Brora Rangers manager Steven Mackay says completing his 104-mile running challenge in 24 hours was made all the more special by his 12-year-old son completing a marathon.
Mackay finished his own four-marathon challenge in 23 hours 39 minutes, after setting off from Harmsworth Park in Wick at 3pm and arriving in Bught Park in Inverness the following afternoon.
The Cattachs boss was joined by a number of friends and former team-mates during the event, in which he was fundraising for MFR Cash for Kids.
The occasion was made all the more special for Mackay by the fact his son Dylan ran enough distance to complete his own marathon, giving him extra cause for celebration above his own achievement.
Mackay, who turned 40 on Saturday during the event, said: “I was delighted with everyone else who had their own challenges and goals and broke them.
“My son Dylan did a marathon, and I don’t know if there are many 12-year-olds who have done that.
“It was amazing from him. He showed me things that made me quite proud, he was feeling a bit sore and he probably could have given up, but he just kept going.
“That was quite a proud moment for me, watching him just soldier on and get it done.
“Every single person hit their own milestones in terms of the distance they were wanting to do. Some of them went beyond, some people ran further than they ever have before.
“Collectively it was a great experience for everyone.”
Mackay was thrilled to meet his own target of reaching the 100-mile mark by completing the challenge within the allotted 24-hour period.
Invergordon-born Mackay last year ran 80 miles from Inverness to Brora’s Dudgeon Park, and he says the additional 24 miles took their toll on him during the latter stages of his run.
Delighted to have joined the 100 mile club 👊 pic.twitter.com/TisbLR6SXi
— Steven Mackay (@cuptie_mackay10) June 28, 2021
Mackay added: “I was just relieved to be honest. It was one of those where you are never quite sure if you’re going to do it or not.
“I was really focused on trying to do it within that 24 hour window. The closer we got I thought it was going to be very tight, so that became the focus.
“As stupid as it sounds, I would have been really disappointed to finish it and be over the 24 hours.
“I got to Tomich and I was really feeling it, the pain was quite intense in my legs.
“Mentally I felt OK, I was tired but by the time I hit the slope from the Cromarty Bridge going to Tore it was really tough. I then had 10 or 12 miles to go and it was just trying to get through it by breaking it into little one-mile victories.
“The pain was intense for the last 20 miles, but I had distractions with people there and seeing stories of where the money was going.
“That just inspired me and kept me going. The pain was insignificant, I was just focusing on getting to Bught Park.”
Mackay, who has raised over £17,000 for Cash for Kids so far from a target of £20,000, praised the support team that assembled for the event.
He added: “We had a support van there. Donald Grant who works for Brora did an amazing job driving for 24 hours behind me. It was unreal from him.
“We had lots of snacks and food, Bubble and Goose dropped off a couple of packages through the night in Brora and Tomich.
“There was a Brora fan, Mary Stewart, who actually invited me to her house for a quick cup of tea and some toast at midnight.
“It’s difficult to work out the nutrition thing, I just go by gut and how I feel. You get bored of just eating jaffa cakes and jelly babies and I was craving something warm, so when Mary offered the warm toast and a cup of tea I wasn’t going to refuse.
“Some of the guys were delighted to see a crate of beer dropped off at the finish line but I declined and had a dream ring which went down very well – it was well earned after burning 15,900 calories.
“The main goal was to raise money for Cash for Kids which we have done. We have not reached our target which was always quite aggressive, but we are not far away.”
Mackay’s fundraising page can be accessed by clicking here.