Loanhead dentists fill in the miles to raise thousands of pounds for charity

Two Loanhead dentists and a colleague from Edinburgh recently ran the length of Scotland earlier this month to raise thousands of pounds for mental health charity SAMH.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 8:59 am
LtoR: Dentists Paddy Watson, Ryan Stewart and Stuart Campbell on their charity challenge.

Stuart Campbell (43) and Ryan Stewart (30) of Loanhead Dental Practice, along with fellow dentist Paddy Watson (35), ran the 420 miles from John O’Groats to Gretna Green in 11 days, raising more than double their initial £5,000 fundraising target.

Reflecting on the challenge, Stuart said: “The longest day was 40 miles, the shortest day was about a marathon. We were put in touch with a company that organises expeditions and they helped us out, setting up check points, stops etc.

"It was tough, probably the toughest challenge we have ever taken on. The different terrains, from tarmac to mud to almost swamp like ground. In sun, wind, rain, the lot.

The trio of dentists at the end of their challenge.

"It was amazing to do though, it really was an adventure, seeing parts of Scotland we have never seen before.

"On one part of the run there was packs of stags running beside us.

"The toughest point was day six, half way through, on the West Highland Way and injuries started to take their toll. We thought ‘why are we doing this?’

"But once we got through that day we knew we would get there. Sometimes you just have to get the head down and get on with it.”

The dentists picked up some minor injuries along the way.

Stuart revealed how lockdown prompted the trio to take on the challenge, and how delighted they are with the money they have raised.

He said: "I have previously run marathons, like London, and Edinburgh every year, but during lockdown we have a bit more time on our hands.

"As dentists, we don’t tend to get that time, so during lockdown we decided to push distances a bit more and started doing ultra marathons.

"So before we did this challenge, we were used to the distances, just not for 11 straight days! It was tough to get going again each day.

The determined dentists ran 420 miles in 11 days.

"During lockdown, SAMH was a charity that had a bit of a spotlight shone on it as people had mental health difficulties dealing with the situation.

"We have had a lot of donations, which is amazing. We set a target to raise £5,000 and we have doubled that which is fantastic. We have really been overwhelmed by the support that we have had.”

The trio at the finish line of Gretna.