A new West Highland Way bridge has been installed near Derrydarroch in memory of Scotland and UK ultra-runner John Kynaston, who passed away in January 2021.
John, originally from Liverpool and aged 61 at the time, was a committee member of the West Highland Way Race, one of the world’s longest established ultra-marathons.
John’s family, friends and the ultra-running community organised a crowdfunder to raise £20,000 for the replacement bridge, just north of Beinglas Farm in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The original bridge was washed away in a severe storm in 2019.
The project is supported by John's wife Katrina, and his four daughters Jo, Emma, Laura and Hollie.
Ian Beattie MBE, West Highland Way race director and chair of UK Athletics, said: “John was a truly inspirational man, friend and athlete and the whole ultra-running community misses him dearly. He loved the Way and the Race, and we believe this bridge provides fitting tribute to him”.
Stuart Mearns, director of place at the National Park Authority, said: “The West Highland Way is a much-loved route and it is fantastic to see this replacement bridge completed and dedicated to someone who gained so much pleasure from outdoor activity in our beautiful landscape.
“We were pleased to be able to support the project as we work with the West Highland Way’s Management and partners to look after this iconic long distance path – we hope the bridge will be enjoyed by many people for years to come”.
John was a Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club (AAC) stalwart, a renowned ultra runner, podcaster, blogger and inspiration to many. He suffered a heart attack early in 2021 at the age of 61. John started recording his thoughts and experiences training for the West Highland Way race 15 years ago. By 2020, he had run 52 ultras, including six editions of the WHW Race.
The WHW Race first took place in 1985 on the 95-mile-long distance trail between Milngavie (just north of Glasgow) and Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.