I’m in pole position for relay race dash

Craig Robinson with son Nathan and 'the log'
Craig Robinson with son Nathan and 'the log'
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MOST fun runners would struggle to carry a bottle of water for eight miles.

But a relay race with a difference will see a group of hardy fundraisers pound the streets with a 200lb telegraph pole in tow.

The challenge has been organised by father-of-three Craig Robinson, 40, who will also take part in the run, to raise money for Saltersgate School in Midlothian, which provides education for primary and secondary pupils with additional learning needs.

His son, Nathan, nine, who suffers from a rare chromosome disorder, is a pupil at the school. Mr Robinson, who lives in Gorebridge, hopes to raise around £4500 to buy a bike with a wheelchair fitted to be used by the pupils.

Family and friends will be collecting donations on the way.

Mr Robinson said: “The [bike] can be powered by the person in the wheelchair, their carer or by battery. It’s an amazing type of machine.”

The relay will start from the car park of Gorebridge Leisure Centre at 10.45am next Saturday and will pass through Gorebridge, Newtongrange, Mayfield and Woodburn, concluding at Saltersgate School car park.

Mr Robinson, a former paratrooper and soldier with the Royal Scots, will be heaving the pole with eight others, taking turns in teams of three.

His wife, Tanya, son Nathan and two daughters, Hannah, 17, and Rachael, 14, will be cheering him on along the way.

Mr Robinson added: “Nathan has a rare chromosome disorder which is unique in Scotland and Europe – only a few others have it.

“He’s got the mental age of a three to four-year-old. He could either progress to be what people say is the average person, or it could go the opposite way.”

Mr Robinson borrowed the telegraph pole from local farmer Grant Richie after spotting it lying in the field.

Mr Robinson said: “The pole has been cut down because a full telegraph pole is too long. I have put some weights on the front to bring it up to 200lbs. I don’t think it will be a full run that we do – it will be a very fast walk!”

He added: “My brother Shane, who is ex-forces, is doing the relay too, and my nephew Bruce, who’s going into the forces, is wanting to do it. Everyone else taking part are friends and neighbours.”

Local businesses Caulfields and Kate’s Bakery have donated to the cause, and the relay is being supported by Friends of Saltersgate.

To sponsor the team, e-mail robbo349@sky.com