Laidlaw’s marathon effort cheered by charities
Scottish Rugby Academy coach Chris Laidlaw has raised more than £26,000 after an epic charity challenge.
Laidlaw, the former Jed-Forest, Boroughmuir and Scotland Club International stand-off, ran 12 marathons in 12 months around Edinburgh, Fife, the Lothians and Borders for three charities that mean a lot to him: Alzheimer Scotland; Marie Curie; and the Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation.
The 31-year-old son of former Scotland and Lions scrum-half Roy Laidlaw, and cousin of recent Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw, smashed his original target of £12,000.
He overcame tough weather, emotional upset, as he remembered his mum Joy who had passed away from brain cancer, and juggling his work schedule, which has seen him coach the Scotland Women 7s team and now part of the management of the Scotland U18 team, as they prepare for their Six Nations Festival in France this spring.
This week, Laidlaw handed over the proceeds of his 12 in 12 to the three charities at BT Murrayfield.
He said: “I’m proud, firstly in completing the challenge and the amount of money that’s been raised with a lot of people who came on board to help out.
“There’s also a bit of sadness as well around remembering mum and that certainly hit home at times during the challenge.
“If I were to do anything charity related again, I certainly wouldn’t do it over a year as that was tough to prepare for both mentally and physically.
“But the main takeaway for me is that if you have a strength of purpose and the right support network around you, then something pretty special is achievable.”
Ian Rankin, chairman of the Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation, said: “As a player, Chris has seen first-hand the work and support our foundation does to assist the rugby community in Scotland.
“It’s truly humbling that he has given so much back throughout last year and, as he has said, the support he has received from past team-mates and my colleague Stuart Dow, who completed his first marathon on Chris’ s final run in December, has also been inspirational.
“ A huge thank you to Chris.”
Jim Stewart from Marie Curie said: “We could not survive without supporters like Chris doing incredible efforts for us.
“It costs £15 million a year in Scotland to run our nursing services and we’re only able to do that, through amazing supporters like Chris.”
Sarah Cheung from Alzheimer Scotland added: “Chris’s 12 marathons have had a huge positive impact for us.During the pandemic so many fund-raising events across the charity spectrum had to be cancelled but it’s down to people like Chris that we’ve been able to keep going.”