WHEN Robert Reid lines up with hundreds of other runners this weekend to raise funds for cancer research, it will truly be a day of mixed emotions.
Robert, 35, is taking part in the Scottish Kilomathon just days after the funeral of his friend, Stevie Laing, 39, from Musselburgh, who was suffering from bowel cancer.
At the same time, he has been given the good news that his uncle, Ian Macarthur, 51, who has been suffering from metastatic melanoma since late 2008, is battling back against the illness.
Mr Reid will join about 900 other runners in the event, which takes participants from Ocean Terminal to Murrayfield Stadium.
Mr Reid, who attended Mr Laing’s funeral yesterday, said he felt “inspired” by the chance to run the event in tribute to his friend.
The father-of-two, who works as a customer service agent for Amazon, said: “I got the call on Saturday telling me that he had passed away. Everyone is just devastated.
“Stevie had two kids and to see them at the funeral was just heartbreaking.”
He said the news of his friend’s death came after he heard his uncle was getting better. He said tests had shown a 75 per cent reduction in the size of the cancerous growth on his spleen and that smaller tumours in the rest of his body had disappeared.
Mr Reid said: “We were all devastated when we found out that my uncle had cancer after he was checked out for a mole on his back. He is so happy-go-lucky – he’s a real character.
“For this to happen to someone like him – devastation is an understatement for what I and the rest of the family were feeling at that time.”
Mr Reid, right, who lives in Boswall, will be among hundreds of Kilomathon runners raising funds for Cancer Research UK, Scottish Autism and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – the event’s three official charities – as well as dozens of affiliate charities.
It is the third Kilomathon to take place in Scotland and runners will have the option of participating over a range of distances. There will also be junior races in Holyrood Park for those aged six and above.
Damian O’Looney, marketing manager at organiser GSi Events, said: “The range of distances people can run mean that it’s also a stepping stone.
“It’s a race for people who are just getting into running or for more experienced runners who’ve done a 10k and may be looking to step up to the Edinburgh Marathon.”