MOVE over Match of the Day. For one weekend at least, that prime time Saturday night time slot deserves to be reserved for Callum Hawkins as he attempts to chalk up one of his own career highlights in the Gold Coast.

By chucking out time in the pub, it would be nice to think this 25-year-old might have claimed ownership of the major medal which eluded him when finishing ninth in Rio and fourth in the World Championships in London.

Still rehabbing from the torn sacrum and Achilles issues which turned his Rio Olympics experience into a desperate battle just to finish, his brother Derek will be half a world away when his wee brother steps on to the start line at the Southport Broadwater Parklands tonight. But he will be with him every step of these gruelling 26.2 miles.

When it comes to the sacrifice and single-mindedness it takes to withstand the soaring temperatures and make yourself a favourite for a Commonwealth Games marathon out in the Gold Coast, after all, no-one has had a closer view. Depending on which way you look at it, Derek has been either a few steps ahead – or a couple of steps behind – the entire way.

If a special kind of Saturday night fever takes hold of Scotland this weekend, it is perhaps appropriate that Derek feels the race will mainly boil down to a case of staying alive.

With the men’s race conservatively forecast to get under way amid temperatures of around 23 degrees Celsius, climbing to a peak of 32 by early afternoon, he feels it will boil down to a survival of the fittest. In that case, the 25-year-old from Elderslie is entitled to feel pretty good about his chances. No member of Team Scotland, after all, has been more meticulous in their preparation. Callum and his dad and coach Robert have been out here acclimatising ever since running The Big Half in London on March 4.

“From what I have heard it is meant to be quite warm this weekend so it will really be about who manages the weather better,” Derek told Herald Sport. “Who has trained the best, and who can handle the issues better, whether it is about taking water on and not making any silly moves. It will be a test of who survives more than anything else.

“I’m looking at it now, and it says 23 degrees,” he added. “If it is that it is not far off the conditions for the London World Champs and I thought he handled those conditions quite well.

“If he was to get a medal, particularly gold, that would be a great reward for all the hard work he puts in because I have seen how hard he works, how much he puts into his training. It would show that he is an international contender in the marathons and prove that last year wasn’t a one-off year – that he can do it season after season. Will I speak to him beforehand? He won’t listen to me! No, I will just wish him good luck. And hopefully have a party if it all works out.”

Something strange is clearly going on in the world of athletics when a peely wally 23-year-old from the West of Scotland is being quoted ahead of a job lot of Kenyans. Although it was Michael Shelley of Australia who took the honours in Glasgow four years ago, runners from Africa have dominated these distance events over the years. But with the London marathon close by enough to hoover up world class athletes such as Mo Farah, the Kenyan delegation this time around comprises a 44-year-old, a 38-year-old and a 33-year old.

Having said all that, the first of these is Kenneth Mungara, a man who wins most marathons he enters, including the Gold Coast one in 2015. The next is Julius Karinga, who smashed a 30-year-old record at the Copenhagen marathon during the summer, with the baby of the crew, Nicholas Manza, another man with a Gold Coast marathon win on his resume.

“Shelley produces when it counts,” said Derek. “Some of the Kenyans are a little bit older but when it comes to handling hot conditions some of them are pretty decent. The heat is a bit of neutraliser, anything can happen.

“But everything is starting to change a little bit,” he added. “The Norwegian guy Sondre Moen is really taking it to the Africans as well, and Galen Rupp is doing marathons too. At one point it was only the Africans who could dominate but that is starting to change now, people like Callum are proving that it can be done.”

As much as Callum has based his 2018 around this event, he points out that he is only sixth best by the stats. “On PB performances I am ranked about sixth; Kenya always send a quality team with Kenneth Mungara having won the Gold Coast Marathon twice and finished second twice so he will be very much at home on this course,” says Callum.

“The Australians are competing in front of a home crowd and with Michael Shelley being a Gold Coaster, as well as being the defending champion after winning in Glasgow 2014, he commands respect, too. There are also so many other quality athletes in the field but I’ve prepared well and will give it my best shot.

“We’ve been out in Australia since right after the Big Half in London early in March so it was something we felt we had to do to get over the trip, get used to the conditions and get some training in here under the Aussie sun – although we’ve had wind and rain as well.

Training has gone pretty well but it will definitely be tough competition.

“It’s a much smaller field than most of us will have been used to and it is a Championship race which can throw up different challenges. The most obvious one is that Sunday’s isn’t about times. It’s been great watching Team Scotland do so well across all sports as we wait for our turn.”

According to Derek, Callum’s genius revolves around his ability to train hard but not become obsessed by it. He stays in close contact with his school friends, and is capable of losing himself in music or video games. “A lot of people obsess over it if they don’t have a good session or a good race,” said Derek. “Callum can just shrug it off and get on with the next one. He listens to quite a lot of music – he has got weird taste in music, quite a big range! He does quite a bit of gaming as well, that helps him chill out as well.

“I guess the whole family would take a bit of credit if he medals because it has been a bit of a team effort,” he said. “My dad used to work shifts, my mum used to work as well, but somehow there was always people to take us training when they weren’t able to. Everybody kind of feels part of it.”