A fundraising hero from Melrose is living life on the run so that youngsters who have had a traumatic start in life are given hope, support and direction – something he wished he’d had as a troubled teen.
Edinburgh bus driver Chris Renton wants to raise £15,000 through four running events and by tackling his third 10 marathons in 10 days this May.
Chris has already raised more than £10,000 for youth charity Brathay Trust, which works with more than 6,000 youngsters a year, including those for whom all else has failed.
For this reason, the 51-year-old from Melrose, says the charity is close to his heart
He said: “I feel very close to Brathay Trust for very personal reasons linked to my teenage 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.”
Also close to his heart is his running, which he started in 2008 to lose weight and to get fit.
Now more than four and half stone lighter, Chris has completed 52 marathons and ultra-marathons and typically runs 1,500 miles a year.
As well as training for his ‘10 in 10’ he is busy organising his next fundraiser, the Hastings Borders Marathon Event in Kelso on Sunday, March 6. He hopes the addition of a half marathon and 10k race will attract new runners as well as provide those who enjoy marathon distances the chance to compete in a local event.
And from May 13-22, Chris will face his own running challenge for the third time. Each day he will run the same anti-clockwise route around England’s longest lake, Windermere in the Lake District.
Regarded as one of the toughest UK marathons, adventurer and Everest climber Bear Grylls calls it “an epic challenge that will require an epic strength of mind.”
A member of Edinburgh’s Harmeny Athletic Club, Chris said: “I obviously know what to expect of this event.
“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.”
Brathay’s head of fundraising, Scott Umpleby, says the charity greatly appreciates Chris’ support.
He 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.”
To sponsor Chris please visit www.justgiving.com/Chris-Renton16.
To sign up for the Hastings Borders Marathon Event, visit www.entrycentral.com/festival411.
And for details of Chris’s other running events, visit melroseraces.com.