Endurance runner pays a poignant tribute to his cousin on hills in Galashiels

Resilient Ryan Small went on the run for 24 hours at the weekend in a poignant tribute to his cousin from Galashiels.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:22 pm
Ryan Small on his 24 running challenge at Galashiels for Poppscotland. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Craig McGlasson was only 32 when he died in August last year, just a week after being diagnosed with cancer.

Cousin Ryan decided to take on a 24 hour running challenge up and down the Meigle and Mosilee Hills in Galashiels in his memory.

He started at 6pm on Friday, June 25 and finished at 6pm on Saturday, June 26.

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Ryan Small on his 24 running challenge at Galashiels for Poppyscotland. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Ryan covered 61 miles with just over 16,000 feet of elevation gain, while averaging 11 minutes per mile.

In the process he raised in the region of £1,700 for Poppyscotland, a charity close to his late cousin’s heart.

Ryan, 41, said: “I ran pretty much for the 24 hours straight, just stopping for food and drinks.

"I actually had a ten minute nap. I said I wasn’t going to nap but I needed ten minutes just to freshen myself up.

"I took my first food break at 9.30pm at the base, the Galashiels Cricket Clubhouse. I just sat there and had a sandwich and a quick coffee and got back out again.

"I took another break at two o’clock in the morning and another at half four in the morning.

"Running in the darkness was really miserable at night. We had head torches on and my running poles but there was heavy rain and it was misty.”

Ryan, who was accompanied during the night by his Polish friend Grzegorz Korsak, is originally from Galashiels and now runs a cleaning company in Glasgow.

He added: “I loved it. It was amazing and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

"I had a support crew with me and my dad and uncle were there too – they woke me up after my nap, just as I was getting into a deep, deep sleep. I love these types of events, the longer 24 hour things, because it pushes your limits and challenges you.

“We were out there for pretty much 24 hours straight other than the break and the ten minute nap. I think Craig would be chuffed at what we did. He loved Remembrance Day as his dad was ex-Forces and he loved taking part in that.”

Ryan, who takes part in ultra marathons and 24-hour races, added: “A couple of years ago I did a half marathon every day for a month for Poppyscotland.

"I would definitely do something like this again.”