RUNNER Jim Taylor is tackling an incredible A to Z that will see him race along the Great Wall of China as part of an alphabet of marathons.
The big-hearted Fifer has embarked upon his incredible challenge to raise cash for charity, having come up with the idea after completing the Athens Marathon, and is already up to ‘G’ after runs in Athens, Berlin, Caen D Day marathon, Dundee, Eden Project in Cornwall, and Florence in Italy.
To prepare for his athletic adventure in the Orient, Jim has been running regularly along Fife’s Coastal Path, and has enjoyed the beautiful setting so much that he has decided to make the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust his chosen charity.
Jim said: ‘It is such a beautiful setting for running and a real challenge, which is great when preparing for some of the toughest marathons across the world.
‘The Great Wall of China marathon is known as an exceptional challenge due to the large number of steps on the course. The Fife Coastal path has countless steps and great locations in places such as Ravenscraig Park and at Wemyss, so it is ideal preparation.
‘My plan is to run an A to Z of marathons including at least one race in every continent, although I will have to rely on the help of sponsors for some of the more far-flung races.
‘Conquering the Great Wall will take me more than a quarter of the way through the challenge, and help me raise cash for a fantastic cause.’
Trust Chief Executive Amanda McFarlane said: ‘It is fantastic that Jim has decided to raise funds for us in such an amazing fashion. He is a real inspiration and we are delighted that he has been able to use the Fife Coastal Path to train for his latest marathon.
‘We had not thought of the Coastal path being used for marathon training before so it just goes to show how versatile the Path is. The good news is that we don’t expect everybody who enjoys walking on the Coastal Path to take up marathon running!
‘It is great for Jim but it is also a wonderful setting for families to enjoy healthy outdoor walks, for dog walkers to exercise their pets in beautiful surroundings and for everyone to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.’
Marathon man Jim revealed he first caught the running bug three decades ago. He added: ‘I started running in 1985 aged 27. I pretty much agreed to run a marathon as a dare!
‘That year I completed two half marathons and one full marathon. Things snowballed from there as I well and truly caught the running bug.
‘I moved from marathons to ultra marathons and then started competing in triathlons. Now my focus is on the A-Z challenge.
‘It was on the flight back from the Athens marathon in 2011 that the idea of doing an A-Z occurred. Now I can’t wait to take on the Great Wall!’
If you would like to support Jim and make a donation via his JustGiving page, please click the following link www.justgiving.com/fitfifertraining