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Kiltwalking for MYPAS – Laura’s Story

My name is Laura and I am a school counsellor in East Lothian. I have four children and two dogs and I love to keep active. I started running about 10 years ago not long after the birth of my youngest. I started running lamp-post to lamp-post then walking to the next – it was like an early version and not quite as high-tech as couch to 5K apps! My first event was a 10K for Cancer Research. I moved on to a half marathon as part of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival and then went for the big one – the Edinburgh marathon – the year I turned 40. I vowed I’d never do another! Then I switched to running trail instead of road and running was transformed for me.

Since then I’ve run another 6 marathons and over 12 ultras. I’ve also completed about 6 virtual ultras during lockdown. I’ve always made running look really hard! I’m really slow, I’m always at the back. But I realised I’m built for endurance, not speed! My longest ultra was 54 miles on the West Highland Way – it was actually my first ever ultra that I ran with my best friend. I have made so many good friends through running – people I’d never have met otherwise. If I’m not running, I’ll often marshal. I absolutely love the buzz of an event, the tenacity of the runners, the hugs from the marshals, the never ending picnic tables at check points and, of course, having a laugh with friends.

For me, running is about freedom, having adventures, creating memories, making friends, laughing, feeling accomplished and pushing boundaries. It’s been a staple for me for the past 10 years and has massively benefitted my own mental health. I sometimes have to drag myself out the door – but I always feel better afterwards!

This year, I have completed several virtual events and when the opportunity arose to raise some funds for the incredible work done by MYPAS, I jumped at the chance. I love working for MYPAS. The whole team shows such dedication to the young people and provide invaluable services. As a counsellor, I witness first hand just how much of a difference we can make to young people’s lives.

I plan to do 30 miles on Saturday. I’ve roped in my friends and my daughter to do loops round my village with me. I did this last summer and it was great fun – so nice to see different people and it really keeps you motivated. I’m hoping to hook up with my colleague Ailsa for the last five miles walking to North Berwick.

I’ll have my MYPAS t-shirt on so if you see me, give me a wave!