A runner who was set to take part in the London Marathon has said the race will go on as he prepares to pound the streets of Paisley for a much-loved charity.
Dylan Glynn has been training all year to take part in the elite event to help raise cash for Paisley charity the Star Project.
The 32-year-old was devastated when the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the marathon being cancelled.
But after months of uncertainty, marathon bosses have decided to host a virtual marathon this year, meaning people can run the race all over the world.
And Dylan is honoured that he will be able to complete his 26.2 miles on the streets of his hometown.
His efforts have already raised almost £1,500 for The Star Project, and in support of the lifeline organisation, Dylan plans to include a number of Renfrewshire places on his route that are vital in the community work done by the charity.
Places such as the charity’s base in Wallace Street, Fountain Gardens, Paisley Men’s Shed, St Mirren Park, Glenburn Community Library and areas linked to the Paisley City of Culture bid are all on the route.
Dylan said: “I am really honoured that I will be able to run the marathon on the streets of my hometown.
“I was initially going to defer my entry for a year as I thought it was completely cancelled.
“But when they announced it could be done as a virtual race, while I was disappointed at first that I wouldn’t be going to London, I was glad that I would be able to run in the place where Star does such important work.
“We came up with the idea that I would run past a number of places that Star is really involved in and helps in the community,
“Particularly throughout the pandemic, they have been doing so much to help people and I am glad I get to highlight that during my run.”
Dylan, who has never run a marathon before, is now brushing up on his training ahead of the race on Sunday.
He had been training regularly until May this year when he was initially told the race was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Despite his nerves, Dylan said he is looking forward to the challenge he has been waiting for all year.
He added: “It was really hard to keep motivated, especially when I didn’t know what was going to happen.
“But organisers have changed the rules slightly which means I can do it in two 13-mile chunks and I have all day to complete it so it’s not going to be as intense as it would be if I was in London.”
Another benefit Dylan has to running the race through the heart of Paisley is that he is set to have a number of supporters cheering him on along the route.
Staff at the Star Project are currently working on plans to have cheerleaders with banners and signs to help motivate Dylan along the way.
He added: “It’s going to be great to have people there to cheer me on. I think that makes it even more special as I would have been by myself in London, so to know that people will be on the streets cheering for me will be a great motivator.”
Staff and members of the Star Project are delighted to get the chance to support him.
Heather Kay, activities coordinator for Star Project, said: “Having Dylan run for us through Paisley is just fantastic as it will be so much more personal for us.
“There are so many places which mean so much to us spanning 20 years and we really wanted to highlight that in the route Dylan in running.
“In particular, we are really looking forward to him running the Labyrinth in the Fountain Gardens as those workshops have taken on a life of their own and helped so many people through the pandemic.
“We really want to do something special for Dylan as we are blown away by the effort he has gone to for us, and our community members have some great ideas to help us cheer him on.”
“He is so supportive of the Star Project and we are so grateful that he will be running 26 miles for us.”