Skye friends complete marathon challenge

PHOTO: Willie Urquhart

Two young friends from south Skye have successfully completed a marathon on local roads – a mere three weeks after setting themselves the gruelling 26-mile challenge.

Last Sunday Donald Fraser (20) from Harrapool and 17-year-old Max Stancliffe from Broadford pushed themselves to their limits of endurance in aid of the oncology ward at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Aberdeen.

PHOTO: Willie Urquhart

Donald said thoughts of his six-year-old cousin Harris, who is currently being treated in the hospital, had spurred him on to the finish line.

The furthest he had ever run prior to last weekend was 14 miles, but despite the pain he said he would love to try and do the distance again at some point in the future.

“We only decided on the 8th of January that we would take on the challenge for definite, but I am really happy we stuck with it”, said Donald on Monday after their run which took them around the roads in Broadford and parts of Sleat.

By Monday Max and Donald’s run had raised more than £8,500 for the hospital ward – smashing their original target of £500.

Family members offer encouragement as the guys are ready to go!
PHOTO: Willie Urquhart/WHFP

Donald said: “I felt pretty nervous in the morning – so much so I struggled to keep my breakfast down. After the first 12 miles or so running together, I began to struggle and so Max went on ahead.

“My legs wobbled a few times but I was determined to get it done. The support and encouragement from everyone kept me going.

“Both of us had always wanted to do a marathon, and it hasn’t put me off doing it again – though the next time I think I’d want to prepare for a bit longer!”

Early risers – Donald and Max get their marathon underway with frosty conditions early on Sunday morning
PHOTO: Willie Urquhart

Max, a sixth year pupil and head boy at Portree High school, completed the 26.2 miles in four hours and seven minutes, with Donald, who is a second-year student studying sports coaching and development at Aberdeen’s North East Scotland College, crossing the finish line in five hours and 30 minutes.

The fundraising effort was for a cause close to their hearts. After chatting to his aunt, Ruth Morrison, Donald decided that the hospital would be the perfect beneficiary for the fundraiser.

Dozens of tributes were paid to the pair after they completed their run on Sunday afternoon.

PHOTO: Willie Urquhart

Among them, Skye councillor John Finlayson said: “I would like to congratulate both Donald and Max for such a tremendous effort which was so well supported by the community in many different ways.

“The money raised will, I know, be hugely appreciated and I am sure Ruth and Peter will be touched and grateful for all the support that was shown to them and the boys through this fantastic achievement.”

Adding congratulations on behalf of Portree High School, deputy head Tony Breen said: “We were extremely proud of Max and Donald exemplifying the PHS qualities of readiness, respectfulness, responsibility and resilience by completing this amazing fundraising effort to support wee Harris, and we are so proud to see the wider school community get behind them in this achievement.”

By Tuesday this week the pair had brought in £8,580 on their online fundraising page, which is still open for donations at