PR aims to test her mettle in Tough Mudder event

Melissa Clark is in training with a group of friends for the 12'mile Tough Mudder event in Dalkeith Park in June
Melissa Clark is in training with a group of friends for the 12'mile Tough Mudder event in Dalkeith Park in June
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ONE PR operative who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty is Melissa Clark, account executive at Holyrood Partnership in Edinburgh.

She is in training for Tough Mudder, a race full of physical endurance tests, at Dalkeith Park in June. It involves 12 miles of obstacles designed by the special forces.

“I’m taking part in Tough Mudder because I’ve always wanted to do something that really challenges me and where I can also raise money for charity and push myself to get fit,” says Melissa, 23, who will be joined by three friends from her time at Aberdeen University.

“It’s not a race as such, more about taking part in a team and completing the course. I’m pretty terrified though about some of the obstacles, like having to crawl through tunnels filled with water and run through rows of electric cables, but I think once the adrenaline hits, and the thought of a pint waiting at the end, I’ll be grand.”

Clan BlackRock stays put

blackRock boss Larry Fink got into the Scottish spirit at this year’s pensions industry conference in Edinburgh, sporting the tartan of the clan, er, BlackRock.

The fact that the world’s largest asset manager has its own corporate tartan bodes well for its presence in Scotland – Fink told delegates he was comfortable with the idea of Scottish independence and would only change his mind if his staff or clients threatened to flee in the event of a Yes vote in September.

Fink had donned the tartan tie for the official opening of BlackRock’s new office in Edinburgh, where it employs about 550 people. Financial planning being in his nature, we assume the multi-millionaire chief executive timed the opening ceremony to coincide with his keynote speech to the National Association of Pension Funds gathering in order to save fuel costs on his private jet…

Funny and on the money

Delegates at this year’s National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) conference were treated to stand-up from comedian Hugh Dennis at the official gala dinner, which took place at the National Museum of Scotland.

The star of Outnumbered joked that he was well advised on his pension arrangements by the time he got to the stage for his speech, but had he been forsaken by the cool kids?

Rumour has it that an unofficial alternative NAPF dinner takes place every year, with invitation by word of mouth only.

Leach cleans up

The rise of Rod Leach through the ranks of cleaning firm Spotless will scarcely come as a surprise to those who know his extraordinary Olympic credentials.

The former military man, who served for 18 years in the army, has competed for Britain in both the winter and summer Olympic Games. In 1994 he took part in the biathlon event in Lillehammer and six years later he went to the 2000 Sydney Games to compete in the 3,000m steeplechase.

Spotless, which operates from offices across the UK, initially appointed Leach back in 2009 to run its Aberdeen operation. In 2012 he became deputy managing director, moving to the company’s headquarters in Edinburgh.

In response to the growth of the business, former MD Niall Moffat has moved into the newly created role of chief executive.

Charity begins at home

Michelin-starred chef and entrepreneur Tom Kitchin did his neighbours on Leith waterfront a good turn by choosing St Andrew’s First Aid as his charity of the month.

His restaurant The Kitchin is next door to the charity’s Edinburgh office and regularly raises money for good causes through a scheme that allows patrons to donate their bills.

Kitchin presented St Andrew’s with a cheque for £1,277 as a result of the latest round of diners’ donations.

Kitchin said: “We’re proud to hear that the money raised is going to help people and save lives in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland. As our neighbours in Leith, it’s even more fantastic that the money raised is benefitting people right on our doorstep.”