One of the best known faces on the north east Fife athletics circuit is making a return to marathon running, for a poignant mix of personal reasons.
Main motivation for George Findlay – veteran runner, young people’s coach and co-founder of Anster Haddies – is to raise money for a leading cancer charity.
The retired geography teacher will also be marking 30 years of dedicated athletic participation when he lines up for the Edinburgh Marathon on May 25.
George (57) is seeking to gather money for Cancer Research UK, in memory of two good friends and former teaching colleagues.
Oriane Evans and Linda Miller, both of Glenrothes, each passed away from cancer within the last few months.
George, of Anstruther, hopes to raise at least £1000 for the cause and has created a Just Giving page.
In addition his preparations for the big race, George is also heavily involved with the Anster Allsorts JogScotland group in Anstruther, which he founded, and also the Anster Haddies, which has a ‘two bridges challenge’ coming up soon and will also be celebrating its silver anniversary later this year.
With a bit more time on his hands now, George has immersed himself back in training for long-distance events, after a lengthy rest from marathon running.
“I’ve been using the time in different ways – I’ve been running more, and I’ve been able to keep injury-free,” he said.
“For a while, I was constantly picking up injuries but I’ve kept clear of them for two years.”
It’s 30 years since George took part in his first marathon – also at Edinburgh – after years of playing amateur football as his main health and fitness pursuit.
His last marathon was in New York in 1999, although since then he has taken part in 10K runs and the occasional half marathon.
This year’s event in the capital will also be the first 26-mile run he’s tackled in his 50s.
George spent 17 years as a teacher at Glenwood High School in Glenrothes, where he was principal teacher of geography.
He also worked at Kirkland and Buckhaven High Schools, with additional spells in Dundee and Inverkeithing.
All the heavy training and big mileage practice for Edinburgh is done now and he’s concerninghimself with lighter training as the calendar counts down.
George broke the three-hour barrier in 1997 at Edinburgh, finishing in 2hrs 57mins, but said he’ll be satisfied if he can manage four hours this time round.
To support George in his venture or for more information, you can visit his page at justgiving.com/George-Findlay.