Fitness fanatic sets gruelling challenge for epilepsy charity

Jamie Bruce
Jamie Bruce
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It takes even the most seasoned athlete a while to bounce back after a gruelling 26-mile run.

But for fitness fanatic Jamie Bruce, one marathon is not enough – he will be running ten in as many days as part of an epic fundraising drive.

Jamie, 49, a gym instructor at the Mercat Gait Centre in Prestonpans, has completed no fewer than 40 marathons – including five through the searing heat of the Gobi Desert – but said this latest challenge will be the toughest he has undergone yet.

“It will be the most difficult thing I have ever done, but I’ll just have to get on with it,” he said.

“People think that I’m off my head, but I’m just a total fitness fanatic.

“Next year I’ll be 50, so I wanted to do something big. Ten marathons certainly isn’t going to be easy, but I’ve got a good dietician and, as long as I get plenty of rest in between, I’ll be fine.

“I’m not going to be setting any records though, that’s for sure.”

Bonnyrigg’s Jamie – whose progress will be tracked on a sports watch – will take a route through East Lothian from Prestonpans to North Berwick on his ten runs, which begin on April 2.

Last year, he ran four marathons in four days – each one taking less than four hours – to raise money for the Save Leuchie House campaign, to secure the future of the East Lothian respite centre for people affected by multiple sclerosis.

The father-of-two said: “I’m not nervous about the marathons, in fact, I’m looking forward to it.

“I like to set myself new challenges and if I don’t get enough exercise I start to get a bit grumpy.”

This time round, Jamie is raising money for epilepsy charity, the Muir Maxwell Trust.

He chose the charity as two-year-old Harry Reid, the son of a family friend, suffers from an extremely rare form of the condition, which presents itself in only one baby a year in the UK.

“The Muir Maxwell Trust is such a small charity and I would really like to see it recognised,” said Jamie.

Harry, who lives in Mayfield with parents Stuart Reid, 31, and Lynne Massey, 28, has at least two major seizures a week, ranging from a fit lasting a few minutes to a two-hour convulsion resulting in a trip to intensive care.

Stuart, a research technician with Queen Margaret University said: “It’s brilliant that Jamie is doing this. We’re totally amazed at what he is going to do. It’s quite an undertaking.

“The [Muir Maxwell Trust] has provided us with an epilepsy alarm that fits onto Harry’s bed, so that if he has a fit during the night it will go off.

“They were also responsible for the genetic testing which identified Harry’s rare type of epilepsy.”

Mum Lynne added: “We can’t thank Jamie enough.

“The money will be going to a great cause. The trust has given us so much help.”

Last year, Lynne and Stuart organised a charity night which raised more than £6000 for the trust.

To donate to Jamie’s fundraiser, visit the Mercat Gait Centre or call 01875 815 483.