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Woman completes ultimate fitness challenge to mark her 30th birthday to raise cash for Highland-based mental health charity Mikeysline


By Ian Duncan

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Sarah Dunnett
Sarah Dunnett

As a Wick woman prepared for her 30th birthday she decided to use the occasion to raise funds for a Highland-based mental health charity.

So far Sarah Dunnett, whose birthday was on June 4, has raised more than £2665 for Mikeysline by setting herself a fitness challenge – to complete one "Murph" every three hours, over a 12-hour period, and manage to do five in total.

A Murph is a popular crossfit workout which involves a one-mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 press ups, 300 squats and a second one-mile run – all while wearing a weight vest.

It was named in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael "Murph" Murphy who was 29 years old when he was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.

Mikeysline was set up in 2015 to try and tackle high suicide rates in the Highlands and provides a text-for-help hotline service for people experiencing thoughts of depression, anxiety, worry or stress.

Ms Dunnett, whose original fundraising target was £250, said: "I had decided that I wanted to mark my 30th with a fundraiser of some sort and had hoped to use my new gym facility in Thurso, 58 Degrees North, to mark the occasion.

"Unfortunately, with the lockdown, this was not to be and so I adapted the session to something I could do at home but anyone could adapt and do at home also if they wanted to."

Sarah Dunnett with boyfriend Greg Cormack who joined her during her fundraising effort.
Sarah Dunnett with boyfriend Greg Cormack who joined her during her fundraising effort.

She said the challenge itself went better than expected – she had completed a Murph before but never five in one day – and added: "I was sensible about the pace I set as I had no idea how my body would feel between my first round and fifth round.

"The hardest part of the whole thing was fuelling and ensuring I was hydrated enough, as it was my birthday I completely ignored the sensible advice to take on easily digestible, plain foods and just ate mostly doughnuts.

"Mikeysline, and the services they offer, are extremely important to our community. As many as one in three people every year will be impacted by mental illness hence why I opted to complete one Murph every three hours.

"I wanted to firstly raise money for Mikeysline to support the work that they do, but secondly I hoped that by using a challenge that might attract some local attention it would also help raise awareness for who the charity is and what it stands for.

"It's not enough to assume that everyone is aware of the support that is available and this was helped massively as so many people got involved in sharing my social media posts to spread the word."

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