MAYBE it is time to make room for a mantlepiece next to the Aldi patio heaters and treadmill in the Hawkins family shed. Because it was a family affair at the FPSG awards do at Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel last night when Scottish marathon star Callum beat off the challenge of Laura Muir, Jake Wightman and others to claim the athlete of the year prize, while his dad and coach Robert claimed the coveted performance coach of the year award. 

Receiving his decorative glass plate from marathon running royalty in Paula Radcliffe in recognition of a new Scottish record over 26.2 miles in London and a remarkable run for fourth at the Worlds in Doha, the 27-year-old from Elderslie paid tribute to the part played on his epic journey by his family, including big brother and running partner Derek, also there on the night.

Should Callum go one step better and bring back a medal from the Olympics in Tokyo next August, it would belong to them as much as him. 

“I am quite surprised to be honest,” said Callum last night. “I didn’t know either of us were going to get anything. So it’s a big surprise really. The standard in Scottish athletics is so good now that even medals and Scottish records don’t mean too much! 

“He is pretty much just being a dad, stopping me from sitting about being lazy!” said Callum of his dad and coach Robert. This is the man who masterminded the notion of running with said heaters blaring to mimic the hot conditions he would face in the gulf not to mention the race  tactics which brought the marathon back together with little more than a mile to run.

“He does so much for me - and for my brother too, along with everyone else he coaches basically. He sits up in his room and sorts it all out. It is basically a full-time job. 

“But it is a group effort to be honest,” he added. “It was a little bit his idea [to get the heaters] but it was my mum who went out to get them. Aldi still haven’t contacted me yet about sponsorship! And I’ve a huge input myself now. 

“We don’t so much have disagreements, but if I am having a terrible session, I will just call it. Like I had a couple of sessions in Majorca where I was too hot. He’ll say ‘why didn’t you just keep going?’ - stuff like that. I just ignore him. 

“He is just my dad. He wants me to keep going, do better. If I were to come back from the Olympics with a medal it would be for him and all my family, because my whole family supports me. They’ve travelled around Scotland supporting me, my grandparents, my aunt, everybody. They came to all my races, as many as they can.”

As it happens, one birthday present Robert hopes to receive is the news on December 16 that his son has been pre-selected for the Olympics, and can subject his body to little more than his usual rigorous training miles and a couple of half marathons in the early part of the year. While a plan is coming together, it is worth mentioning the field for the Olympics may well be the strongest EVER assembled. The likes of Eliud Kipchoge, fresh from the historic feat of breaking the two-hour mark, and all-time great Kenenisa Bekele could be in the mix for a race which will take place in Sapporo, rather than Tokyo itself. 

“It is going to be incredible, all the big guns will be there,” said Hawkins. “But I learn a lot from every marathon, that is one of the main reasons I ran Doha, as an experience for Tokyo, to try out tactics and solutions to the heat. Just a dry run really.

“On average there is a five-degree difference between Tokyo and Sapporo, it is cooler. But I have looked the last two years and it was still 32 degrees on race day so it might not make too much difference. With the way I prep and the way I ran in Doha I know how to run in tough conditions – we won’t mention the Gold Coast! – so I feel I’ll have a good race plan and some people might be a bit naïve. But it will hurt like hell.”