Scotland team strongman pounds pavements for Doddie
The Scotland team’s head strength and conditioning coach is taking on a challenge with a difference . . . all to help a former internationalist.
Stuart Yule, 43, who competed twice for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games weight-lifting in Kuala Lumpur and Manchester, in the under-105kg category, has put his barbells and Olympic bar back on the rack.
Instead, a former holder of the Scotland’s strongest man title, is putting in the miles on the road, as he prepares to compete in next Sunday’s London Marathon – all to support ex-Scotland lock Doddie Weir in his battle against Motor Neurone Disease.
Stuart said: “My background has not been endurance at all. But taking the opportunities to try a fresh challenge and explore something new and different I thought to myself ‘It would be nice to do a marathon once a year’.”
Sunday will be Stuart’s second marathon. His first was Stirling last year, which he completed in a time of 4 hours 23 minutes.
“If I can creep towards the four hours mark in London, I’ll be happy. When I ran in Stirling, towards the end of the race was quite painful.
“On reflection though, it’s not that bad. The first two-and-a-half hours is fine.It’s the rest that can be hard mentally.”
Stuart, whose mum and dad, have also competed for Scotland in past Commonwealth Games, will have some sibling rivalry on Sunday.
His twin brother, Tommy, who has also represented Scotland at weight-lifting is also running London Marathon, so it’s not just the clock that he will be aiming to beat.
Stuart hailed Doddie’s fight against MND as inspirational.
“I don’t know Doddie personally, but I was there when he presented the match ball at BT Murrayfield against New Zealand in 2017 with his sons.
“You can sit back and say what he’s going through is tragic but Doddie is determined to do everything he can to bolster research and find a cure, so this is my way of helping.”
Doddie Weir was delighted to have his support: "I wish Stuart all the very best on Sunday, we greatly appreciate his efforts on our behalf.
"In his sporting career, Stuart was never one to back down from a challenge and I am sure he will step up to the plate in London and do himself proud through the streets of the capital.
"The marathon is one of the sporting highlights of the year and we are delighted to have a few runners who will be wearing our Foundation running vests and we wish them all a safe and enjoyable weekend. The rugby family has once again shown its commitment and support for My Name'5 Doddie Foundation and we are hugely grateful."
Scotland Head Coach, Gregor Townsend, added: “The rugby community has really come together in support of Doddie’s campaign to raise awareness and funds for the fight against MND.
“Stuart is going out of his comfort zone with this marathon challenge and I’d encourage everyone to get behind him, and Doddie, to help him through the day and help such a great cause.”
You can support Stuart through his Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stuart-yule...