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Miles for the mind: Stirling student runs 310 miles for Samaritans

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Feargus Bannon, a student at the University of Stirling, challenged himself to run 10 miles every day in August to raise money for Samaritans – a charity which aims to reduce the number of suicides and specialises in providing aid to those struggling with mental health.

In late July, Feargus declared his goal on social media: “I am going to attempt to run 10 miles (just over 16km) a day for the 31 days of August with the sole purpose to raise money and awareness around mental health.”

Since then, he has managed to collect over £3,700 for Samaritans and is continuing the fundraiser in the hopes of reaching £4,000.

Feargus spoke to Brig about his fundraiser and how it went.

Q: What inspired you to start the fundraiser?

“I don’t really have any specific reason for choosing the Samaritans organisation, I’ve done lots of charity work in the last few years, and every time I raised money it was for MacMillan cancer support.

“I decided to switch it up and I thought mental health was very [relatable] right now, especially after COVID.”

Q: When did you come up with the idea to run 310 miles?

“I started running during the last lockdown. If it wasn’t for COVID, I don’t think I ever would’ve started running. I really got into it.”

“Last November, I ran 10 kilometres a day and I knew I wanted to do something harder.”

Q: How did you find the experience?

“Days 16 and 17 were the most difficult, as I might’ve overworked my legs. I was getting an ultrasound and treatment on my legs. There was so much bruising and a lot of fluid built up in my shins.”

“The physiologist, Tom, from MacFarlane Physiotherapy on Barnton Street, helped me out so much. I couldn’t have done it without him.”

The last day was unbelivable. There were so many of us running and cycling. It was brilliant.

Feargus Bannon

Halfway through his challenge, Feargus was struggling with having to go to physiotherapy every other day and feeling emotionally drained: “I didn’t wanna run anymore. I was in so much pain.”

Despite this, he pushed through and achieved his goal: “The last day was unbelievable. There were so many of us running and cycling. It was brilliant.”

You can support Feargus in his fundraiser for Samaritans here.

Cyclists and runners helping to raise money for Samaritans
Credit: Feargus Bannon
Feargus (front) with his friends after completing their final run
Credit: Alasdair McDougall on Facebook

Featured Image Credit: Feargus Bannon

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