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New West Highland Way bridge honours popular runner

Written by Fiona

May 13 2022

A new bridge has been installed on the West Highland Way in memory of ultra runner John Kynaston, who passed away aged 61 in January 2021.

John loved running ultra distance races.

John’s family, friends and the ultra running community organised a crowdfunder to raise £20,000 for the replacement bridge, near Derrydarroch, just north of Beinglas Farm in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.  The original bridge was washed away in a storm in 2019. 

The project is supported by John’s wife Katrina and his four daughters Jo, Emma, Laura and Hollie. 

John’s widow Katrina Kynaston, left, and his sister, Sue Neal at the WHW memorial bridge.

John, originally from Liverpool, was a committee member of the West Highland Way Race, which is one of the world’s longest established ultra marathons. 

Ian Beattie MBE, West Highland Way Race director, said: “John was a truly inspirational man, friend and athlete and the whole ultra running community misses him dearly. 

“He loved the West Highland Way and the race and we believe this bridge provides fitting tribute to him.”

Stuart Mearns, Director of Place at the National Park, 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.”

Who was John Kynaston?

John was a Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club (AAC) stalwart, a renowned ultra runner, podcaster, blogger and inspiration to many.

He died after suffering a heart attack in January 2021.

Originally from Liverpool and most recently living in Paisley, John started recording his thoughts and experiences of training for the West Highland Way Race some 15 years ago.

By 2020, he had run 52 ultras, including six editions of the WHW Race. John had a long-term goal of 100 ultras by his 70th birthday.

John was also well known in Glasgow because of his day job with Active Schools, where his passion to get youngsters running burned brightly.

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 Highlands.

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