Team Eilidh set the pace for virtual challenge

Runners Lisa MacNeil, who grew up in Oban to Barra parents, Catriona MacNeil and Suzanne Forman finish their half marathon on Barra for Eildih's Trust.

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Runners and walkers clocked up enough miles to circle Barra 30 times in memory of the island’s young piper Eilidh MacLeod who was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing.

More than 55 people from the island and as far away as Virginia in the USA took part in a virtual 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon raising hundreds of pounds so far for the musical trust set up in the 14-year-old’s name.

Eilidh, who was a piper with Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band, died along with 21 other Ariana Grande fans in the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017.

Participants in the virtual event completed 396 miles – the same as going round Barra 30.5 times – said Iagan MacNeil, one of the organisers.

Iagan MacNeil, orginally from Barra, completed two runs in Edinburgh.


Suzanne Forman and son Seumas during their 5k walk near Barra’s beach airport. Suzanne is Sgoil Bhàgh a’ Chaisteil’s head teacher.
Sgoil Bhàgh a’ Chaisteil S2 classmates Rachael, Mairead and Ellie walked the 13 miles round Barra and collected £100 on the way.
Andrew James of Barra and a pupil at Sgoil Bhàgh a’ Chaisteil completed his 5k with a personal best.
Piper Murray O’May, whose mother is from Campbeltown, plays a tune while on his walk near Stirling University.

Those joining in the challenge got involved in Barra and Vatersay, Eriskay, Lewis and Harris, Skye, Tiree, Lochaber, Ross-shire, the summit of Ben Lomond, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Oldham and Virginia, USA.

‘There may be more but these are the ones who signed up and whose mileage we can log,’ said Iagan.

‘And we had a musical flavour to our participants. We’ve had Skipinnish’s Angus MacPhail and Rachel Walker, who is a solo musician and singer, Ian Smith of Trail West who achieved a personal best on Tiree, pipe drummer Fergus Bryce who masterminded our pipe tune ‘A Tune for The Trust’ and Murray O’May who piped during his Team Eilidh contribution.’

The challenge was free to enter but donations to the trust would still be welcomed in light of this year’s fundraising events being scaled back. Donations can be made via Eilidh’s Trust’s JustGiving page. So far around £700 has been donated.

Schoolchildren on Barra and Vatersay also got involved as the island schools used the event as part of their regular PE challenges.

JustGiving –