Earlston couple complete their Blackhill challenge

A couple from Earlston completed their arduous lockdown fundraising challenge of climbing Blackhill every day for 100 days on July 1, raising seven times their original target.

Fiona Curran and Norma Clark with their four willing pups.
Fiona Curran and Norma Clark with their four willing pups.

No matter the weather, Norma Clark and Fiona Curran trudged up the hill with their four Border terriers ... and even put on a show for their legion of followers on social media at the summit.

Norma, who is 61, and Fiona, 55, posted videos of them singing and dancing to a series of hit songs, with everything from Tina Turner wigs, ZZ Top beards and a Gene Kelly umbrella which quickly turned inside out in a particularly strong gale.

“Our antics kept it fun,” said Norma, who runs NJ Cleaning Services with Fiona. “They were the talk of the town and people kept giving us requests to do the next day.

The pair gave a stunning performance as Tina Turner.

“One person we spoke to told us ‘you really have no idea how much your videos are cheering people up during the lockdown’.

“People are still asking us to keep doing it and giving us one-off requests for songs to dance to.

“Doing it every day was a challenge, some days it was blowing a hoolie and it was chucking it down, but we were still smiling.

“It has had its benefits ... the dogs are certainly slimmer and we’ve both lost weight. It’s helped us both physically and mentally.

Fiona and Norma, or is it ZZ Top? It's uncanny!

“I used to be bothered with a sore back, but it’s brilliant now, It’s really tightened everything up.”

It became such a part of their everyday life that the duo went on to climb the hill for another three days on top of the 100.

Norma said: “The butcher in town told me that he had not heard of anyone else walking up the hill 100 days on the trot, so it could also be a bit of a record.”

The couple were raising funds for the wellbeing of staff at the Borders General Hospital, hoping at the start to raise £500.

Fiona Curran and Norma Clark with their four willing pups.

Norma told us: “We owe so much to the fantastic work these guys are doing, and people have been so generous.

“On the night before our 100th walk, my phone just kept on pinging with donations coming in.

“We’re just short of £3,500 now and I will just put the last bit in.

“We clean for a doctor at the BGH so I’ll ask her for any hints as to what we can do with the money, whether it be a bench or a coffee machine, something that will make a difference.

“We would like to thank everyone for their kindness ... it really kept us going for the whole hog.”