A HIGHLAND council worker from Evanton will represent the region at the Great Scottish Run next month as part of the Bank of Scotland Community Challenge to inspire others to get out and enjoy Scotland’s great outdoors.
Marsela McLeod is a long-term runner and orienteer who was inspired to sign up for the run to help raise awareness for healthy living.
Bank of Scotland, which sponsors the Great Scottish Run taking place on October 1, launched the Community Challenge to help get Scotland active.
The campaign has recruited one runner from each of the 32 local authorities in Scotland to take on a “10 week to 10k” running challenge. Marsela will receive complimentary entry for the race, a personalised training programme and VIP hospitality at the finish.
And the 53-year-old, who benefits from the recreational run network Jogsscotland, admits she is relishing the opportunity to compete in her first big road race.
“I try and promote Jogscotland whenever I can so it is just to keep the profile high and to encourage people to be active as well,” she said. “You don’t have to be young, you can take up running at any age and still get something out of it. I have never really done a big race, but everyone says it is a fantastic atmosphere so I would like to be part of that.”
She says training for the race gave her something to aim towards and motivated to push herself, something she hopes will work for others who are looking to maintain a good level of fitness and training.
“I want to prove to myself that I can still go out and take part in a road race and I want to be a role model for people up here who are thinking about running,” she said.
Starting at George Square in the heart of Glasgow, runners follow the route through the city before reaching the tree-lined finish in the shadow of Nelson’s Monument.
Philip Grant, chair, Scottish Executive Committee, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “This challenge is a fantastic addition to the event and adds to our aim to help Scotland prosper and make a difference in our local communities. I’m really looking forward to watching the runners’ progress and learning more about them on the lead up to the event.”
Bank of Scotland is supporting runners from communities across Scotland on their 10 weeks to a 10k challenge.
For more information, visit greatscottishrun.com/community-challenge