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CalMac worker Alistair ‘Ally K’ Macpherson swapped his sea legs for road ones recently to run the 180 miles from Glasgow to Inverness raising funds for Highland Hospice along the way.
Originally from Skye, the 43-year-old had raised £78,000 for cancer charities before the ‘Long Run’ and, as well as smashing his goal of completing the route in under 70 hours, the father of two met his original £100,000 fundraising target by collecting more than £22,000 from this latest effort.
Speaking to the Lochaber Times after his epic run Ally, who completed the route in 62 hours, said: ‘This event is the longest and most challenging I have attempted.
‘The lack of sleep was probably the worst part of it but I had three, 20-minute sleeps over the 62 hours and that helped.’
Ally admitted he found this challenge extremely difficult and was glad of his support team which included his wife Donna, Fiona Rennie, Pauline Walker, Sue Walker, Ken Walker, Douglas MacDougal, Graham, John and Hellen Munrow and his 14-year-old son Lewis.
‘Other runners joined me along the way so that was a big help,’ he added.
Ally has worked for CalMac for more than 20 years and is currently the acting Onboard Services Manager on the MV Loch Seaforth.
Robbie Drummond, Managing Director of CalMac, who joined Ally on part of his run, added: ‘Ally is an inspiration to us all and has a great team of friends and family who have been supporting his fantastic challenge. He has raised almost £100,000 for cancer charities, a truly amazing amount.’
The ‘Long Run’ route took Ally along the West Highland Way, leading to Fort William and the great Glen Way before joining the road beside Loch Ness and running the Loch Ness Marathon route before finishing in Inverness.
Ally began raising money for cancer charities in 2012 when his wife Donna lost her dad to cancer.
Unfortunately she lost her mum a few years later, also to cancer, while Ally too has lost family members to the disease.
‘I wanted to give something back to the charities that have helped in the past,’ he told the Lochaber Times.
The keen darts player now intends to step back up to the oche.
‘The last 18 months have been very challenging for us all. Charities need our help more than ever and that is why I am delighted to have been able to do this for Highland Hospice.
‘I will keep on going with my running and run some races next year but I won’t do any more fundraising as we have now raised more than 100,000 for different cancer charities,’ he said.
‘I will focus on my music darts and family time.’
Prior to the ‘Long One’ Ally had run the 125-mile distance round Skye, run from Skye to Inverness non-stop and navigated 10 islands on the west coast in just two days.