Ultra caring Zoe’s run for centre funds

Zoe Davenport ran the Great Glen Way for Penicuik day centre
Zoe Davenport ran the Great Glen Way for Penicuik day centre
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Many of us dream of one day running a marathon, simultaneously pushing our body to do things previously inconceivable and raising money for a cause close to our heart.

However, the 26 miles required can seem like an impossible distance.

However, a working mother of two from Penicuik has spent her weekend running 76 miles, or 160,000 steps, from Fort William to Inverness.

Zoe Davenport works as a care support assistant at Broomhill Day Centre, which caters for the elderly and those with disabilities. To raise funds for the centre, she decided to run the entirety of the Great Glen Way.

While the trail is usually walked, it is also frequented by some of the world’s toughest ultra-runners and is one of Scotland’s most gruelling routes, from Fort William to Inverness.

An ultra-marathon is considered any distance over the traditional 26 miles.

Zoe, 42, ran her first ultra distance only last year, when she decided to run the West Highland Way.

She said: “I don’t tend to do big long runs, but I sometimes set myself a challenge and I’m quite determined. I wanted to do it, so with great pain I carried on!”

Zoe began working at Broomhill in March, and decided to set herself a new challenge and raise funds for the centre.

She picked the Great Glen Way as it starts in Fort William, at the end of the West Highland Way.

She described how the community rallied around her effort once they realised the cause and magnitude of the challenge. She has so far raised £1500.

She said: “I’ve had a great response. Everybody in Penicuik knows about Broomhill and a lot of people have family that have come here. It’s a real community.”

The funds raised will go towards trips, entertainment and games for those who attend the centre.

She added: “A lot of attendants are quite socially isolated and there’s a handful of people where we are the only contact they might have until the weekend.

“Because people are living longer, families are all working, so it’s a vital service to the community having somewhere like this.”

Speaking of the run itself , she said: “I won’t lie, it was incredibly tough. Not just physically, but mentally as well because you’re very isolated.

“The first day I managed to do 35 miles, so I ran from Fort William to Fort Augustus and it was not good weather.

She said: “I was in quite a lot of pain and you just feel really on your own. Then everybody started really picking my spirits up, people would phone in and text in saying ‘come on, you can do it!’ ”.

Zoe’s Just Giving page is at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/broomhill-day-centre-zoe-davenport