Why Did It Go?

I spent some time trying to find out why the SMC was disbanded and Alistair McFarlane suggested that the need for it had gone with the numbers competing and even just running on the roads in the 80’s but he wasn’t completely sure about it.   I contacted John Softley who was the SMC Secretary after the death of Jimmy Scott in 1977 and I quote his reply exactly.   He does not have much in the way of papers, etc but the following is his recollection of events.

“I think it was basically the sharp decline in membership in the late 80’s when there wasn’t the same interest in marathon running (except for the LONDON as there had previously been in the early/mid 80’s.   By 1990 we no longer organised the Scottish Marathon Championships – one of our aims in forming the club.   In fact we were only organising the Jimmy Scott road race.   The police had advised us against holding the race from the traditional Clydebank-Helensburgh route.   We thus held race at Strathclyde Park (15 miles) and from Lochinch round Pollok Park (Half Marathon) but latter race only attracted 12 – 14 starters!    Our races were basic ‘club’ events and didn’t supply medals, goody bags, T shirts, etcwhich probably explains why we were not better supported.   We therefore took the sad step of winding up the club.   Interest was fading and membership was down.   I agree that marathon running is in a poor way in Scotland with only 100 – 120 running sub 3 hours now.

“Whether there would be interest in restarting the SMC?   I don’t know.   Next time I see former committee members Alistair, Bob Donald, Campbell Joss, etc, I will mention it to them.”

Comments on the possibility of restarting the club or the need for a new SMC equivalent organisation are elsewhere on the site but my first comment is that if there wasn’t the same interest in marathon running in the late 80’s and if fields in club races were small, wasn’t that enough reason to keep going?