Local Glasgow running club, the Shettleston Harriers, are taking part in this weekend’s Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run half marathon as part of a bid to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ethiopia.
The team has entered into the Great Club Challenge which offers opportunities for clubs nationwide to compete across nine Great Run events to be in with the chance of winning a host of exciting prizes, including entry into the Great Ethiopian Run, Africa’s biggest road race, in November.
Held in partnership with Scottish Athletics, the Great Club Challenge is won by the club with the lowest average finishing time for the first seven men and seven women across the finish line. Prizes are available for the top three clubs, with the fastest from each event being entered into the draw to win the coveted trip to Africa and have the opportunity to train and race in the country that has produced some of the world’s most iconic distance running stars, including Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele.
The Shettleston Harriers team looks to be a formidable force to be reckoned with. It includes top class athletes such as Tesgai Tewelde from Eritrea who placed 6th in the run a few years ago; his countryman Tewoldeberhan Mengisteab, who previously set a half marathon personal best of 62:36 in the World 21km Championships; Kamil Sieracki, a Polish international athlete who placed just behind Scotland’s Derek Hawkins in the European U23 Cross Championships a few years ago and the USA’s Mike Deason, now a Scottish resident who is one of the country’s top steeplechase athletes.
John MacKay from the Shettleston Harriers said: “The club has quite an international field to it at the moment. On any given night we can have athletes who are from Scotland, England, Ireland, Eritrea, America, Greece, Nigeria, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Congo, Cameroon and Zimbabwe.
“It is fantastic to have so many cultures coming together for the common love of running. We are a tightknit team, training together twice a week and taking on lots of events across the country so to be in with the chance to participate in the Great Ethiopian Run would be a dream come true.”
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