Chris going on run for good causes close to his heart

A mixture of pride, resolve and emotion might well be uppermost in Chris Laidlaw’s mind as 2021 is ushered in.

Wednesday, 30th December 2020, 3:00 pm
Chris Laidlaw (picture by Bill McBurnie)

Tomorrow, he starts a testing charity challenge by tackling 12 marathons in as many months.

Chris, youngest son of former Jed-Forest, Scotland and British and Irish Lions scrum-half Roy Laidlaw, is doing that daunting dozen runs, billed as 12 in 12 in ’21, to raise money for three charities with a personal connection.

Chris, 30, is a Scotland Club XV international stand-off and captain of Fosroc Super6 side Boroughmuir Bears, as well as being a Scottish Cup winner during his time at Meggetland.

Sign up to our daily The Southern Reporter Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Tomorrow, he is due to set off from the Boroughmuir clubhouse at 10am on the first 26 miles of his quest.

The charities he’s supporting are the Murrayfield Injured Players’ Foundation, Marie Curie and Alzheimer Scotland.

The venture is tinged with personal sadness as his mum Joy died earlier this year and a few months later, dad Roy, one of Scotland’s Grand Slam heores of 1984, revealed he was fighting Alzheimer’s disease.

Chris has only done one half-marathon before, in New Zealand in 2012, and never the full Monty, but he warmed up last week with a 19-mile run and says he is now feeling “nervous and excited”.

Personal reasons, however, are a strong motivation for him, he said, explaining: “I have a pretty strong drive to do it, that is for sure.

“I have to be very wary of the emotions because emotional energy can sometimes drain you and can also sometimes pick you up, so I have to be smart, I suppose, in how I use that throughout the year ahead.

“ The last thing I want to do is drain myself of emotion before I actually get to the marathons.

“Like most rugby players, I’ve probably done some daft things to celebrate new year in the past, but this one matters an awful lot to me.”

Much will depend on the Covid-19 pandemic but Chris hopes to sign up for some major events in the marathon calendar including Edinburgh in May, Berlin in September and Loch Ness in October, all being well.

Otherwise, he’ll plot bespoke courses around events that meant a lot to his family, such as Jed-Forest 7s or Jethart Callant’s Festival.

You can chart his progress at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/12in12in21