As part of a fundraising campaign in memory of a young North Uist woman, a 210-mile relay from Carr Bridge to Paible took place last weekend involving running, biking and kayaking.
The 1 Million Miles for Ellie campaign has been established in memory of Ellie MacDonald of Paible, who died of bowel cancer on 18th September last year aged just 23, and has so far raised over £30,000 of its £1 million target.
After losing their own father to cancer, two family friends, sisters Karen Archer and Gemma Powell, had previously established the Strathspey Cancer Research UK Group with local woman Lisa MacInnes. They decided their latest challenge would support 1 Million Miles. The trio left home in Carr Bridge on Friday, having first completed a one-mile run with children at the local primary school, and made their way west in a relay involving running, biking and kayaking. They were joined along the way by friends and supporters.
On Monday Gemma and Karen took the ferry from Uig in Skye to Lochmaddy in North Uist but there was no let-up on the crossing for Karen at least, as she set up a turbo trainer and “cycled” the Minch.
Once back on dry land the sisters set off for Clachan – literally tied together, having decided to complete the nine-mile journey three-legged fashion. They then ran the remaining distance to Paible, where they walked across the beach to receive a very warm welcome at Ellie’s parents’ house.
While the final total and miles raised won’t be known until Friday – pupils at Carr Bridge Primary are running a mile every morning to add to the final tally – Karen said they expected to have smashed their 1,000 miles and £1,000 target.
She said: “It was amazing, hard at times and emotional but very enjoyable. The people we met along the way were great. We really hope others will be inspired and do something too, however small – every single mile and every single pound counts.
“We had a terrific time along the way and are grateful for all the support with a special mention to Cal Mac, the staff and customers at the Glenelg Inn who did a whip-round when we there for tea on Saturday night and John and Anne at Whitewave Outdoor Centre for the free beds on Sunday night!”
Ellie’s mum, Michelle, added: “It’s an amazing challenge and Ellie would have been so up for it herself. I am humbled by all that people are doing in Ellie’s name to help those touched by cancer.”
For more information on the 1 Million Miles for Ellie campaign, see http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/1millionmilesforellie