#SALtogether – Nairn Road Runners stalwart Gordon thrilled with B.E.M

Thursday 5th November 2020

By Fraser Clyne

When told he was to receive the British Empire Medal for services to athletics, veteran Nairn runner Gordon Main was convinced it was a hoax.

The 66-year-old retired businessman has been one of the driving forces behind the development of running in the Nairn area for the past 35 years.

But never in his wildest dreams did he believe it would lead to being recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, with the B.E.M award detailed as ‘for services to athletics in the Nairn area‘ in the Honours List – #PeopleMakeAthletics, right enough.

‘I had been out walking with my four-year-old grandson one day when my wife rushed out to tell me I had to phone the Cabinet Office in London,’ explained Gordon.

‘I thought it was a wind-up but I checked the number and called back. After the conversation I was sent an email confirming the award, but I still wasn’t sure.

‘It took a few days to sink in. I don’t know who nominated me, but I’d like to thank them very much.

‘When you go out running with a group on a cold, wet night you’re not doing it because one day you think you might get an award. You do it because you enjoy it.’

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Main was a co-founder, along with Danny Bow, of the Nairn Road Runners in 1985, and he inadvertently fell into the role of club coach.

Gerry Fairley, a runner from Kilbarchan, was working up here for a couple of years and joined us for training,’ added Gordon.

‘He provided us with a lot of advice and encouragement and I kept a diary of all the sessions we ran.

‘When Gerry left everyone asked me what we should be doing so I consulted my diaries and organised the runs – and I’ve been doing it ever since.

‘We meet up for club runs three nights a week – Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and I do my own runs on another couple of days of the week.

‘I take the most satisfaction from helping people get started with running, seeing them improve and enjoying it.’

Main was an official of Nairn Road Runners for many years and has helped out at most of the clubs popular races such as the 10k and half marathon started by Danny Bow in the early 1980s.

He still loves competing and last year completed his 50th marathon at Dufftown, having run his first one at Fort William in 1984.

In September he ran in the Lairig Ghru mountain marathon for the 15th time and next month he’ll tackle the Speyside Way 37-mile race between Ballindalloch and Buckie. The longest race he has done was the 53 mile Highland Fling between Milngavie and Tyndrum.

‘I have been retired for three years now so I have more time for running and I’m still enjoying it, which is the most important thing.’

*With thanks to Fraser Clyne and the Press and Journal; also to Kellie Main for help with photos.


Tags: #PeopleMakeAthletics, Gordon Main, Nairn Road Runners

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