From Pimlico to Perth: Craig’s marathon fundraising is a tale of two cities
The leafy backroads of rural Perth are a far cry from the international landmarks of London’s Oxford Street and The Mall, but with coronavirus cancelling this year’s London Marathon, Craig Lockhart (pictured above) is hoping his “virtual” 26-miler around the Fair City this Sunday will be just as rewarding.
Craig, who is part of the Safety team at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks ( SSEN) in Perth, was successful with his entry to this year’s London Marathon and had spent many a cold morning and windy weekend prepping for the big day in April, but when it became one of the first big national events to be cancelled after Lockdown was announced, organisers arranged for this year’s run to go ahead as a virtual one instead.
Pounding the streets of London was not only going to be a personal challenge for marathon first-timer Craig, it was also a chance for him to raise funds for a charity close to his heart, Child Bereavement UK, as he explains:
“CBUK supports children who have lost a sibling or parent, as well as being there to support families who are bereaved of a child. I chose this charity because when I was 15 years old my mum died suddenly of an aneurysm in the brain. I know first-hand the devastation such a loss can have on a child, and so I wanted to play any part I can in helping others get through it. Ironically enough, this charity is needed now more than ever because of Covid and all the families it has affected.”
As well as sponsorship and pledges he’s been getting from colleagues, friends and family, Craig will also be applying to SSEN’s Matched Funding initiative, which offers up to £150 to support colleagues who are taking part in fundraising events such as sponsored walks and cake sales.
Lizee Graham, Events Fundraiser at Child Bereavement UK, said:
‘From us all at Child Bereavement UK, we wanted to wish Craig the very best of luck for Sunday in the Virtual London Marathon event. We’re very grateful to Craig and everyone who has supported his training and fundraising over the last 10 months. The money Craig has raised will help Child Bereavement UK to continue to provide much-needed support to bereaved children, young people and families- now more than ever. We can’t thank him enough – he’s a superstar!”
Being part of SSEN’s safety team, Craig is used to in-depth preparation and risk assessments, and having never run a marathon before, he was sure to seek expert advice before he started training:
“When I first applied for the London Marathon back in May 2019, I was definitely not a runner – I had only just completed the ‘Couch to 5k’ program! While I’ve been hiking for a few years now, it’s a different world putting your body through the intense long running required for the marathon. We have a gym at work and so, prior to Lockdown, I spoke with one of the Personal Trainers there to set up a training plan that would allow me to safely build up the miles until I was ready for the Big One.”
Craig’s marathon kicks off in Pitcairngreen and heads out into the Perth countryside before reaching his finishing line 26 miles later on the city’s North Inch.
“The Virtual London Marathon is going to be very different from the previous ‘actual’ races, and I think it’s great that everyone who was successful with their application is still getting the chance to feel a part of this world-famous event. I’m really looking forward to Sunday, my target is to reach the finish line in around four-and-a-half hours, and it’s a great feeling knowing that I’m raising funds for such a worthwhile cause at the same time.”