Jedburgh's Chris Laidlaw looks ahead to last marathon challenge of 2021

Just one race now stands between Jedburgh’s Chris Laidlaw and the completion of his 12-month charity marathon challenge.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 4:00 pm

The 31-year-old has tackled a 26-mile run each month in 2021 to help charities with which he has a close personal link.

The ex-Boroughmuir and Scotland club international stand-off and his supporters have been gathering money and raising awareness for the Murrayfield Injured Players’ Foundation, Marie Curie and Alzheimer’s Scotland.

The 12th and final marathon run is set to take place in Edinburgh on Hogmanay – 364 days after Chris set off on the first run, also in the capital, back in January.

Chris, front centre, with family, friends and supporting runners (picture by Bill McBurnie)

The former Jed-Forest player, son of Scottish rugby legend and 1984 Scottish Grand Slam hero Roy Laidlaw, selected the foundation and Alzheimer’s Scotland to thank them for the support they’ve given to his father and Marie Curie in gratitude for helping his late mother Joy.

He began his penultimate race last weekend from the family home in Jedburgh, heading towards Kelso then cutting off at Crailing and moving towards Nisbet, through Ancrum, towards Maxton and back to Jedburgh, ending at Jed-Forest’s Riverside rugby home.

“I was leaving from dad’s house, where mum passed away, so emotions were quite big around the start,” said Chris.

“Physically, it was strange one. I probably felt as strong as I have felt physically, especially over the recent times. I felt really quite strong.

A handshake for Chris at the finish from proud dad and former Scottish international, Roy Laidlaw (picture by Bill McBurnie)

“Running a marathon is an interesting psychological battle at times, especially when you’re running with such a purpose around why I am doing it,” Chris added.

“I have always been conscious of the emotions and not letting them get to me too soon.

"You are on your feet so long – four and a half, four and three quarter hours – so you can drain yourself quite quickly if you’re just trying to run on your emotion.”

The December 31 route will begin and end at Boroughmuir’s Meggetland rugby ground and Chris hopes to design it so that people can “jump in” for a half marathon or 10K if they wish.

Chris, now a coach at the Scottish Rugby Academy, has raised over £19,000 so far.

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