Finding out his wife was at greater risk of having a stroke from a little known heart condition was the catalyst for Ian Thom to start running.
Mr Thom’s wife was told she had Atrial Fibrillation (AF), an illness neither of them had even heard of before.
The heart condition causes an abnormally fast heartbeat and is a major cause of strokes.
In Scotland there are an estimated 96,000 cases of AF, but over half of these are undiagnosed.
“Not enough people know how serious AF can be, or how important it is to check your pulse frequently,” Mr Thom said.
Originally from Aboyne, the 61-year-old was inspired to raise awareness for AF after attending a conference in Birmingham.
He said: “I found out more about the extent of the illness and was shocked that there was no support group in Scotland.”
After Mr Thom’s workplace set him a month challenge to complete a 5K, he found himself hooked on running.
He then realised that he could combine the sport with his campaign to raise awareness of AF.
“I wanted to do ten 10Ks in one year but I’ve actually increased that number to 16,” he said.
“I’ve set myself a time limit of 54 minutes for each race, which so far I’m sticking to.”
Even when he was suffering from injuries, Mr Thom still found ways to be active.
Using an outdoor elliptical bike kept his training consistent without putting too much pressure on his feet
“Since I started running I’ve never looked back,” he said.