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Marathon charity challenge for amputee Brian

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By Benjamin Johnstone
Annan and Eskdale
Marathon charity challenge for amputee Brian

A EASTRIGGS resident will be taking on his biggest challenge as an amputee next month in Edinburgh.

Brian Murray will take part in a half marathon in the Scottish capital on Sunday March 1, covering the 13.1 mile route on his crutches.

Brian, who originally lost one of his legs at the age of 11 because of a tumour in his knee, is taking on this almighty task to raise money for the charity ‘Finding Your Feet’.

He has set himself a target of raising £1000 and has already received over £400 from generous donations.

It’s a charity which supports families affected by amputation or limb absence through a range of sporting initiatives and social inclusion projects designed to positively affect both physical and mental wellbeing.

Brian said: “I got involved with a Finding Your Feet taster at Annan Atheltic in 2016 and doing this half marathon is me giving something back to them after all the support they have provided to myself during the last four years.”

His training involves practice laps at Galabank stadium, home to Annan Athletic FC.

He said: “The other evening I did 28 laps of the pitch, which is just under six miles.

“This is the most I have done so far and I’ll keep increasing my training until the half marathon.

“I would love to thank Annan Athletic for letting me use their pitch, I do not think I would have made as much progress otherwise.”

Brian is determined to finish the half marathon in just under three hours and has had specially designed crutches delivered along with gel palm gloves to make this a reality.

He said: “I am going to be totally ecstatic when I finish this course, I know the last mile will be the toughest but I will be running when I finally cross the line.”

He added: “When growing up I always wanted to be a sprinter, I never would I thought that I would be doing a half marathon.”

Embracing sporting activities is not new for Brian, who has got himself involved in a wide range of sports courtesy of Finding Your Feet, including rock climbing, skiing and his favourite sport football, in which he plays and captains Patrick Thistle.

And it could be a year to remember because after the half marathon, focus will turn to representing Scotland at the European Amputee Football Championship being hosted in Krakow this September.

This will be the first major amputee football tournament that Scotland have appeared in and they have been drawn in a group which includes Spain, Ukraine and hosts Poland.

Brian has played for his country before, as well as being captain against England, Italy and Holland, and he will be hoping to be part of the squad this autumn.

He said: “I would love to be picked for this tournament and be the first amputee footballer to captain Scotland in this competition.”

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