More than 1,700 runners are pounding the streets in orange vests to raise money for Maggie’s Dundee this month.
The nationwide charity campaign asked individual fundraisers to complete 50 miles over the month of January, after feeling the loss of face to face group fundraising events.
Money raised through the campaign will support the running of the charity’s centres which support those affected by cancer – patients and their families.
Those working at Maggie’s Dundee say they were bowled over by the 1,731 fundraisers who chose to support the centre, next to Ninewells Hospital.
Annie Long, centre fundraising manager Dundee, said: “We weren’t expecting that, it was a complete surprise to us to see how many people engaged and have become part of it.
“It’s a full range of abilities and ages, some people are out with their whole families, and they all support each other through our social media.
“It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this. It came out of not being able to do any physical fundraisers or group events – not having them has had a huge impact on us.
“Everything we do is funded through fundraising, we do get the occasional grant or gift in a will but the vast majority of it comes from fundraising.”
Dundee soldier John Culling is taking part in the challenge and, having already run 45 miles, he’s well on his way to smashing the 50 mile target.
Captain John, of Tayforth University Officer Training Corps, was himself diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019 and used Maggie’s services to help him cope.
In July he raised £6,000 for the charity through a sponsored walk and this second time he hopes to raise a further £1,000.
‘Maggie’s helped me every step of the way’
Captin John, 61, of Gotterstone Drive, said: “The state that cancer care is in at the moment because of Covid, cancer charities and in fact all charities – many people would say that the government should be doing more.
“But, in fact, the government is doing so much to deal with the immediate crisis that we all need to be doing our bit to help.
“Many people don’t see the difference these charities make to people with cancer but I’ve seen it first hand, Maggie’s helped me every step of the way and it made a huge difference to me.
“We’re in dire straights right now and a lot of things have been put on hold, and rightly so because we need to push on with what’s current, but that will lead to more issues with cancer care in the future and we need to raise awareness of that.”
Ricky Morton, 43, is also taking part in the 50 mile challenge with his wife is Andrea 45 and daughters Eilidh, five, and Éabha four.
The family, who live in Pitlochery, have family and friends who have received the support of Maggie’s over the years and have raised £3,420 and counting.
Ricky said: “Not only has it physically motivated me but it also provides a feel-good factor knowing that what myself, Andrea and the kids are doing is making a difference to people’s lives.”
For more information on the 50 mile run, visit Maggie’s website.