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More than 80 runners will take to the streets of Manchester and Edinburgh over the next two weekends in memory of Barra teenager Eilidh MacLeod.
The 14-year-old was a victim of Manchester Arena attack in May 2017. As the second anniversary approaches the runners – including some of Eilidh’s friends and former bandmates – have signed up to support the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust which was created up in her memory to provide a legacy in supporting other young people follow in her musical footsteps.
This is the first significant fundraising activity under the banner of Eilidh’s Trust since it was established in October last year. In Manchester this weekend (19th May) 50 runners will don the Team Eilidh running top and the following weekend (25th/26th May) will see 35 hitting the streets of the capital – including one person playing the bagpipes. Runners are taking on a 5k, 10k or the half marathon, depending on their preference.
Money raised by the runners will assist the Trust in delivering its ambition to support young musicians, reflecting Eilidh’s own love of music. She had started on her own musical journey, learning the bagpipes and growing in confidence as a performer. She was a member of the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band which drew young pipers from across the Uists and Barra, something she loved being part of.
Eilidh’s Trust founder Suzanne White – who is running in both cities – is delighted with the response from supporters. She said: ‘To have more than 80 people running for the Trust is way beyond what we expected. We have people of all running abilities taking part and we are so grateful for their commitment to training and raising money for the Trust. This is a great first set of events for Eilidh’s Trust and reinforces the support we’ve had since the outset. I can’t wait to see Team Eilidh on the streets of Manchester and Edinburgh raising the profile of the Trust and really getting us off to a great start.’
‘We are also grateful for the support we’ve had in preparing for the events – especially LCC Live Events who have kindly sponsored our running tops, and for the goodwill of designer Bradley Edwards and Ravensport Sport and Leisure for designing and producing the tops.’
Katie MacDonald from the Isle of Barra who played the pipes alongside Eilidh is running the Edinburgh 10k in memory of her friend and former bandmate. She said: ‘I can’t believe it’s two years since we lost Eilidh so tragically, but running in her memory and raising money for her legacy is really important to me which is why I jumped at the chance of running the Edinburgh 10k. I’m looking forward to being part of Team Eilidh and supporting their work. Music is such a big element of our lives on the islands so it’s great that I can help other musicians have the same opportunities I have had to learn an instrument and be part of a band.’
Les Kidger, MD of Inverness-based LCC Live added: ‘Supporting Eilidh’s Trust in these events was an obvious choice for us. Having been involved in music events for many years – including with bands like Runrig and Skippinish – we’ve seen how important it is to develop the future crop of musicians. We were keen to play our part in that by supporting these running events and we are thrilled to do so. Good luck to everyone who’s stepped out for Eilidh’s Trust.’