A pair of fundraising walkers from Aberdeen are putting their best foot forward to hike 235 miles from one coast of Scotland to another.
Kenny Wilson, 28, and Darren McWilliam, 30, have raised £3,700 and counting for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a UK children’s charity, ahead of their walk from Aberdeen to Ardnamurchan.
They’ve spent lockdown following a gruelling training regime involving munros, marshes and midges, all with a special pair of siblings in mind.
Mr Wilson, an electrical technician originally from Rayne North, said: “My niece Annalise, who is seven, has type one diabetes and was diagnosed when she was 22-months-old.
“Her resilience dealing with diabetes is truly inspiring as she takes everything thrown her way in her stride.
“While planning our route in November last year my nephew Hamish was taken into the hospital to find he also has type one diabetes at only 27-months-old.
“To say the least, this has further fuelled our ambition to complete the walk and try to raise as much money as possible for JDRF.”
The friends set off from Aberdeen’s Girdle Ness lighthouse yesterday with a day one target of 33 miles.
They aim to arrive at another lighthouse 235 miles away, on the point of Ardnamurchan, in 12 days time.
In between they’ll visit Royal Deeside, the heart of the Cairngorms and parts of the East Highland Way around Aviemore and Fort William.
Mr McWilliam, a senior systems engineer originally from Keith, added: “We knew a tough training schedule would be essential to the success of this walk but no one could have predicted the three month lockdown, which forced us to train indoors using our living rooms, stairways and gardens to improve our stamina before we could get outdoors again.
“The support from family and friends – in particular Bill Grant – and all the people who have donated so far has kept us going as well as our determination to smash our fundraising target.”
“We would like to give special thanks to Aviemore Mountain Lodges, Bunroy Campsite in Roy Bridge and Ardnamurchan Campsite in Kilchoan who have kindly supported us by allowing us to stay with them during this hike.”
The pair had hoped to raise £2,000 for their cause but have already smashed that sum to help the 29,000 children in the UK living with diabetes.
You can sponsor them online by searching for Road to Arnamurchan at www.justgiving.com and follow their journey on Facebook by searching ‘Road to Ardnamurchan’.