There are half marathons, full marathons, and then there are ultramarathons – and Motherwell resident David Kyle will be running a testing 56 miles in the Glasgow to Edinburgh Ultramarathon next month for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.
Paisley-born David (37) is a serving officer with Police Scotland, and has two young children with his wife Nikki. Serving and protecting the public is clearly in his blood: his late father, Andy, was in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders – seeing action in Northern Ireland, Aden, and Cyprus – and his brother, Andrew, was a lance corporal in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).
Fitness, too, courses through his veins.
Before David became a police officer 14 years ago, he was a personal trainer and gym instructor. He describes running, his main hobby, as “… moving meditation”, adding: “Nothing clears my head, helps me deal with life’s stresses, or levels me out better than a good run.”
David’s motivation for marathons and extreme running really came to life following an episode of SAS: Who Dares Wins, that featured the “Fan Dance”, the 15-mile fitness and navigation element of UK Special Forces selection process through the Bannau Brycheiniog (formerly the Brecon Beacons).
His motivation to take on an ultramarathon for SSAFA, is very different and very personal.
As David says: “I’m raising money for SSAFA as it helped with Dad’s funeral costs when he died of cancer a few years ago. SSAFA also helped to contact other members of the Argylls who attended Dad’s funeral which was nice to see, and I just want to give something back to SSAFA for being there during the hardest emotional time of my life.”
Although David has broken his fundraising target of £1,000, as with his running and fitness goals, he wants to go further so that SSAFA can continue to provide services and support to the military family in Scotland.
To donate to David, visit justgiving.com/page/david-kyle. Updated from David about his training are on his two Instagram accounts, which are @daviekyle and his running account @bolt.ya.rocket. Donations can be made via those accounts.
The event starts at 6am on Saturday, October 7 at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum and ends at Saughton Sports Complex in Edinburgh. The ultramarathon has a 15-hour time limit, and David is aiming for under 12 hours.
For more information about the UK’s oldest tri-service charity, visit ssafa.org.uk/scotland.