An Ellon woman has completed her first half marathon on a poignant anniversary.
Rhona Gerrard’s twin boys were stillborn 10 years ago this spring and she decided to take part in the Inverness event to raise funds for Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
She was joined by other members of Ellon Jog Scotland and friends who wanted to support the organisation.
Along with other donations received through Rhona’s JustGiving page, the total stands at around £4600 with more cash still to come in.
The fund-raising effort was the idea of Ellon Jog Scotland leader Glynis Buchan and her husband Bob.
Rhona, a member of the Ellon club, told the Times: “They knew I wanted to a half marathon one day and that I wanted to do it for the charity Sands.
The support was quite overwhelming reallyRhona Gerrard Fundraiser
“I had stillborn twin boys 10 years ago this spring and it was thought the anniversary would be the time to do the race.
“Before we knew it, seven running friends had turned into 24. Everyone jumped on board. The support was quite overwhelming really.
“I wouldn’t have made a fraction of the money that’s been raised by myself.”
Many of the Ellon team who took part in the event in the Highland capital are Jog Scotland members, some taking part in a half marathon for the first time.
Rhona said: “It was just so good to see so many Ellon jogging buddies coming together in support of each other en masse in Inverness. The cameraderi was great.
“I think everyone is really proud of themselves and so they should be.
“At the end of the day it wasn’t just for me, it was everyone’s achievement.”
In addition to race sponsorship, donations have flowed into Rhona’s JustGiving page.
The cause was also helped by Suzanne Collins, of Lilium Therapeutic Solutions, who took in £300 for leg massages for some of the team before the Inverness event, and decided to donate the money to Sands.
Glynis explained how the fundraiser came about.
She said: “My husband and I were chatting about a next challenge. I knew Rhona had always wanted to do something big for Sands as a fundraiser and a personal challenge so my husband suggested we run Inverness Half Marathon for Sands and encourage friends to join us.
“With Ellon Jog Scotland members continuing to progress and already mastering 10ks, this was a great opportunity for them to take on a new challenge. We were all pleasantly surprised at how many signed up to the challenge which is a great reflection of how well Rhona is thought of.
“We’d originally thought a team of about 10-12 and set a fundraising target of £1,000 so we’re absolutely delighted with a team of 24 and fundraising currently sitting at more than £4600.”
The JustGiving page is www.justgiving.com/Rhona-Gerrard