A MONTROSE runner has reached his goal of completing the Edinburgh Marathon to raise money for local boys Rhys Allan and Riley Murray.
Mike MacKay completed the 26-mile route in six hours 56 minutes and 33 seconds after a foot injury hampered his run from around the 10-mile mark meaning he had to hobble the last 16 miles.
A first-time runner, he decided to raise money for the boys - who both have cerebral palsy - after reading about them, and their parents’ efforts to raise funds for treatment and continuing care costs, in the Review.
He first set himself the task, however, of losing seven stone to begin his marathon preparations in earnest.
He began his own training regime in October and was covering an average of between six and seven miles a day on a treadmill at home as well as working out in his own gym to help lose weight.
His aim was to lose enough weight by the end of January to begin the four-month training programme suggested by the marathon organisers.
Mike this week said he was spurred on to complete the challenge as he did not want to let down the two boys or his sponsors.
He said: “After the 10-mile mark my foot gave way with an injury I sustained during the week before the marathon, but I “speed hobbled” the rest of the way and completed it in this time.
“I was really pleased to complete it as my foot really hurt for 16 miles but I was focused because I couldn’t let Riley and Rhys down, and all those that have sponsored me.
“It was a great day, the spectators were fantastic and really kept me going. I don’t have a final amount as sponsors and donations are still coming in and my website will be live until the end of July if anyone wants to donate or think that what I did was worth a few pounds toward Riley and Rhys.”
Mike added that he intends to present Riley and Rhys with their cheques at a fundraising fun day which will be held on July 24.
While Rhys has already undergone stem cell therapy at the Xcell Centre in Dusseldorf, Riley was accepted recently for an operation at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in the United States which could help him to take his first steps. A pupil at Lochside Primary School, he currently relies on an electric wheelchair to get around.
Riley’s parents, Dale and Trudy face the monumental task of raising £50,000 to meet the cost of the operation - a selective dorsal rhizotomy - and aftercare as well as the costs of the trip.
Anyone wishing to donate to Mike’s appeal can find out more on his website at http://www.mikesmarathonchallenge2011.co.uk