Aberdeen AAC’s Myles Edwards is keeping his fingers crossed that he’ll be able to make his marathon debut at New York in November.
The 2015 Scottish 1500m track champion plans to compete in the race in memory of his dad, Mel, who passed away last November after a long and dignified battle against the blood cancer, myeloma.
Mel, who received an MBE for services to sport and charity in 2014, was one of Scotland’s top marathon runners in the late 1960s, recording a best time of 2hr 18mins 24secs when winning the Harlow race in Essex.
He was named second reserve for the Great Britain 1968 Olympic team after finishing seventh, one position behind Aberdeen clubmate Alastair Wood, in the trial at Cwmbran.
Now Myles, 31, wants to try his hand at competing over 26.2 miles, a substantial hike up in distance from his previous successful career as an 800m and 1500m specialist.
New York became his chosen destination for a debut because it was there, in 1997, as a nine-year-old, he watched his dad complete the Big Apple’s historic race.
All will depend, however, on whether mass participation sporting events are allowed to take place by then and if international travel has returned anywhere close to being normal.
Myles remains hopeful, but realistic. He said: “No one really knows yet if it’s going ahead. If it isn’t, I’ll look to see what else might be happening closer to home.
“I want to get something from the training I’ve been doing and I’m going to continue with it so I’m ready whatever happens.
“I’ve had a consistent spell over the past six or seven weeks, but I feel I might need to increase the volume a bit. I’ve been doing around 60 miles each week, but may need to get closer to 80.”
As is the case with all athletes, there have been no races for Myles to focus on since March and it’s unclear when any events might return.
He has, however, kept busy by organising the Globe Run series of virtual races which are vital fundraisers for the Gathimba Edwards Foundation – the charity he founded in 2014 with former Kenyan track star Gideon Gathimba.
GEF started off by helping at the Pavilion Village in Karatina and now provides support for hundreds of children and their families in Kenya.
The first two events in the Globe Run series have already been held, a 5K in April and a one-mile in May.
Over £7,000 has been raised so far with 635 runners and walkers getting involved from 28 countries across six continents.
Myles said: “It was brilliant to have hundreds of people taking part in so many different parts of the world.
“Quite a few of the kids at the Pavilion Village ran. Some of them are regular runners, but others just wanted to be part of it.
“It’s really difficult as we have no other events happening at the moment or for the foreseeable future.
“So the money raised from the Globe Run is ensuring families get the food and other essential supplies they need at this time.
“As of the end of May we have provided 2,541 days worth of food to families over the previous two months.”
Myles has taken part in both virtual runs and has posted the best times in both events so far, clocking 14min 20secs for the 5k and 4:20 for the mile.
He said: “I did my 5k run on a seven-lap course and GPS devices become a bit inaccurate when reading laps. I reckon it was more accurately somewhere between 14:45 and 14:55.
“I was pleased with my mile, which I ran on the beach prom.
“It equalled my best time which I did in 2012 in the Union Street mile, but I’m pretty sure it felt more comfortable this time.”
The third and final event in the Globe Run series will take place next month.
“We’ll be challenging people to see how far they can run or walk in 22 minutes,” he said.
“The number 22 is significant because that was the number of youngsters who were in the Pavilion Village children’s home in Kenya when Gideon took me there for the first time in 2013.
“Just seeing the conditions they were living in was the catalyst for setting up our charity.”