Banchory’s Commonwealth Games marathon bronze medallist Robbie Simpson hopes to be back racing before too long – he’s just not too sure where it might be.
Scottishathletics have indicated that some competitions might be held as early as next month, which is music to the ears of the Deeside athlete and thousands of other north-east runners.
Chief executive Mark Munro said: “It is pleasing to see signs that we are now on our way out of lockdown, but we fully appreciate that this is a national public health matter and, as such, there is a long way to go.
“A return to competition has been a daily discussion within the organisation and with partners and while we see a return to training and club activity as the sport’s immediate priority, we are desperate to see some track and field competition before the end of the summer.
“Alongside that we are working with road race providers, although this area is more complex by the nature of physical distancing challenges. But it is certainly more likely that small road events, plus hill and trail racing will likely be able to return in August.”
That’s encouraging for Simpson, who is waiting to hear whether the London marathon will go ahead in October. He also has some overseas options to consider.
But the Great Britain international admits the prospect of being able to tackle a couple of races closer to home would be an attractive proposition.
He said: “The London marathon organisers have said they are exploring various options for the race, including the possibility of it being a smaller elite-only run.
“That’s something I’ve expressed an interest in doing, but there hasn’t been any definite decision about whether it will happen and no details of the format have been announced yet.”
Aside from his marathon running achievements, Simpson is also a world-class hill runner and he is weighing up the possibility of racing in the Austria mountains.
He said: “There are a couple of mountain races over there in early September and they seem to be confident these events will be happening.
“So, if there was nothing else going ahead, I might do them. I’d probably go over a week or two beforehand to prepare.”
However, with the positive notes coming from scottishathletics, a few north-east race organisers are now making moves to get their events off the ground and Simpson is keeping his options open about these.
Entries will open this weekend for the Bennachie 50k ultra race, which is pencilled in for October 10.
And the The Lairig Ghru mountain marathon organisers are looking at a possible date in September.
Simpson said: “It’s really tricky to know what’s best. On top of all that, I could go for the world mountain running championships in Lanzarote in November.
“The GB team trials for that are to be in Scotland in mid-September.
“So, if there’s any doubt about London, I could maybe look at doing Lairig Ghru, if it was at the beginning of September, the world trials in the middle of the month, the Bennachie 50k in October, then the world mountain champs in November.
“It’s really difficult trying to work out what’s best as everything is still so uncertain.”