Derek Rae from Kirkcaldy and Fife Athletic Club had to pull out of the marathon at the Paralympic Games in Rio because of the weather conditions on the day of the event. Derek started strongly but was overwhelmed by the extreme conditions in Rio and had to withdraw at 18.5 miles. It was important that he raced as soon as he returned home and this is exactly what he has done.
Derek was rewarded with a 10 second personal best time of 71.46 and an overall finishing position of 27th in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish half marathon in Glasgow. The sense of relief and achievement was there for all to see as he crossed the line and checked his watch.
Derek plans to take a short break now and then sit down with coach Ron Morrison to plan a strategy that will help him secure selection for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games and any other Team GB selections in the intervening years.
Following the half marathon Derek headed with wife Susan to the Scottish Disability Sport Branch Conference in Stirling where he spent 30 minutes telling the assembled delegates about his recent amazing journey as a high performance athlete. Following a major road traffic accident in 2010 and a Brachial plexus injury, Derek picked himself up and committed totally to road racing with Anster Haddies Running Club and then Fife Athletic Club and Disability Sport Fife.
Derek stressed in his presentation the importance of family and friends and of course the enormous support he has received from the sporting community in Fife and Scottish and British Athletics and the Scottish Institute of Sport.
Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife