POUNDING THE BEAT: Skye bobby aims to complete double marathon challenge

Bruce in training in Skye Pic Willie Urquhart

A Skye policeman is aiming to make the forthcoming Skye half-marathon about four times as tough, as part of an effort to raise funds for a cause close to his heart.

The annual race takes place on the 11th of June, but Bruce Crawford’s running will have got underway long before the rest of the field leave the start line. 

He plans to start at midnight, and keep running the course until he takes part in the main event on the Saturday morning.  His target is to get round four times and reach the double marathon distance – a total of over 52.4 miles in all.

Bruce is taking on the challenge to raise funds for a new building for Portree and Bracadale Free Church, at Shepherd’s Way in Portree.

He said: “This facility will be far more than simply a church building. It will serve as a much needed area for community groups to make use of throughout the week in a purpose built, modern surrounding.

“With an overall fundraising target of £400,000 to complete the project work is ongoing by all in the congregation to meet this aim with coffee mornings, sales of work, regular donations and all manner of other events contributing.”

Although a keen runner, the challenge will be the longest that Bruce, who is an inspector with Police Scotland’s firearms division, has undertaken.

On 11th June Bruce will join hundreds of runners at the Skye half marathon. Pic Willie Urquhart

He added: “In the early hours I will start running solo around the half marathon route from Portree, up the mammoth hill at Drumuie and then onwards almost as far as Kensaleyre. From there the route goes uphill again towards Carbost, Skeabost and Peiness before undulating back towards Portree.

“I will keep running this loop throughout the night until I take part in the main Skye Half Marathon event at 1030 on Saturday morning.

“God willing I hope to complete four laps of the course to achieve a double marathon distance.

“This will be the farthest and longest run that I’ve ever undertaken. Running solo through the night will be a huge challenge before joining the mass event with 500 other runners on the stunning course.

“Times are hard, the cost of living is high and there are so many people in need. I would be incredibly grateful for any small sum that you can contribute to my effort to help encourage me through the night.

“The new building is not going to be just another church. It is a building for the benefit of the community at a time when such a facility is much in need locally.”

Race entry for the Skye half marathon is still open at  www.skyehalfmarathon.com/, while Bruce has opened a JustGiving page for anyone who would like to sponsor him for his challenge.”

Over £1,800 has been pledged so far, putting him well on the way to his target of £2,000.

The page is at  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/build-a-church-portree