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Fun runners step out for charity

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By Abbey Morton
Annan and Eskdale
Fun runners step out for charity

A GROUP of local runners will pull on their trainers today to raise money for a mental health charity.

The Blue Bell Running Club was formed ‘as a bit of fun’ shortly before lockdown last year and after putting in the miles its members have raised almost £2000 for Scottish Association Mental Health (SAMH).

Grahame Shaw and Craig Coupland set the wheels in motion for tomorrow’s 250 mile run – the equivalent of travelling from Gretna to Inverness – and have 16 other club members on board.

All are from Annandale but some no longer live locally so will be completing their miles near to their new residencies in Glasgow, Somerset and even Texas, USA.

Grahame said: “We are well aware of the strain Covid-19 is putting on people’s mental health and in one way or another all the Blue Bell club members have close members of family or friends who suffer from mental health issues.

“We thought it would be a great idea to try and raise funds and awareness for the SAMH as best as we could to try and get people the help they need.”

Garry Keenan founded the Blue Bell Running Club, Grahame’s favourite watering hole in Annan, as a way to keep a few friends fit and motivated, and it has blossomed into 20+ members who tussle to top the weekly leaderboards.

Grahame added: “It’s the first time we have all pulled together to do something special like this and we hope to do it again in the future.”

The members will each run different distances to challenge their own current fitness level – ranging from six miles up to 20, but some may stretch to a full marathon distance of 26.

To support their cause, visit and search for ‘Blue Bell Running Club’.

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