A north shinty star has completed the remarkable challenge of running seven marathons in seven days to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Connor Golabek, of Glen Urquhart, completed the gruelling 182 miles on Saturday.
His mammoth challenge has raised more than £6,000 for the Highland Hospice, which provides specialist care for people facing life shortening illness, death and bereavement across the region.
He started volunteering his time at the hospice in Inverness last December and has witnessed first hand the charity’s incredible work to help others facing challenges in their lives.
This inspired him to take on the challenge to support the charity which like many others has lost its fundraising income due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials have previously estimated losses exceeding £1million at the height of the pandemic as a result of restrictions on fundraising and the closure of their local charity shops.
The 26-year-old – the top scorer for the Drumnadrochit outfit last season- admits he felt like giving up after the third marathon, however the importance of the cause and support helped him through the challenge.
Mr Golabek said: “I had never ran a marathon before this challenge and this certainly set the bar high and I really enjoyed it.
“I have seen the amazing work that the charity do through my volunteering.
“After the third marathon, I phoned the hospice and told them that I can’t do this and do they mind if I cycle for rest of the day which they agreed to.
“So then I ran to my mates to see if I could get through it and then I managed to get through every barrier in my way to complete the challenge.
“I had two of my shinty teammates come with me on the challenge to keep up my spirits.
“Goalkeeper and co-manager Stuart Mackintosh at Glen Urquhart Shinty Club carried all my juices while cycling alongside me for two marathons.
“While on Wednesday I had Mike Fraser who ran a marathon with me which was his first-ever marathon and it was good knowing he was going through the same pain as me.
“It was a brilliant experience and it was great to have the support of teammates, friends and family.
“I received loads of messages from people saying how close the hospice was to their heart and this got me through the tough moments in the challenge.”
Thankful for major support
The cybersecurity threat intelligence analyst has been overwhelmed with the support shown by people for the major challenge and last night he hailed everyone for getting behind his fundraiser.
Mr Golabek added: “I am delighted with the major support shown and to have raised around £6,000 is truly amazing.
“Seeing the donations go up during the challenge gave me a boost mentally and physically.
“The donations are really crucial to the running of the hospice as they rely heavily on fundraising and obviously due to the Covid crisis, many fundraising events have had to be cancelled like the Loch Ness marathon.”
In a statement posted on social media, Glen Urquhart Shinty Club said: This is outstanding Connor and we are in awe of what you have achieved.”
A Highland Hospice spokeswoman added: “Wow seven marathons in seven days Connor took on this challenge having never ran a marathon before, and to complete 7 in a row is an unbelievably amazing achievement.
“To push through the pain and exhaustion is incredible.
“We are so grateful to him for choosing to support Highland Hospice and would like to say a massive thank you.”
People can still donate by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/connor-golabek