Norman completes 214-mile run
Endurance runner Norman Neilson has completed “the hardest thing I’ve ever done”.
The popular Dalbeattie butcher recently tackled the 214-mile Race Across Scotland ultra-marathon.
And by finishing the event he raised nearly £1,500 for charity.
Norman, aged 58, said: “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I can’t imagine doing anything harder.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their donations and their support. It was very humbling.”
Pals were able to follow his progress online as he ran in through the night and in wind and rain along tracks, across fields and through reedbeds.
He said: “It seemed like half the town was following my wee red dot! They were sending messages to my wife but I didn’t want to see them until the end because I’d have got emotional.
“My wife Margaret and son Kevin helped get me sorted at the checkpoints and Dalbeattie Lions Club paid £300 of my entry fee, which I’m really thankful for.”
Norman set off from Portpatrick on August 18, completing the course to Cockburnspath in 80 hours and 40 minutes.
He was the only one of the three runners from the region to complete the race, coming home 34th out of the 62 finishers. Sixty nine people failed to make the finish line.
Many supporters greeted him along the way with Margaret playing a key role in his journey.
It wasn’t until he arrived at Beattock – more than halfway through the race – that he got some sleep. And even then it wasn’t for long. He said: “I think I only had between an hour and a half and three hours sleep during the whole race. I was doing 15 minute power naps, the adrenaline meant you couldn’t really get any sleep.
“I had taken four pairs of shoes with me and had to put a bigger one on for the end as my feet had swollen up! I had to get my ankle strapped after about 140 miles but took it off after 190 miles for the last leg.
“It was a 214- mile race but it was more like 220 because some checkpoints were a mile and a half off course. In one field there was a bull and health and safety said we couldn’t go through that so we had to go another way.
“It’s the first time I’ve done a race where more people dropped out than finished.”
Norman’s efforts saw him win the vet 55 category and on Friday he attended the prizegiving at the Scottish Parliament.
By taking part in the race he has raised around £1,500 to be split between Dalbeattie Day Centre, Munches Park, Alma House and Barlochan homes.
Superfit Norman Neilson with his award for winning his age category in the event