Mar 23 2012 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Friday
COURAGEOUS Callander man Paul McIntyre, who has previously defied the odds to complete the London Marathon, is one of the inspirational figures taking part in the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
Paul (22), who has Becker Muscular Dystrophy, walked the 26-plus miles of the London Marathon course over two gruelling days in April 2010 to raise £4000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.
He then went on to scoop the charity’s ‘Inspiring Person of the Year Award’.
His latest accolade means he will be one of five official torchbearers when the UK-wide procession lands in Stirling on June 13.
Among those also bestowed with the coveted honour is Denny’s John Brown (65), whose list of canoeing proteges includes Bridge of Allan Olympian Campbell Walsh.
Balquhidder adventurer Vicky Jack (58) and the deputy head of Dunblane’s Newton Primary School, Heather Anderson (37), will carry the torch as it passes through Bridge of Allan and Dunblane, respectively.
Stirling swimmer Martin Cremin (20) will get the chance to follow in some illustrious sporting footsteps when the relay visits Crianlarich.
Several other locals have been chosen to take part. Balfron soldier Robbie Donaldson (28) will carry the flame aloft during part of its journey through Alloa.
In addition to the participants themselves, the region’s rural areas will receive a spell in the spotlight as the iconic sporting symbol travels north on the A82 from Crianlarich to Tyndrum mid-morning on Saturday, June 9.
Official itinerary for the 70-day relay, which begins on May 19, states the flame will be seen on Airthrey Road, Bridge of Allan, shortly after 9.30am on Wednesday, June 13.
It will then go along Henderson Street towards the mini roundabout on the A9 enroute to Dunblane, for about 10.15am.
The flame will begin its journey in the cathedral city on Beech Road, and also take in the High Street and Perth Road before eventually making its way to Stirling.
Spectators are expected to line the city’s Albert Place from about 10.35am, before relay runners carry the torch to Clarendon Place, Corn Exchange Road, Spittal Street, Broad Street and, eventually, Stirling Castle.
Following a short break, the convoy will return to Albert Place via its junction with Corn Exchange Road, just after 11am, and visit Dumbarton Road and Port Street before making its way along the A811 and towards Cumbernauld.
Stirling Council Provost Fergus Wood said: “We are thrilled local people are running with the torch. I’m sure people will be out to show their support and join in the celebrations when the torchbearers pass by.”
Local MSP Bruce Crawford added: “The visit of the Olympic Torch to the Stirling area will be warmly welcomed, as the flame is perhaps the most recognisable icon of sport across the world and an inspirational symbol of competition and excellence.
“I’m sure the many torchbearers will receive an extremely good reception from the public.”
Each day, an average of 115 torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame during its 8000-mile journey around the UK before it arrives in London on July 27.
It will then be used for the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.