A SCOTTISH bus driver will take on ten marathons in ten days to raise money for a children’s charity.
Chris Renton, 51, is aiming to raise £15,000 for the Brathay Trust - a children’s charity which gives support and direction to troubled teens.
The Melrose man has a personal connection to the charity, whose services were unavailable to him as a child.
This will be the fourth 10 x 10 marathon challenge he has taken on.
He said: “I feel very close to Brathay Trust for very personal reasons linked to my teen years in the 1970s. Crossing the finish line of my first 10 in 10 rid me of some demons.
“Brathay do incredible work for vulnerable and disadvantaged children who have had a bad start in their life. Being able to play a very small part in that by raising much-needed funds is a real pleasure.”
My aim is to try and beat my first 10 in 10 time and take in the stunning sceneryChris Renton, 52-time marathon runner
To date, the endurance runner has already raised over £10,000 for Brathay Trust, which works to improve the lives of over 6,000 youngsters across the United Kingdom.
Renton started running in 2008 in order to shed some of his 17.5 stone body weight. He is now 13 stone after completing a total of 52 marathons over the last eight years.
Despite the fact that Renton typically runs 1,500 miles per year, the Harmeny Athletic Club member is not underestimating the challenge of the 10 in 10.
He said: “It is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. I find that running gets harder each year although I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes. My aim is to try and beat my first 10 in 10 time which was around 41 hours and, of course, to be able to take in the stunning scenery.”
Renton will run the same anti-clockwise route each day around Lake Windemere, England’s longest lake, in the Lake District. The 10 in 10 challenge is scheduled to take place between Friday 13 and Sunday 22 May.
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Earlier in January, Renton participated in a training event which allowed the runners to recce the route before the run in May.
He said: “Throughout the weekend, we had the chance to run the route once or twice. We also heard from two young people who Brathay have helped.
“The first was a young lad who sat down and told us in great detail and honesty his plight from being a young kid, mixed up in drink, drugs and prison onto where he is now. Then a young girl took the floor and she told us what she had to endure and she also admitted we were the first to be told the full story - warts and all.
“When she had finished talking to around 20 of us, there was not a dry eye in the room! When I am going through a deep and very dark place during the 10 in 10 running, it will be easy just to think about those two and get me moving again.”
In addition to training for this feat, he is busy organising his next fundraising event - the Hastings Borders Marathon in Kelso on Sunday 6 March. The runner hopes that the addition of a half-marathon and 10k race will attract new runners from both the local area and beyond.
Scot Umpleby, Head of Fundraising for Brathay Trust, said: “For many of the children and young people we work with their future is literally hanging in the balance.
“Whilst we can’t wipe away all the terrible things that have happened we can put them on the path to new and better lives. Every penny raised leads to a new beginning for a child who has had a hard life.”