Inspired? enter the Simplyheath Great Stirling Run now 

42-year-old herdsmen Charles Ellett is taking on the Simplyhealth Great Stirling Run on Sunday the 28th April to raise funds of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

The charity, which supports farming people in hardship, is one Charles feels a connection with following his own recent experience with ill health.

“They help and support farmers or farm workers in financial difficulty to keep them and their families going. This could be people who are dealing with health issues, or finding it hard to get by.

“I’ve been working in agriculture for about 15 years now, I’ve never had to use them but I’ve come pretty close to the mark a few times and I know people who they have helped so I appreciate the work they do. 

Charles is a herdsman for an organic farm in South West Scotland, looking after 130 cows, a change to his previous position where he had a herd of 1500 to look after.  He feels poverty and hardship in rural communities than people realise.

“Just based on where we are, we have additional expenses, we have no choice but to run a car to access basic services and working hours are out of the 9-5 so childcare can be an issue, amongst other things people might not consider”

“18 months ago, I had a breakdown and it made it difficult for me to work, so we were very close to using their services to help us get through. I just feel a connection to them and would like to support them and the work that they do” 

Alongside his fundraising ambitions, Charles credits running with helping manage his mental health.

“I joined my local Jog Scotland running group and got into running that way. I hit it hard for the first 18 months but I’ve slowed into a steadier pace now to fit around work and life.

“The running has really helped me to manage my depression, manage stress and get fit at the same time, as well as meeting a really good community of people. So, it’s been a good thing for me.

“It’s a way to relax and you get a big buzz from doing it. I’ve done a fair few races since I started, from 10K’s up to the marathon.

“It lets you clear your head and get into a good place. I always feel better as soon as I’ve had a run, although sometimes it can be a struggle to get out of the door, you always feel better for doing it.”

“I took part in the Marathon last year, I’m taking on the half this year as its been harder to fit the training in now I’m working full time rather than part time. We came up as a team last year, we hired a bus and quite a few took part, it was a great day out.

“I’m really proud of my medal, it’s still hanging on the wall and I’m really looking forward to this year.”

The Simplyhealth Great Stirling Run takes place on Sunday 28 April. Both Marathon and Half marathon events feature stunning scenic courses, taking in the local countryside, imposing castles and historic towns.

For more information or to enter visit greatrun.org/stirling