The Chirnside Chasers’ 900 mile challenge

Leeann Ross (Chirnside Chasers) and  Gizem Fowler (BHF) ahead of Chirnside Chaser charity run from John O'Groats to Land's End in 12 days
Leeann Ross (Chirnside Chasers) and Gizem Fowler (BHF) ahead of Chirnside Chaser charity run from John O'Groats to Land's End in 12 days

Chirnside Chasers are in training for a gruelling charity challenge that will see them run from John O’Groats to Land’s End in just 12 days.

The runners will set off on the Chirnside Chasers End to End Run on July 8, aiming to complete the 900 miles to Land’s End on July 19.

The 32 participants – aged from 12 to 62 - are fundraising for British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland and BLISS.

Event organiser Stephen Ross explained: “After previous running challenges of running non-stop for both 24 hours and then 48 hours as a group, we wanted to do the ultimate UK running challenge, which was running the whole length of the country.

“We started planning and fundraising well over a year ago and chose two special charities for the group, BHF Scotland and BLISS who both do incredible work.”

Chirnside Chasers were inspired to support BHF Scotland by Stephen’s dad Derek, who suffered a heart attack last year.

He collapsed at Inverkeithing railway station and received first aid from passers-by before being taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Derek was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, a small device that restores the heart to a normal rhythm should it detect an abnormal rhythm, and later last year he underwent heart by-pass surgery.

The 71-year-old said: “I’ve recovered well and have just got on with it really. I’m still working with Scottish Water, I’m out walking a lot and I’ve gone back to my hobby of singing in the East Fife Male Voice Choir.”

The team aims to cover 80 miles per day in a relay. Stephen explained: “We are doing the challenge as a relay with two teams covering the route.

“One runner will be out at a time, running about five miles at a time, and this will keep the average pace up. The runner is supported by a cyclist on the road as well as a support bus.”

Some of the team members have only been running for a year and this challenge is a significant step-up in running distance. However the group has been training hard, with four of them, Stephen Ross, Tilly Fuller, Tracey McCann and Iain Williams taking part in the 2018 London Marathon.

The team members are: Stephen Ross, Euan McGregor, Leeann Ross, Nadine Moore, Robbie Weir, Tracey McCann, Carol Watt, Tilly Fuller, Iain Williams, Nichola Stewart, Alexandra Vallance, Nicola Williams, Gordon Johnston, David Fuller, Amanda Turner, Susie Arnott and Sandy Vallance. All the team members have been sponsored by local businesses.

Chirnside Chasers are inviting runners to join them en route. Contact Leeann Ross on 07749 360069 to find out more.

To sponsor them visit their JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/chirnsidechasers/endtoendrun2018 or text 70070 to donate quoting Ends18.

Gizem Fowler, BHF fundraising manager for Scottish Borders, said: “We never cease to be amazed by the extraordinary ways clubs like Chirnside Chasers fundraise for BHF Scotland.”

“Every contribution, big or small, plays a crucial part in every breakthrough we make so we are incredibly grateful for their support.

“But we urgently need more people to join our fight for every heartbeat and help power our life saving research.

“I hope Chirnside Chasers‘ challenge will inspire other clubs and associations across Borders to choose BHF Scotland as their charity and help support our vital work.”