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It's emotional for Highland League footballer and current Huntly star Gary McGowan as he runs 48 miles in 48 hours and raised over £2000 for Age Scotland charity


By Craig Christie

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RUNNING almost two marathons over one weekend proved to be an emotional charity experience for Highland League footballer Gary McGowan.

On the night shift.
On the night shift.

The 35-year-old raised more than £2000 for Age Scotland, which supports elderly people across the country, by completing the gruelling 4x4x48 challenge.

McGowan, from Newmachar, who currently plays for Huntly but has also starred for Caley Thistle, Peterhead, Deveronvale, Turriff and Formartine in his career, had to run four miles every four hours for a 48 hour period, including a punishing midnight shift during the clock change on Sunday morning.

Ready to go for his 48 hour running challenge.
Ready to go for his 48 hour running challenge.

An encounter with a pothole left him in agony and close to quitting but he soldiered on to complete a mission which reduced him to tears at the end.

“The final run was hard and when I got home I cried for 45 minutes. The overwhelming feeling of running 48 miles just hit me,” he said.

“I love to challenge myself and push my body and I thought there was no better way to do this than the 4x4x48 challenge.

Celebration time for Gary McGowan at the end of his challenge.
Celebration time for Gary McGowan at the end of his challenge.

“I knew instantly I wanted to raise money for Age Scotland. I’ve always had a strong feeling of upset when I think of elderly people who get little or no contact for weeks.”

The charity has a network of volunteers who befriend older people who feel isolated, a situation which has become all the more common during the pandemic.

By yesterday he had raised over £2200, way beyond his initial £500 target. But he admitted it was no easy task.

A total of 35,000 steps clocked up on Saturday.
A total of 35,000 steps clocked up on Saturday.

“I had ran at midnight on the Friday then four in the morning and I chose to try and get two hours sleep instead of eating, so the 8am run I felt depleted.

“On the (next) midnight run I rolled my ankle in a pothole and genuinely thought I couldn’t continue, but a couple of painkillers helped me see it out.

“So far I’ve raised over £2000 for the charity which is incredible."

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