Befriender to take on Devil o’ the Highlands

Befriender runner
Befriender runner

Clair MacAskill is to raise money for the Kincardine and Deeside Befriending charity by taking on the Devilo’ the Highlands.

Runners from across the world will be gathering in the Scottish Highlands this August to take part in a footrace with a vengeance: The Devil o’ the Highlands.

Fundraiser Claire MacAskill has signed her soul to raise money for Kincardine and Deeside Befriending charity.

As a volunteer befriender for the charity, Claire visits older people in the area and offers support and companionship to those who are at risk of social isolation.

Taking place on this weekend August 3, the Devil O’ the Highlands is a 43 mile footrace following the latter part of the West Highland Way.

Starting in Tyndrum and finishing in Fort William, each competitor has 12 hours to complete the course, which has a total ascent of around 6000ft.

This is not a race for the feint hearted.

The Devil O’ the Highlands has been rated as one of the top 10 ultra distance races in Britain by Runners World magazine.

Runners hail from some 15 countries - eager to push the limit and experience Scotland’s breathtaking landscape.

With a mere seven marathons and three ultra marathons under her belt, this is familiar territory for Claire.

She was inspired to enter the Devil whilst supporting a fellow runner who ran the entire route: 95 miles in 36 hours.

Kincardine and Deeside Befriending is a registered charity, which aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness in older people throughout the Kincardine and Deeside area.

By matching older people on a one-to-one basis with volunteer befrienders, the charity reaches out to older people who have become socially isolated because of illness, disability or some difficulty or change of circumstance. 

Claire has been personally involved with the charity for almost a year and she has seen the benefits and the role the charity can play in helping people.

She said: “Having been matched with my befriendee for more than eight months now I can see the huge benefits our charity plays in the lives of older isolated and lonely people in our locality.

“By running this race for Kincardine and Deeside Befriending I will not only raise some money but also raise awareness of what we do within the community.”

Last year more than 100 older people, and in many cases their carers too, benefitted from Kincardine and Deeside Befriending’s service.

You can view Claire’s fundraising page and sponsor her by visiting https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/clairemacaskill1 or www.kdbefriending.org.uk.