Local man takes to the trails today for 24 hour ultra running challenge in aid of cancer charity

Martin Longmuir on the final day of his challenge after summitting Mither Tap (behind him) for the final time

FOR MOST local people, summiting Oxen Craig, the highest of the Bennachie hill range peaks, is reward enough. For Inverurie man Martin Longmuir, however, the 528 metre climb represents an opportunity to push his limits that bit further. 

At 10am today, Martin began a 24-hour challenge, running 7km loops of Oxen Craig, where he is hoping to cover a grand total of 100 miles. 

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Martin, 42, a dad-of-two from Inverurie, is taking on this impressive feat to raise awareness and funds for Friends of ANCHOR, a charity based in Aberdeen that supports cancer and haematology patients receiving care at ARI. 

Martin said: “As you can imagine, this challenge will push me to my limits, both physically and mentally. But it’s all worth it to make a real difference in the lives of those fighting a cancer or haematology diagnosis.” 

This is not the first time Bennachie has provided the backdrop for one of Martin’s challenges as in 2021 the father-of-two completed 10 marathons in 10 days on the hill, again for Friends of ANCHOR. 

Naomi Forrest, Senior Communications Executive at Friends of ANCHOR commented: “We are so grateful for the support we have received from Martin over the years and are looking forward to cheering him on for these 24 hours. 

“Taking on a challenge like this is so much more than just showing up on the day, it’s months of careful planning and dedicated training, and to have Martin putting in all this effort to champion the cause is truly inspiring.” 

To-date, Martin has already raised over £7,700 for the charity with previous, equally gruelling challenges. So far, his latest efforts have raised an additional £2,200. 

Martin added: ““I am dedicating the run to my aunty Wilma who lost her battle to cancer a few years ago. In her honour, the funds raised will make a genuine difference to those facing the reality of a diagnosis.”

With Friends of ANCHOR, every penny raised by donors and fundraisers goes to the cause as the charity’s operational costs are covered by local firm Balmoral Group. 

A support crew of 14 individuals, including volunteers from Friends of ANCHOR, will join Martin in shifts throughout the day and night to keep him fuelled to cross the finish line at 10am on Saturday. 

He continued: “Some are coming to run alongside me and others are coming to keep me motivated which will be a huge help on the day. To think people are giving up their time- especially throughout the night and early hours of the morning to cheer me on is a big motivator in itself.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far.”

To keep up to date with his progress, follow Martin on Instagram by searching ‘big_mountains_little_shorts’ or go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bennachie-24 to donate to his online fundraising page. 

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