WHEELCHAIR curler Aileen Neilson will take on a different kind of challenge later this month as she aims to complete a charity marathon.
The Strathaven Paralympian plans to mark her 40th birthday on August 14 by completing the 26 mile distance with her partner Michael McCreadie.
They aim to raise £1000 each for the Beatson Cancer Centre and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charities by doing an alternative form of marathon circuit.
Aileen explained: “I’ve managed to work out a distance from my house to a certain point that, if I go back and forward 12 times, it matches the marathon distance so that’s what Michael and I will be doing to raise as much as we can.
“I’ve always wanted to raise money for charity, but I’ve never had the chance to do it before.
“So I thought to mark my 40th birthday I would give something back to two charities which are close to my heart.
“When I was about two-and-a-half years old I had tumour on my spinal cord and the Beatson helped me through that trauma. My dad was also treated there as well so it’s a charity we want to support.
“One of our friends was treated for leukaemia at Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research so we chose them to benefit as well.
Aileen and Michael – who both represented Great Britain at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver – have been hard at work during the last few months to prepare for the gruelling test.
And they are inviting anyone in the area interested in supporting the charities to go along and help them raise as much as possible.
“A friend of mine undertook the Midnight Marathon in Edinburgh recently so we have been taking a lot of advice from her in terms of building up our strength and clocking up the miles in before we go into the marathon.
“We’ve been steadily working our distances up from 12 to 16 miles and this weekend we hope to do 18 miles and that’s the furthest we will go before the event itself.
“Our friends and family are coming along to East Brackenridge Cottage to join in the fun of the event.
“It would be great if other people joined us on the day by just completing a mile or whatever distance they would like.”
Refreshments and cakes will be on offer from 10am onwards and people going along can get their friends to sponsor them to walk a mile – or more if they want.
People interested can go along on the day to make a donation or, alternatively, visit www.justgiving.com/aileenstill39 to donate to Leukaemia research
and / or www.justgiving.com/aileennearly40 to donate to The Beatson Cancer Centre.