Embarking on your first ultramarathon is no mean feat, but that is just what Iain Leggat – family home in Fife, but lives in Edinburgh – is undertaking for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.
The son of two Armed Forces’ veterans – his father, James, was in the RAF and his mother Penny is former Nursing Officer late of the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, and volunteers for SSAFA’s Fife branch – Iain will run the 36.2 miles of the coastal EnduranceLife Northumberland on February 25 starting and finishing at Bamburgh Castle.
Coincidentally, Iain turns 26 the following day, so he is hoping to give himself a bit of a birthday present by running a great time in not only his first ultramarathon, but also his first marathon following a half marathon in October 2022.
Iain, who works as a Marketing Executive for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, has swapped his bike for running shoes in recent months, putting in the miles with Parkruns – including the Holyrood Parkrun just last weekend. He also trains with friends as well as with fellow members of Good Time Running Club in Edinburgh.
He is not, however, underestimating the challenge ahead of him.
He explains, saying: “The blurb for EnduranceLife Northumberland states that runners will ‘… enjoy sweeping sandy beaches and rolling dunes on this striking landscape steeped in history’.
“Well, I’m not disputing that it’s a beautiful part of the world, but my focus is on doing a good run, having a brilliant time with friends, and raising a great amount for SSAFA.”
Iain has set himself a target of £360, and he is around a third of the way to his target, but he knows he can smash this.
“I want to smash this target,” begins Iain, “because of countless stories of the incredible case work that SSAFA does in Fife, across Scotland, the rest of the UK, and even the rest of the world.
“Whatever they’re facing, our Armed Forces and their families can rely on SSAFA and its personalised support to help them through it, for as long as it takes to get that person’s life back to where they want it to be.“