Runners of all ages and abilities are being encouraged to sign up for this year’s Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run.
Applicants now have six months to prepare for the event, which will see an estimated 30,000 participants tread the streets of Glasgow in a half marathon, 10k or 5k race.
Some of those taking part helped launch the countdown to the event today, braving the cold and wet conditions on the banks of the Clyde.
Among them was Nikki Etheridge, who challenged herself to take on the 10k course having lost her left leg below the knee due to sarcoma.
She said: “I’m really excited – I’ve never really done any runs before. Four years ago I lost my foot and this is the first time I’ve got out running again and set a challenge for myself.
“I’m just going out, I’m up to about 5k at the moment and over the summer I’ll build it up for the 10k which I’m planning to do.”
The 29-year-old, who will be raising funds for amputee charity Finding Your Feet, added: “It gives you something to work towards, a way to get fit. It gives you more willpower to go out and do it.”
Having taken up running 18 months ago, 69-year-old Christine Thomson is also looking forward to taking part in the Great Scottish Run.
“I’m doing it for cystic fibrosis, a cause dear to members of my family,” she said.
“I’m doing the half marathon which I’ve never done before so that’s a bit of a challenge! I’ve been practising and so far I’m up to 15k so hopefully on the day I can pull another six out of the bag!”
Christine admits she was talked into doing a 10k and didn’t enjoy the start of her training, but soon started to love it.
“The first couple of nights out training I thought, what have I let myself in for,” she laughed.
“The more I started running the more I enjoyed it. I managed a 10k fine so I’ve done a couple of them and now I’m trying the half marathon.
“It’s great, it keeps you fit and you can eat whatever you like and you don’t put on a pound, brilliant!”
Starting from George Square, the route will head through the heart of the city, with thousands expected to line the streets to cheer on the runners to the finish line at Glasgow Green.
The event, taking place on the weekend of September 28-29, will also be televised on BBC Scotland.
76-year-old Bill Burgess is taking part in the event for a second time for a very personal cause.
“I’m doing the half marathon for cancer research – my wife’s got cancer so it’s very close to my heart. I’m doing it for her,” he said.
“I do lots of charity work, I’m not a Mo Farah by any manner of means, I just jog around!
“I’ll start training three months before it and gradually build it up. I do the park run every Saturday morning too.
“It’s a great thing. There’s so much negativity in the world just now but when you see the things people are doing it for and the atmosphere on the road, it’s brilliant.”
Neil Sharp is using the Great Scottish Run as part of his efforts to shed an incredible 20 stone.
He said: “I’ve lost roughly thirteen stone in just shy of nine months. It’s going to give me that extra boost to keep going and keep losing more weight.
“Now that I’ve lost the weight I’ve got more energy and now I need to build up my stamina.”
Helping him train and reach his target is Suzanne McDonald-Sharp, who has lost eight stone herself.
She said: “I’ve put a little bit back on as I’m seven months pregnant but as soon as this baby comes out I’ll get back into training.
“I’ll have a month of training so I’ll need to get back into it fast, every day just hit the pavements again.”
Suzanne added: “We show that regardless of size or fitness level, just give yourself a goal and push yourself, do a wee bit more than you did yesterday, everything counts. Set yourself a goal and move forward.”
For more information and to enter, visit greatscottishrun.com