BLIND athlete Jay Semple is preparing to take part in his 11th Paisley 10k Road Race and he’s encouraging others to join him racing around the streets of Paisley.
Jay, 43, suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Choroideremia – a genetic disorder that causes a progressive loss of vision – and will be assisted running around the race route by a running guide.
But not only is he running in the Paisley 10k Race, Jay will also be taking part in the shorter Fun Run that sets off shortly afterwards, wearing his kilt and accompanied by his nine-year-old son, Tyler-James.
The Paisley 10k and Fun Run takes place on Sunday, August 21 and organisers are welcoming runners of all abilities, – from novice to experienced club and international athletes.
The popular event is organised by OneRen – the local charitable trust providing cultural, leisure and sporting opportunities to help people enjoy active and healthy lives – supported by Renfrewshire Council and Kilbarchan Amateur Athletics Club.
The Paisley 10k is Scotland’s third largest road race and the official charity partner is the Armed Forces veterans’ charity, Erskine.
There is more than £2000 in prize money up for grabs in the 10K race and trophies for the both boys and girls fun runners who are aged under seven, eight to 12 year old and 13 to 15 year old.
Jay, from Knightswood, in Glasgow has taken part in more than 300 road races and fun runs since he lost his sight in 2014, but he says the Paisley event is his favourite.
“It’s a fantastic day and it’s definitely my favourite run. It’s very well organised and there are always people cheering me on. I can’t speak highly enough about it.
“And Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron always comes over to give me a hug and I’m treated very well by everyone involved.”
Jay added: “I would urge people to sign up for the event and give it a go. If they’re not confident about doing the 10k, they should do the Fun Run.”
Mark Tokeley, Head of Leisure and Community Services at OneRen said: “There’s still time to sign up for either the 10k Race or the Fun Run and join more than 2000 people who will be running on the day.
“Those taking part will have a great time and there are always lots of people on the pavement cheering the runners as they go by.
“Getting sponsored to complete either the 10k or Fun Run is a great way to raise money for charity or local clubs and organisations.”
To sign up for the 10k or Fun Run go to www.oneren.org/paisley-10k. Entries close at noon on Friday, August 19 as there are no entries available on race day.