Our Tru Wealth Elite Half Marathon event on Sunday allowed scottishathletics to ‘road test’ a new venue.
And it is clear that the East Fortune enclosed motorcycle circuit in East Lothian definitely has some potential for future road events.
Finding venues is always an issue for big events and of course current Covid-19 protocols bring more aspects into consideration – clearly at the moment it is difficult to plot out what the scale (number of athletes and overall numbers in attendance) of events will be throughout 2021.
The motorcycle circuit in East Fortune is next to the Museum of Flight and it’s possible longer loops could be created with athletes on Sunday running laps of around 1.4 miles.
‘Road running has been severely hit by the pandemic so we are always looking for venues where something might be possible,’ said Events Manager, Alasdhair Love.
‘The motorcycle circuit at East Fortune was an opportunity for us to put something on very small-scale for Elite athletes but also to find out what we can do there and what we can’t – hopefully as we come out of the Covid-19 restrictions.
Our finish line straight on Sunday at East Fortune
‘I feel it has some potential. Parking is important, access is important, and space and room for athletes to get a comfortable run is important.
‘Then, as we hopefully move back towards more mass participation events, how many can the venue accommodate?
‘East Fortune is reasonably flat and athletes are always looking for flat, fast courses.
‘The other big benefit is that it is a closed circuit so we don’t have any issues in terms of road closues which can involve significant costs when staging an Event.’
Despite very significant challenges in event planning during the pandemic, Sunday’s Tru Wealth race actually maintained a remarkable ‘run’ for our Events team.
Since last summer, scottishathletics have contrived to deliver at least one physical event every month in various disciplines (albeit with small numbers, Covid-19 protocols in place) with a lot of help from venues and officials.
August: Track and field at Meadowmill
September: Track and field at Meadowmill and Aberdeen
October: Throws event at Linwood
November: Elite/Invitational Road running at Lochgelly in Fife
December: Cross country at Scone Palace in Perth
January: Elite track and field at Emirates Arena
February: Elite track and field at Emirates Arena
March: Elite road running at East Fortune in East Lothian
The view down the course from the Start/Finish area on Sunday