IN a dramatic U-turn, Carnwath’s historic Red Hose Race – the world’s oldest foot race dating back to 1508 – is to be run after all.
The announcement comes just three weeks after the Gazette revealed that this year’s event had been cancelled due to a lack of interest.
Instead of its regular June slot, the three-mile race will now be run as part of Carnwath Show, from the Showfield in Edinburgh Road at noon on Saturday, July 30.
Carnwath Show president Kenny Dunlop said: “The Red Hose Race has great tradition and it is great that it will take place as part of the 150th Carnwath Show this year.
“As soon as the committee heard that it had gone, we contacted organiser Angus Lockhart of Lee to campaign for it to go ahead after all.
“We were really pleased that he agreed to our suggestion and hope that it is a great success.
“If we can get over 30 entries for the race we’ll be happy. We certainly do not want to see its demise.”
The Red Hose Race originated when James IV gave a Charter of the Lands of Carnwath to John, third John Somerville.
The red stockings are presented to the winner because James IV in 1508 stated: “Paying thence yearly... one pair of hose containing half an all of English cloth at the feast of St John the Baptist, called Midsummer, upon the ground of the said barony, to the man running most quickly from the east end of Carnwath to the Cross.”
Anyone who would like to try to emulate last year’s race winner Haiden Cook and claim the traditional pair of red stockings should contact Kenny on 07970 040486.