m at.
“It’s great that Aberdeen is hosting one of these open meetings.
“I always enjoy competing at the Sports Village and I’m not too keen on travelling at the moment in any case.
“I’ll probably run in the 100m at the August 23 meeting, although I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a 200m somewhere as that would be my preference.
“There’s a 200m pencilled in for one of the other open meetings on the same weekend as the Aberdeen one, but no venue has been named yet.
“I’d rather race in Aberdeen, but I’m also desperate to do a 200m.”