Stuart’s up for a huge challenge

On the run: Stuart Macfarlane
On the run: Stuart Macfarlane

A Bearsden man, who only started to do exercise in his 50s, is doing a 680 mile charity run and climb of 44 Munros and 24 Corbetts in 34 days.

Stuart Macfarlane (61) from Canniesburn Road will donate all the money he raises to local charity Funding Neuro to help fund research into Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological disorders.

Stuart, a retired business analyst who now writes humour and inspirational books, will be accompanied by friends, Elspeth Luke (33) and Gordon Reed (38).

Stuart said: “I started running when I was 51 years old.

“Having happily lived a fairly sedentary life, and thoroughly looking forward to that slow decline into senile dementia and rheumatism, I was forced out of my armchair by my son.

“Suddenly I found myself on the cruel roads in little more than my underwear.

“My first run was round the block, a distance of 1km and, apart from having to walk 999 metres of the way, it was fairly successful.

“The cruelty did not stop there - I was forced to hobble, limp, crawl and occasionally run on a regular basis and eventually I entered a 10k.

“I did the M77 ‘Run the Road’ race in the spring of 2005 and surprised myself by being able to run the whole route and I didn’t die at the finish line!

“Many more 10k races followed - running must have had a strange effect on my brain as I suddenly got the urge to do a half-marathon.

“I found myself at the starting line of the Jedburgh half-marathon on a miserable autumn day with rain, sleet and gale force winds.

“Having narrowly survived this I vowed I’d never do another - ever, ever again.

“But by the time we’d driven home I was desperate to have another go and I signed up for the next available race.

“There is something odd about running - it’s more addictive than chocolate, cider and Morris Dancing combined!”

Stuart subsequently did his first London marathon and then moved onto ultra running.

Now, ten years later, he admits that this latest challenge will be a major endeavour.

Only one person, Colin Meek, has run it before.

He added: “Elspeth’s Dad suffers from Parkinson’s which is such a cruel and degenerative disease.

“We hope our run will help to raise awareness of Funding Neuro and assist them in their efforts to find a cure for those affected.

“We are quietly confident that we can make it to the end and enjoy what will hopefully be a journey of a lifetime.”

If you’d like to donate go to Stuart’s JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/Watershed-Scotland/