Edinburgh teen runs 1000 miles in support of sporting legend Doddie Weir's MND charity
A rugby player from the Capital has completed a 100 day fundraising challenge and raised £6,360 for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation set up by rugby legend Doddie Weir.
On Saturday afternoon 17-year-old Ben Liddell crossed the virtual finish line at BT Murrayfield stadium having run 1042 miles in 229 hours.
Ben’s final route, which started outside of his school at Trinity Academy in Edinburgh, covered just over six miles, venturing along to BATs home ground Raeburn Place, before ending outside BT Murrayfield.
It was here that Ben was met by a surprise guest, Scotland U20’s Head Coach Sean Lineen, who presented the teen with a Scotland jersey, signed by this season’s squad on behalf of Scottish Rugby.
Mr Lineen, the 29-times-capped Scotland 1990 Grand Slam centre said: “I’m really pleased to be here to present Ben with this signed jersey today. I’ve been following his challenge on social media, and I’m in awe of the grit and determination he has demonstrated throughout the last 100 days. It’s been an extraordinary effort.”
After crossing the finish line on Saturday Ben said he was ‘buzzing’ to be met by Mr Lineen.
He said: “Finishing my run at Murrayfield today was brilliant. And to be met by Sean Lineen with the signed shirt, I'm buzzing.
“The last 100 days have gone so quickly, surprisingly quickly to be honest. It’s been a lot of fun, but I am glad I’ve reached the end.”
Since January, Ben has been averaging roughly 10.5 miles per day to reach his target, and also completed two marathons to reach his target in time.
“The two marathons were definitely the hardest part of the challenge,” said Ben.
“The conditions were horrific, I was running in a blizzard the whole time, and they took about six hours to finish. Completing the second marathon was the deepest I’ve ever had to dig in my life, it was properly tough. Making it home that night was the best feeling because I was freezing the entire time.
“The weather over the last 100 days has been so changeable, but it’s just been a case of putting my head down to be honest. I signed myself up for this challenge, so no complaints, I knew I just had to do it.”
Running isn’t something that’s come naturally to Ben. In the summer of 2020, Ben suffered a concussion following an accident on his push-bike, and he took up running to aid his recovery.
He said: “I had never done any running until I had my head injury, and just from a covid point of view, I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t found it. It’s definitely helped me in my recovery from concussion.
“I think with the impact lockdown has had on our mental health, it’s been great to find this new passion and channel it into a way to motivate others to overcome their own challenges.
“Not everyone has got to go out running in blizzards, but it’s nice to know people have seen what I’ve done, and it’s spurred them on to get moving and do something positive physically and mentally."
To donate to Ben’s fundraising effort CLICK HERE.