The Courier

Arbroath Athletics Club members embark on 40k in 40 days anniversary challenge

Youngsters taking part in the Arbroath and District Athletics Club pentathlon event at the Arbroath Sports Centre

Arbroath athletes have embarked on a challenge to mark a milestone anniversary in the history of the thriving club.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, this week saw members take the first steps in the club’s innovative 40k in 40 days virtual race which will run until the end of October.

The club hopes to attract interest from across Angus before crossing the challenge finish line.

“This is a great way for everyone in the area to get involved, and we hope to see whole families taking part,” said Karen Kelly, who leads the fundraising for the club.

Since its formation in 1978, the club, which welcomes athletes from anywhere in Angus, has enjoyed seeing more than 50 of its young members go on to represent their country at different levels and different events.

The club roll of honour includes discus thrower Paul Mardle, who made the Great Britain Olympics team for the 1988 Seoul games, Sarah Ramminger, who represented the club at Under 23 GB level, and rising star Joel McFarlane – making a name for himself at U20 level in disciplines including long jump and hurdles as well as being a former Angus young sports personality of the year winner.

Club members take part in competitions all over Scotland and the future of the outfit is looking bright thanks to a thriving Little Athletics Club for five to eight-year-olds as they progress along the route to become full junior athletes.

The 40k in 40 days challenge was launched at one of the highlights of the club calendar, the annual Frances Ogg Pentathlon.

Frances was the wife of Angus Ogg, who helped set up the original constitution of Arbroath Athletics Club and served on the committee for a number of years.

Their daughter, Katrina, was also an athlete at the club and when Frances died, Angus donated the trophy in her name, which athletes compete in five events over two nights for.

Using a Scottish Athletics points scoring system, athletes in different age groups can be compared against one another to determine the overall trophy winner over sprint hurdles, 100m, long jump, 800m and shot putt.

To enter the race visit https://www.facebook.com/arbroathathletics.

Entry costs £5, with participants committing to covering 40k by October 31, leading to what club officials hope will be a welcome fundraising boost and a huge total distance.