At the end of last year, I applied for the London Marathon, as is tradition for my birthday weekend … and as so often happens, I was denied, and a club place alluded me. Nevertheless, I was enjoying my running and kept up a decent training schedule. Fortunately, a nice trail run came up closer to home, the John Muir Ultra, which is this Saturday. It seemed like a fun run through some lovely countryside, so I bravely signed up (this will be my first ultramarathon). I’m unsure if I’ll still think it was a great idea on Saturday after 31 miles, but there’s only one way to find out now.
I wasn’t planning to fundraise during for this, but things changed. In early March, one of my fellow Edinburgh AC club mates, Andy Laird, committed suicide. Whilst I didn’t know Andy hugely well, I always remembered that he was one of the first people I talked to when I came back to running as an adult, and he was kind enough to share lifts to races. We used to pass fairly frequently during lunchtime runs, and around our work locations. Running was a big part of his life. Andy was a lawyer, who has left behind a devasteated wife and young daughter.
In memory of Andy, many of us from the club that are running spring marathons, are fundraising for SAMH, which is Scotland’s leading mental health charity. Chris Creegan, a fellow runner, is the chair of the board at SAMH. All money raised will be channeled specifically to suicide prevention resources.
There are many worthy causes out there to support. Suicide, particularly amongst men in their late 40s, remains a major issue. There is also stigma attached to discussing suicide. Please support the work to change that. The fundraising page is a group page, and Alex is one of our wonderful endurance coaches. You can mention my name in any comment you leave.
If you happen to be in North Berwick or Dunbar over the weekend, and see me struggling along the road, feel free to provide cake/ice-cream/beer. All will be gratefully received.