By Democrat reporter

The loneliness of the long distance runner is not something that applies to Vale of Leven and Scotland hero Lachie Stewart.

There are always plenty of people around when he stirs the enthusiasm for his sport and the business of older folk keeping fit in Levengrove Park, Dumbarton.

Lachie, who won the 1970 Commonwealth Games 10,000 metres gold medal, officially opened the daily mile and 5K  routes in the park, with an encouraging support of local people on hand to put their best trainers forward for the occasion.

This is the 50th anniversary of that great medal win for Scotland and the Vale, and his supporters were “doon the park” with a celebratory cake to congratulate him.

A modest, self-effacing hero, Lachie said it was “absolutely great” to see the routes being launched in the park which has become Dumbarton’s most popular attraction since it was completely refurbished last year.

He added: “Running is one of the most economic ways of keeping fit. All you need is a good pair of shoes. But you don’t require all the designer gear.”

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