Eskbank 59-year-old gives up smoking, drinking and loses three stone to run first ever marathon for cancer charity

Despite this year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival going virtual last Sunday, an Eskbank man has given up all his bad habits and is out pounding the streets to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

By Kevin Quinn
Monday, 31st May 2021, 10:22 am
Eskbank man Graeme Sneddon (59) pictured before and after his weight loss.
Eskbank man Graeme Sneddon (59) pictured before and after his weight loss.

Like many events, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival was forced to go virtual during the pandemic and now in 2021 it’s a similar scenario.

Graeme Sneddon (59), a property developer from Esbank has never ran a marathon before. Two years ago, he turned his life completely around by giving up smoking, alcohol, changing his diet and buying himself a pair of running shoes.

He said: “I’ve done couch to marathon in two years. I literally couldn’t run 20 yards and here I am having now lost three stone.

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"I wasn’t doing all this to lose weight, I just felt I needed to turn things around. I am eating more but eating better foods, lots of healthy fruit. Sweets and crisps were most definitely my downfall, so those have been eliminated.

“I decided to give up smoking and drinking too. It wasn’t easy but I certainly feel a lot better and so much healthier.

“I moved to Eskbank a couple of years ago and spotted a local running club, called Eskbank Rubbish Runners Club.

"I couldn’t run so thought, why not. I’d get to meet people in the community and hopefully get fit at the same time. I’ve never looked back and can’t believe I am going to be running a marathon.”

Graeme is doing his run, in memory of his friend, Anne Young, who passed away a few months ago, aged 69. He said: “Anne went through an awful lot. She had an aneurism, a kidney transplant and then ovarian cancer. She sponsored me just before she died so I have a real reason to keep going and not give up.

“Sadly, we all know Macmillan Cancer Support because of this cruel disease but we all know about the amazing support they give to people. It’s a good feeling to be able to raise funds for them.

“I have my Macmillan green T-shirt and I will be running with Anne’s name on it, so she’ll be with me the whole way. I’ve raised nearly £4000 so far and hope it keeps going up. It’s for such a worthy cause and charities of course need as much support right now as they can get.

“Health is so important and I’m really proud of how I’ve managed to turn mine around. If I can get out there and do it, anyone can.”

Sally Walker, running events team manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “It’s incredibly disappointing when events can’t go ahead as planned but the fact that everyone is still out there going for it means a lot to us and much more to those affected by cancer.

“We cannot thank Graeme enough for his amazing fundraising and choosing to support Macmillan. We hope the sun shines on the day and want to wish every runner the best of luck, you are all amazing!”

If you would like to donate to Graeme’s fundraising page please visit: