Borders charity champion Chris Laidlaw nearing £25,000 fundraising mark after completing 12 marathons in 2021

Former Borders rugby player Chris Laidlaw has raised £24,000-plus and counting for charity after completing a dozen marathons in as many months.

By Darin Hutson
Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 5:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th February 2022, 5:47 pm
Chris Laidlaw completing his 12th and final marathon of 2021 on Friday (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group/SRU)
Chris Laidlaw completing his 12th and final marathon of 2021 on Friday (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group/SRU)

The ex-Scotland club international last Friday completed the challenge he set himself at the end of 2020 of doing 12 marathons in aid of three charities close to his heart over the following year.

The 31-year-old, formerly of Jedburgh but now based in Edinburgh, is raising money for the Murrayfield Injured Players’ Foundation, Marie Curie and Alzheimer’s Scotland in memory of his late mother Joy.

The Scottish Rugby academy coach’s original fundraising target was £3,000 but he later bumped that up to £12,000 and he’s now raised more than twice that bigger total, with donations standing at £24,412 as of this afternoon.

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Chris Laidlaw with wife Alanah, dad Roy and children Ivy and Struan Laidlaw after completing his year-long charity marathon challenge in Edinburgh on New Year's Eve (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group/SRU)

Laidlaw picked the foundation and Alzheimer’s Scotland to thank them for the support they’ve given to his father, Borders rugby legend Roy Laidlaw, 68, and Marie Curie to show his gratitude for the care it provided for his late mum during her battle against cancer.

He was cheered on by wife Alanah and children Struan, three, and Ivy, one, and accompanied for part of the way by his dad, formerly a scrum-half for Scotland and the British and Irish Lions, as he completed his final 26-mile run of 2021, starting and finishing at one of his old clubs, Boroughmuir, and taking him through Edinburgh city centre.

“It was tough today, just over five hours,” the ex-Jed-Forest player said after crossing the finishing line.

Jed-Forest rugby legend Roy Laidlaw, left, running part of his son Chris's final marathon route of 2021 (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group/SRU)

“Knowing it was the last one and just really wanting to get to the finish made it emotional and hard.

“The support today, like with all the other marathons, has been unbelievable. I don’t think I would have been able to get through it without that support, so to those who ran alongside me part of the way, or cycled, or just popped up to cheer me on, a huge thank-you.

“Would I do any more marathons? No, not at this stage – marathons are definitely off the script – but what I do take from this is that when you have such a purpose, a higher purpose, to do something, then you can pretty much do anything with the right support network.”

His father, capped 47 times for his country between 1980 and 1988, added: “I’m proud of him.

Ex-Jed-Forest rugby player Chris Laidlaw crossing the finishing line of his final fundraising run of last year (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group/SRU)

“He’s done really well, and it’s been great to see the support he’s had too.”