​The half way mark looms in Laidlaw’s 12 in 12 charity challenge

​The half way mark looms in Laidlaw’s 12 in 12 charity challenge

Scottish Rugby Academy coach, Chris Laidlaw has completed another two of 12 charity marathons across the last six weeks.

Laidlaw, son of the former Scotland and British & Irish Lions scrum-half, Roy Laidlaw, began 2021 with his first ever marathon, braving Arctic temperatures on New Year’s Day on a 26-mile course in the south-west of Edinburgh.

His plan, dubbed 12 in 12, is to complete a marathon each month this year to raise funds for three charities which mean a lot to him: the Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation; Marie Curie; and Alzheimer’s Scotland.

Marathon’s four and five saw Laidlaw venture across the bridge to the Kingdom of Fife, and then into Kinross.

“For April’s marathon we headed out along the West Fife Way which goes from Dunfermline to Alloa, and we then came back again.

“It was great to get a change of scenery! Being on a different route really helped mentally, plus it was a lot flatter than the previous routes I ran which was definitely a lot kinder on the legs.

“Marathon three was the toughest, so number four I did physically feel better for a bit longer. Don’t get me wrong, the last five or six kilometres were difficult, but marathon three was brutal.” Chris Laidlaw

Chirs was accompanied at various stages of the run by friends Jordan Edmunds, Jonny Martin, Greg Canny, and Craig Keddie who followed on a push bike, much to his relief.

“Craig was there to keep us going with snacks, juice and a bit or moral support. That’s the first time I’ve had someone support us on a bike which was really helpful.”

Chris wrapped up marathon four in just under four and a half hours.

Staying across the bridge for marathon five, Chris ventured to Loch Leven Nature Reserve in Kinross.

Poignantly, Chris undertook marathon five earlier this week (Wednesday 26 May), one year to the day since losing his mum, Joy.

“With it being on the same day a year on since we lost Mum it was obviously an emotional day,” said Chris.

“However I tried to keep the emotions at bay during the run as it can really drain you physically and mentally. But once I crossed the finish line, I was pretty emotional thinking back to this time last year.”

Covering the 26-mile distance of marathon five in four hours 38 minutes, Chris added how much the ongoing support has meant to him: “All the messages of support pre-and-post-marathon really keeps me going and I look forward to continuing this challenge for the three amazing charities.”

Laidlaw had set an original fund-raising target of £3,000 but the latest total reached is over £11,000 with a revised target of £12,000.

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