Ultra runner aims to run from Skye to Inverness in aid of cancer charity

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Ally K in training

A Skye man is to attempt to run from his home in Portree to Inverness in a bid to raise funds for a cancer charity.

Alistair MacPherson will aim to complete the 120-mile challenge in under 35 hours, when he sets off on the 6th of April.

The run, which is in aid of Maggie’s Highlands, follows on from an endurance-sapping effort completed two years ago. In 2014 the CalMac steward – known locally as Ally K – successfully ran 125 miles around Skye and raised £35,000 for Cancer Research UK.

This time Ally is running to raise funds for and awareness of Maggie’s Highlands, the charity that provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends from across the Highlands and Islands.

He explained: “After the success of Run Skye I wanted to get the old team back together. I was approached by Maggie’s Highlands to help them to raise funds and awareness of the centre in Inverness and I said yes pretty much straight away”.

Ally’s route will take him over the steep climb on the back road to Inverness through to Garve where he will eventually run through Muir of Ord and Dingwall before finishing at Maggie’s Highlands.

He expects a challenge quite different to his run around Skye.

He added: “I will have to run through two evenings which I have never done before. This adds an extra mental challenge but I am confident I can draw strength from the fact I have a superb support team with me with a lot of experience.”

The run starts at midnight in Portree square on Wednesday the 6th of April and finishes at 9am on Friday the 8th April at Maggie’s Highlands in Inverness.

Asked how he thought the event would go Ally said: “Anything can happen in running, especially when you are on your feet for so long. That’s part of the challenge and what makes it such a great adventure. I have the right people with me and I will be drawing on my own experience to ensure I put in a good performance.”

Maggie’s Highlands relies entirely on voluntary donations. The centre’s fundraising manager Andrew Benjamin said: “We are absolutely delighted that Alistair has chosen to fundraise for us in his next challenge. The funds help to ensure the centre will stay open to provide these essential services to those in need. It will also help to raise awareness in the Highlands to others that we are here to help if needed”.

To follow Ally’s progress see the event website or Facebook page. Donations can be made here.