A soldier is set to run this year’s Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run with a 20kg pack strapped to his back, as part of a 100 mile challenge marking the anniversary of the First World War.
Rhidian Jones from Johnstone, Renfrewshire, is taking-on the half-marathon event on Sunday, 30 September.
The 43-year-old – who is Commanding Officer (Reserves) of the 32 Signal Regiment and works with Lloyds Banking Group in Glasgow – wants to cover run or “tab” 100 miles across six charity events with his pack to mark the 100th anniversary of the Great War. The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run will be his fifth event.
Rhidian is using his efforts to raise much needed funds for Poppy Scotland and the Royal Signals Benevolent Fund (RSBF).
He said: “I think this is a very significant year as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War, and Remembrance Sunday will be a very poignant occasion this year. I wanted to do something special on this occasion for two outstanding charities that support our veterans and families.
“My challenge starts in April and will finish in November this year with an Army fitness test before the Remembrance Sunday parade, if my knees survive that long, to mark this very poignant year for our armed forces.”
The Great Scottish Run will once again be supported by Bank of Scotland, who this year is celebrating its tenth year as partner.
With the Toddler Dash, Junior Run and Family Mile taking place on Super Saturday, 29th September and both the 10k and half marathon on the Sunday, up to 30,000 runners of all ages and abilities are expected to take part.
And Rhidian is really looking forward to the event, and has been fitting his training around his family life.
He said: “I’m in the army reserves so have been running all my life. At the moment I go running three or four times a week. It can be a challenge fitting in the training but I have a very understanding family and have to take every opportunity I can.
“I even run from home to work in Glasgow occasionally, but this means a 5am start.
“My Regiment are good and will train with me whenever they can. My wife is also a runner and we normally try to find time once a week for a run. Otherwise I have to train alone, or at least with my music.”
The Bank of Scotland Community Challenge, which was first staged last year as part of the Bank of Scotland’s mission to get Scotland more active by encouraging runners from each Scottish Local Authority to apply to take on a tailored ‘10 week to 10k challenge’, will also return.
Alex Jackson, from organisers the Great Run Company, said: “It’s fantastic to have the continued support of Bank of Scotland and its partnership over the last 10 years has been invaluable in helping build the event into Scotland’s biggest weekend of running.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming all our runners to the city again in September for what will be another action packed weekend.”
Philip Grant, Chair of the Scottish Executive Committee, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “I am immensely proud of Bank of Scotland’s 10 year partnership with the Great Scottish Run. Since 2009, it has evolved into Scotland’s largest mass participation event, bringing together more than thirty thousand runners of all abilities and ages from all over Scotland.”
“It also raises millions of pounds for many worthy causes and for the second year running it will give our colleagues the opportunity to take on the challenge for our charity partner, Mental Health UK. The significant fundraising achieved through this important event underscores our ambition to help Scotland prosper.”
For more information and to enter the bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run click here
For more information on the Community Challenge click here
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