09 / Jun / 2023

Bennachie24 – Martin Longmuir Runs for Friends of Anchor

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On the 16th and 17th of June, Martin Longmuir will take on the Bennachie24. As he prepares for the event, he has put together a great blog post to tell us more…

“At 10am on Friday the 16th of June I will set off running on Bennachie where I will run for 24 hours. I will be running continual 7.75km loops of the hill for 24 hours with the aim of hitting a distance of 100 miles, all to raise funds and awareness for Friends of Anchor.

The 7.75km route will see me run from the Rowantree car park along the maiden causeway to the summit of the Mither Tap. This initial part of the run is a distance of just 2.75km but is a climb of 329m.

After summiting the Mither Tap I will run on a loop around the hill via Craigshannoch and then descend back to the car park. I am hoping to complete a loop of this route every hour for the 24 hours giving me a potential total distance ran of 186km and a total of 9312m climbing.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Friends of Anchor are a charity who support the patients and staff of the Anchor Unit in Aberdeen. The Anchor Unit is a group of wards that focus on the treatment and care of patients within Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The charity is unique because, since it was founded, all money donated to the charity is used to support the cause, with all of the overheads and costs being covered by Balmoral Group.

My Training Process

My training process is anything but conventional. Whilst I plan my training in cycles as you should do, I also break most of the rules.

I start my pre training with strength and conditioning work. This normally last a couple of months. During this period my running will be at a minimum, maybe two or three 10 to 15km runs per week. I then move into my endurance phase. During this time I drop all of the strength and conditioning work and replace it with at least five runs a week on the roads or flat low level trails. Each week I increase the distance of the runs and then start introducing hill climbs.

During my entire training process I train in the mornings before work often on minimal sleep. This is deliberate as it places extra stress on my body and mind. This leads to adaptations and improvements to my fitness and resilience. I am hoping that this will be the key component to succeeding on the hill on the 16th and 17th of June.

Why Friends of Anchor

In recent years, I have had two close family members fight cancer.

My Aunty Wilma who, as kids, my brother and I were very close to. We spent most of our time running around on her farm playing with our cousins. She fought cancer for a very long time and was supported the whole time by family, friends, and the hospital. Seeing this fight had a profound impact on me and my life. I donated money continuously to Friends of Anchor and other cancer charities whenever I could growing up, even if it was just a few pound here and there. Unfortunately, Wilma lost her battle with cancer. This steered me to focus more effort on fund raising with bigger ideas in the form of physical challenges.

A few years ago, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and then faced her own battle. Again, with the support of family, friends, and the support in the hospital she fought against the disease and after a few years of fighting and then in remission, she was given the all-clear. Witnessing my mum fight with such strength inspired me to do even more than I already had to raise funds and awareness of the charity and its cause.

The entire team at Friends of Anchor are so passionate and inspiring people themselves and knowing that 100% of what I raise goes to the cause really makes the difference.