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North-east runner set to take on marathons challenge

By Kyle Ritchie

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A north-east man is marking turning 40 by taking on a mammoth charity challenge.

Reaching the milestone Martin Longmuir, who lives in Inverurie and is originally from Ellon, wanted to challenge himself physically in a way that he had not done before.

To do this he is running 10 marathons in 10 days in the hills of the Bennachie area.

He will be raising funds for Friends of ANCHOR after his aunt succumbed to cancer, and his mum, who was able to recover from the disease.

Martin had planned to take on the challenge last August but that was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and this has also forced him to change his route, which he will now tackle this summer.

Martin Longmuir loves running in the hills.
Martin Longmuir loves running in the hills.

He said: "The original run was meant to be a coast to coast route where I was going to start by ascending the two summits of An Teallach, completing my last two Munros.

"I was then going to run south to the Glen Shiel and then east towards home. I would make my way over the mountains of Scotland and finish back home at Bennachie.

"The distance I was looking to run over the 10 days was 243.2 miles and the total metres climbed 16,164m.

"Due to the impact of Covid-19 on our lives and the difficulties it has brought us with regards to travel, logistics and I was also made redundant from my work, I made the decision to postpone the run from August 2020 until this summer.

"The date will be confirmed as soon as my new work project in London is complete. I am expecting it to be in either July or August.

"The new run will be based in the Bennachie area. I have planned 10 different routes in the area with each day being at least 26 miles in distance and an average of 1800m of climbing.

"Some of the routes are long distance runs over to the Suie Hill and others are loops around the three main summits of the hill; Mither Tap, Oxen Craig and Craigshannoch."

The challenge will be the culmination of three years of training for Martin, which will push him physically but support a cause close to his heart.

He added: "I turned 40 in 2020 and I wanted to challenge myself physically in a way that I hadn’t done before. I have always loved being in the hills, so 10 marathons in 10 days seemed like a reasonable way to celebrate a milestone birthday.

"I have spent the last three years preparing for this run which started at my cousin’s fitness studio with us building a strong foundation in the form of a strength training program.

"With running, I started with trails in places such as Kirkhill Forest and for hills I used the best training site available to me, Bennachie.

"I have gone through six pairs of running shoes and injuries to ankles and knees in building up my endurance and mental resilience to take on this challenge.

"I have learnt more about who I am in the last three years than in the previous 37 years just by changing my perspective on life and how to organise my time and energy. I am now ready to take this challenge on.

Martin has been intensively training in preparation for the challenge.
Martin has been intensively training in preparation for the challenge.

"My main inspiration for planning this was seeing close family living with and enduring cancer.

"I am running in memory of my aunt Wilma, who was taken from us far too soon, and for my mum who managed to win her fight.

"The cause I am raising funds and awareness for is Friends of ANCHOR, whose main aim is to provide the best possible care and support to their patients.

"These last 12 months have taken their toll on charity funded organisations, so I think it’s vital that we all do what we can to support them."

Martin's training journey can be followed on his Instagram: Martin Longmuir (@2020turning40)

Anyone who would like to donate can do so at his Virgin Money Giving page: 2020 turning 40

For more information on Friends of Anchor visit www.friendsofanchor.org

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