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Glasgow Live
Glasgow Live
Steven Brown

Meet Kath Glasgow racing club’s oldest cyclist who overcame severe osteoporosis to get back on her bike

The UCI cycling World Championships are set to race into Glasgow this year with over 8,000 professional and amateur cyclists due to descend upon on the city.

And one Glasgow resident, Kath McCormac, 67 this year, can't wait to watch the iconic championships after taking up cycling later in life.

Kath is the oldest member of her local cycling team and takes part in competitions all over the United Kingdom.

After retiring, the former nurse for 35 years, joined a cycling club and soon fell in love with the sport. However, five years ago she was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis and worried that she would have to give up cycling for good. Thankfully, she was wrong.

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Glasgow Live caught up with Kath to discuss her love of cycling, the diagnosis, promoting more women to take up the sport, the upcoming World Championships and, of course, being the oldest person in her cycling team.

Kath in action on her bike at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. (Gavin Sturgeon)

Kath is mainly a track cyclist and has been part of the Glasgow Wheelers Cycle Club for 12 years and Glasgow Track Racing Club, who train at the Chris Hoy Velodrome. Formed in 2018 and headed up by coach and retired professional track sprint cyclist Jonathan Mitchell, the club aims to build a training and racing community that is fun, inclusive, and sustainable.

Kath said: “I enjoy it and although I am an amateur, I do have a gym coach, I am training in the gym a couple times a week.

“I am also out on the road so it gives me a focus and it helps to keep me fit and healthy.”

When asked about being the oldest member in her team, she chuckled with laughter and said: “I think they respect me for what I do. Although I am not as quick as the youngsters, you can still train, learn new techniques, improve and have fun and that’s what it’s all about.”

Five years ago, Kath was diagnosed with a rather severe case of osteoporosis and worried that she would have to leave her cycling days behind.

But with a tough workout schedule that Kath had kept up for years and new modern medications, she was able to significantly improve the condition.

She added: “I think you can still improve your health and I have been able to do that by keeping active.

“The main message is don’t give up, just keep doing things. Obviously you have to be cautious and a wee bit more careful, but it’s better to keep active.”

Kath McCormac, 67, is the oldest member of her cycling team in Glasgow and has overcome severe osteoporosis. (Gavin Sturgeon)

Kath discussed her love of cycling and her eagerness to see more females taking up the sport.

She talked about her excitement for the Cycling World Championships that are coming to Glasgow this year in August. She said: “I think it will be great, to see the world's best cyclists in Glasgow.

“I remember when the Commonwealth Games came to the city and that was really good.

“So, I think having the world championships is another level, a step up and I think it will be a really good buzz and exciting to watch.”

The Glasgow Wheelers train at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome which is a top of the range training facility. (Gavin Sturgeon)

Kath will be spectating when the championships come to Glasgow this summer but is due to take part in the upcoming British Masters in Newport and the World Master Championship in Manchester.

The UCI Cycling World Championships will be coming to Glasgow from August 3 to August 10, this year with up to 8,000 professional and amateur cyclists due to descend upon the city.

Craig Burn, Director of Strategy and Impact at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships said: "Cycling is a sport that anyone can enjoy and this latest Power of the Bike episode with Glasgow Track Racing Club demonstrates that message perfectly. While elite athletes will be competing at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, we want to show as many people as possible how cycling and joining communities like Glasgow Track Racing Club can benefit their lives – from improved health and well-being to a cheaper and greener way to travel.”

Jonathan Mitchell, Chair of Glasgow Track Racing Club, added: “We are a club of riders, coaches and officials, passionate about developing training and racing opportunities for track cycling in Scotland and the wider UK. What makes us special is our community of riders that is built on share values, openness, empathy and hard work.”

Tickets are still available for the events and can be found here.


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