Call to bring athletics road racing to Princes Street

Great Britains Melissa Courtney wins the Woman's One Mile race during the Great North CityGames at the Newcastle Quayside. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA WireGreat Britains Melissa Courtney wins the Woman's One Mile race during the Great North CityGames at the Newcastle Quayside. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Great Britains Melissa Courtney wins the Woman's One Mile race during the Great North CityGames at the Newcastle Quayside. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Andy Butchart believes it is time to bring street racing to Scotland after he rounded off his summer campaign at Saturday's Great CityGames in Gateshead.

Conceived originally for television, the concept has been lauded by IAAF supremo Seb Coe as a means to expand athletics’ appeal beyond its traditional audience, with Butchart seventh over a mile at the traditional season finale by the banks of the Tyne. And the world 5,000 metres finalist believes there are suitable spaces in Edinburgh and Glasgow that would provide the perfect backdrop to export the idea northward.

“Why not?” he said. “I wouldn’t say the fans are better there but the Scots love athletics. So many people would come out of their houses to watch it. It would be so good to have this down Princes Street. It would be ‘wow’. And it means a lot to me to run at home.”

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There have been trials before with the pole vault staged in Glasgow’s George Square as a separate attraction when a Diamond League meeting was held at Hampden Park in 2014.

The CityGames meetings take part at pop-up arenas in town centres. Usain Bolt ran the fastest ever 150m at the 2009 Great CityGames in Manchester.