Two friends have completed a gruelling 856 miles trek around every football ground in Scotland -- in just 15 days
Siobhan Cunning and Chris Sayles, both 37, walked to all 42 Scottish football stadiums, raising a whopping £15,000 for charity along the way.
The friends took on the mammoth trek in a bid to raise money for the Beatson Cancer Charity and Ronald McDonald House, which provides accommodation for families with children in hospital.
The pair walked from Ross County’s Global Energy Stadium in Dingwall, Scottish Highlands to Albion Rovers’ Cliftonhill ground in Coatbridge -- walking the equivalent of two marathons every day.
After 10 months of planning, Chris and Siobhan, from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire completed the daunting jaunt in 15 days, between May 26 and June 9.
They stayed in a trailer kitted out with a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, and spent about £1,000 on diesel along the way.
Siobhan, a bartender, said it was pal Chris who came up with the idea after he spent years thinking about completing the challenge.
She said: “I said ‘yes’ at the time not really thinking how much of a gigantic effort it would be.
“We were about 10 months training, planning the walk, logistics and deciding what charities we would donate towards.
“We had a trailer with us that one of Chris’s friends provided. It was about 42 feet long and he kitted it out with bedrooms, a fitted kitchen and bathrooms.”
A knee operation set Chris’s plans back five years but he says has always been determined to do the walk.
Chris, who owns Airdrie pub Yesterdays, said: “After I recovered I decided to do it.
“Cycling wasn’t as tough a challenge so I decided to walk it.”
The pair’s fundraising effort didn’t start off as well as they planned, but they were over the moon when they smashed their £5,000 target.
They decided to donate to the Beaton Cancer Charity after watching two close friends struggle with the disease.
The miles quickly took their toll on the pair who both ended up in hospital on the fifth day -- Siobhan with painful blisters and Chris who fractured a bone in his foot.
Siobhan said: “From Elgin we walked to Peterhead which was the worst day of my life.
“It was 30-degree heat and my feet were very bad with blisters that day, I was an emotional wreck.”
Chris said: “I broke my fifth metatarsal near Dundee on the fifth day.
“It was quite a curved road we were walking on, it was a stress fracture.
“I was told to rest up but I did the opposite. It was a no-brainer that I was going to finish the walk regardless.”
Siobhan, who was forced to sit part of the walk out because of her blisters, said: “It was 100 percent the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
“It’s a fantastic achievement and I’m very proud.
“I had done the Kiltwalk before but nothing like that.
“I faced some fears by crossing bridges, like the Kessock Bridge in Inverness, but it was definitely worth it.”
Chris added: “There were a lot of days where you’re walking down a straight road for 10 or 15 miles with just fields on either side the whole way.
“Walking on your own can be hard,” he said.
“Days like that and ones where Siobhan couldn’t continue because of her feet were really hard as well.”
Reaching Glasgow, on day 14 Chris and Siobhan were joined by some of the staff from the city’s Beatson hospital before stopping by Ronald McDonald House.
Chris said: “We visited the House and stopped in for some pictures and there was a family who had been there for seven months.
“It really put into perspective what we were doing and the people we were helping.”
The home leg saw more than 30 local supporters walk with Chris and Siobhan for the final stretch and they were joined by 100 people when they reached the final stadium.
Chris said: “It was surreal when we arrived at Cliftonhill. Albion Rovers opened the stadium up for us as well, it was absolutely amazing.”
Siobhan said: “It’s a great thing to have done. We hadn’t trained in the heat we eventually experienced but if someone was to say ‘should I do it?’ I would say yes.”
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