Keen supermarket runner plans clean sweep of UK races

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HIS friends say he‘s “off his trolley” but this supermarket worker is planning to run five marathons for charity.

Finlay Stewart has already completed the Belfast and London marathons and is now gearing up for his home leg in the Capital on Sunday.

The Edinburgh marathon will be the third of at least five in a few months as the 20-year-old looks to complete one in each UK country and Ireland.

He said: “It started off that I wanted to do Belfast, then I thought if I was going to do it I might as well do Edinburgh because it’s my home ­marathon.

“I wanted to do London because it is the biggest marathon in the world, so I signed up for that. Then I thought I could do one in every capital of the UK. As Cardiff don’t do a full marathon, I saw the one in Snowdonia which is meant to be challenging. Dublin is two days later so I’m deciding whether I should do that one and I’m also doing one at Loch Ness.”

Finlay, who works at Tesco Express on Brunswick Place, has been training for months.

He spent several weeks out with injury at the end of last year and had to rebuild his strength in time for the first race in Northern Ireland last month. In between the races, he has swapped to cycling and swimming to reduce the strain on his feet but still expects a few blisters after the weekend’s 26-mile run.

Up to 27,000 people, from all over the world, will take to the streets for the 11th 
Edinburgh Marathon. Running in front of the home crowds has left Finlay feeling nervous as he hopes to finish it in under his previous best of four-and-a-half hours. “It’s going to feel completely different running around my home city. It’s supposed to be the quickest marathon out of all of them so I hope I finish it faster than the other two.”

He will then head north to the south-eastern shores of Loch Ness, in September, taking across the River Ness, and into the centre of Inverness.

With just a month to recuperate, he will head to his run in the hills of Snowdonia and then aim for Dublin. The Edinburgh Marathon starts on London Road, at 8.50am, on Sunday.