A CAPITAL runner is gearing up for his last big challenge by taking on a mammoth journey to raise money for a number of national charities.
Clermiston resident Stuart Christie is set to run the 130-mile distance from Edinburgh to Newcastle later this month, five years after a herculean endurance challenge from the Capital to London ahead of the 2012 Olympic games.
The avid runner will be raising money for the British Heart Foundation, MS Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland while attempting the run.
The Edinburgh University caretaker, who turns 50 this year, admitted this would be his “last big effort” and said he wanted to make it worthwhile.
He added: “I’ve been running for 30-plus years and while I love distance running, I’m getting on a bit, so this would have to be my last big effort.”
“I’ll usually run around 20km a day, including to and from work, so I should be well prepared, but it will be a difficult challenge and I’m hoping I can make it worthwhile for the charities I’m raising money for.
“I lost my best friend to a heart attack ten years ago and family members to Alzheimer’s before that, so I want to make this last challenge as meaningful as possible.”
Mr Christie’s route will take him along B-roads towards Berwick-upon-Tweed, before rejoining main roads for the end of the journey and the final stop at Newcastle United’s stadium, St James’s Park.
Previously, Mr Christie took on the monumental 409-mile distance from Edinburgh to London for the Olympic Games, arriving just in time for the start of the men’s marathon event.
On that occasion, he raised funds for Cancer Research UK in a challenge also benefiting Enable Scotland, MS Scotland, Alzheimer Scotland, and Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland.
And Mr Christie admits he’s been stepping up his training programme to the next level ahead of the challenge.
“At the moment, I’m training six days a week, running around 120 miles, so I’n not taking it lightly,” he said.
“I’ll run from Clermiston to Newhaven on Saturday but then also into Tranent, Livingston and Fife when I get a chance.
“It’s going to be extremely challenging, especially as I’m having to avoid motorways and use B-roads, which is why I need a support team with me.
“But I’m confident my preparations have been thorough enough for me to make it.”
Mr Christie begins his challenge on Thursday, May 18 and is due to arrive in Newcastle on Friday, May 19 after a one-night stopover in Berwick.
He is accepting donations online via his justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Stuart-Christie6