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Turriff trio's marathon effort


By David Porter

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The 40th London marathon had to be changed to a virtual event this year, offering local participants a unique opportunity to run a little closer to home.

Along with thousands of other participants, three members of Turriff Running Club each took on their own race around the north-east.

For two of the members, Ruth Pirie and Amanda Anderson, it was the culmination of months of fundraising for British Heart Foundation.

Throughout lock down they have taken part in various virtual and 24 hour events to raise almost £2000 between them.

The weather on Sunday was less than ideal with widespread flooding affecting plans.

A marathon effort from Turriff Running Club member Ruth Pirie.
A marathon effort from Turriff Running Club member Ruth Pirie.

But Ruth and Amanda and fellow participant Sonia McTavish were not to be discouraged.

Sonia, who chose to run the railway line from Fraserburgh to Ellon for her event and completed it in four hours 41mins noted: “Conditions weren’t the best, it was the hardest run I have ever done”. Amanda ran around a very wet Turriff along with a rotating support crew made up of other TRC members, completing the route in five hours 19 mins. “

"It was the toughest run I have ever done", she said, "It was so hard to do the distance without the race atmosphere but hopefully we will run the real London marathon next October if it goes ahead.

"I had a fantastic support crew to help keep me going and the flooding couldn’t stop us”.

Turriff Running Club's Amanda Anderson (left) was supported along the route of her run.
Turriff Running Club's Amanda Anderson (left) was supported along the route of her run.

Amanda had also organised a 24 hour run for club members with everyone taking an hour slot for 24hour straight.

She said; "Doing events like this really helped keep us all motivated during lockdown when we couldn’t run as a team."

TRC coach Ruth, who completed the event in three hours 39mins, chose to run her event in Fyvie where much of the roads and surrounding farmland were completed flooded.

Ruth said: “Like everyone else, the underfoot conditions were challenging, but it was actually great fun.

"I’ve never laughed so much during a marathon.

"Every time we saw another road blocked, we had to decide if we were turning back or just getting wet!

"I’m so proud of everyone at the club for their dedication.

"Not just those running but everyone who has joined in the virtual events we held during lockdown, supported each other on long training runs when it was allowed and generally just tried to keep spirits high during such tough times.

"We have raised a huge amount for British Heart foundation which means so much to Amanda and I personally and as part of the club.”

Club members Sonia McTavish and Moira Anderson took on the challenge in less than ideal conditions.
Club members Sonia McTavish and Moira Anderson took on the challenge in less than ideal conditions.

Ruth was completing her second marathon in three weeks, having completed the Virtual Boston Marathon in a time of three hours 27mins.

Turriff running club meet on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday strictly under Scottish Athletics rules and guidance.

Anyone looking to run with club can email turriffrunningclub@gmail.com for more information.



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