Paralympians line up for Dalbeattie race

Organisers of the second Dalbeattie Civic Half Marathon are delighted to announce the inclusion of wheelchair athletes in this year’s event on Sunday, June 16.

Following discussions with Scottish Disabled Sport and Dumfries and Galloway Council, it was agreed that the half marathon could be fully inclusive.

It is hoped that Paralympians from across the UK will participate in this year’s race.

Organiser and Civic Daze committee member Robert Kirk said: “Excitement levels are reaching fever pitch as year two of the Dalbeattie Civic Half Marathon and 10K looks set to be even bigger and better than last year.

“We have been working closely with Scottish Disabled Sport and national wheelchair racing coach Ian Mirfin to add a 10K wheelchair race to the event, which has already grabbed the attention of Scotland’s top wheelchair athletes. We have also added a junior event for 10–14-year-olds and reduced the entry fee for under-18 10K entrants in an effort to promote sporting activity to young people.”

Mirfin said: “It’s fantastic that there is now another opportunity for wheelchair racers in Scotland. The Dalbeattie course will present a challenge to wheelchair athletes with tough uphill sections followed by downhill stretches where high speeds will be possible.

“Although numbers are not high in Scotland, opportunities to race and be seen are the best medium to promote the sport and we all look forward to the middle of June.

“It is anticipated that two members of the Commonwealth Games squad will race and possibly a triathlon world champion.”

Following the success of the first event last year, it is hoped there will be even more entrants across all three events.

The 10K attracted 110 entries, of which 66% were from Dalbeattie. The half marathon was similarly well supported with 83 competitors travelling from across Scotland and England, 14 of whom were from Dalbeattie. The walking event attracted 113 entries and proved very popular with local people, with 78% being from Dalbeattie.

Organisers are counting on the support of the local community to offer help with marshalling, water stops, catering and administration. Volunteers helped to stage a safe and successful event last year and included both individuals and groups such as the Scouts, Dalbeattie High pupils, RAYNET, the police, Sea Cadets, Civic Lad and Lass, and Billy Calder, who officially opened the event. Anyone interested in being part of the volunteer crew should contact the civic committee.