Non-runner Brenda signs up for half-marathon!

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A LOCAL nurse has signed up to take part in this year’s Great North Run, based at Newcastle.

Brenda Burness has chosen to raise funds for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

She told us: “I chose Guide Dogs for the Blind as my sister-in-law has a degenerative eye condition which could result in blindness later in life, so she may require the use of a service dog one day.

“Also I just love dogs!”

Brenda’s experience of running half-marathons is severely limited, as she admits: “I’d never even run for a bus before I started training for the Great North Run!”

But since then she has gone into intensive training, running along the beach to Montrose Sports Centre and back accompanied by her two pet spaniels, Paddy and Murphy, who regard the runs as right up their street.

The trio have also become a familiar sight in the Kinnaber area.

Brenda confirmed: “Before I really got into training at the end of April I couldn’t run for five minutes without stopping.”

But on Sunday (September 18), she will be one of 54,000 runners in the event, the largest half-marathon in the world, which will be televised on BBC1.

She says she was inspired to do the run by a friend, Carey Allen, who successfully ran the London Marathon.

And as an added bonus Brenda has lost a stone-and-a-half since starting training.

She will be travelling to Newcastle with her sister-in-law. Husband Robbie as well as Paddy and Murphy are all sorry that they can’t accompany the running party.

Brenda has been a staff nurse at Fordmill Care home in the town for five years. Before that, she was a nurse for 10 years at Royal Sunnyside Hospital.

A native of Turriff in Aberdeenshire, she lived in Montrose for 13 years, before moving to St Cyrus two years ago.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Brenda can do so at