Mission accomplished for running man Olly

Fort William FC U-13s Football coach Olly Stephen celebrates completing his challenge of running 5km every day for a year to raise money for the Club. Photograoh: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image.

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While people often comment that the past year has just run away, for football coach Olly Stephen, aged 35, that was certainly true, running at least 5km every day to raise money for Fort William FC’s  U12/13 squads.

Snow, rain or shine, hot or cold,  Olly pounded his way across Lochaber for 366 days (2020 being Leap year), coupled with push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and crunches,        completing his challenge as planned on the last day of year.

With support from football fans, both locally and across the globe through crowdfunding, Olly has raised a total, to date, of more than £1,700  to help support the keen young players  – his son Jack included – in all their activities.

He said: ‘Lots of people that give up their time free to help run the club and train the boys at all levels.

‘There are always financial challenges that the club face: being so far geographically away from the other teams we play; kit for the boys to train and play in; along with other training equipment, and not least the charges for hire of the facilities such as an Astro pitch, that can really add up.’

Running every day, even when on holiday, Olly actually ran  2,662Km (1,654 miles), a third more than he intended and equivalent to 700 times up and down Ben Nevis, which towers over his Caol house.

About half way through he had to give up the ‘extras’ after injuring his wrist, but carried on running, even wearing leg splints on a few  occasions, without a pause.

‘This has most certainly been a labour of love, with my family helping out  frequently,’ he added.

‘I’m glad I managed to complete it and at this moment, I don’t think I will ever run again.’