To sign up to the Stirling Scottish Marathon, visit greatrun.org/Stirling
A STUDENT will take on his first ever marathon - in a bid to avoid being outdone by his mother.
Matthew Morrison has signed up for the Stirling Scottish Marathon on Sunday 29 April 2018 after seeing his mum complete her first 26.2mile challenge in 2016.
His own marathon ambitions are made more difficult, as the 19-year-old suffers from liver disease, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis, which will affect his training for the event.
Matthew, who studies journalism at the University of Stirling and will run past his university accommodation as part of the route through Stirlingshire, is looking forward to his maiden marathon.
He said: “The most I’ve ever ran before is a school 5k. My mum did the New York Marathon last year and she’d never ran before, I thought I should do one to keep up with her – I can’t have the situation where my mum runs marathons and I can’t run 100m.”
Matthew was in good health four years ago, but a series of diagnoses came out of the blue. He said: “It started off with me passing blood in my stools, I had it checked out and they found out it was colitis.
“When I was having routine blood checks they found out I had liver disease as well. Last year, I was walking to school and I had a stiff hip, by the end of the day I was in hospital getting my hip cleaned out, as they had found I had arthritis.
“I always had a bit of stiffness there but I put that down to the fact I played a lot of rugby. I thought it was a side effect of constantly exercising.”
Matthew is planning to tailor his marathon training around his conditions ahead of him lining up on the start line on Millennium Way in April.
“Running with liver disease shouldn’t be that bad,” he explained. “But the colitis can be heavily impacted by dehydration. I need to make sure I stay hydrated, otherwise I’d get severe stomach cramps.
“I have to be careful with what I take on during running as well. I’ve been advised not to take certain liquids on as they’d go straight through me. I’m going to try some gels out during practice runs and go from there.
“With arthritis I have never ran that far so I don’t know until I do it. I’ll figure that out in training and find ways to cope with that.
“It’s about the experience of having such a big goal, and to be able to complete it.
“A marathon is something that you never expect to do, and then actually completing it will be massive. Overcoming the challenge is something I’d be looking forward to.”
A new and improved course will feature a city centre start and finish, before taking a scenic route through Doune, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan, including a lap of Matthew’s university campus.
Matthew, who hails from Aberdeen, said: “It literally goes past my front door – it’s not every day a marathon course does that so it’s going to be nice for a group of us to do.
“I love it here in Stirling. I love the campus, it’s got a great feel to it and I like the student culture here.
“The fact that the marathon is so local to me, it allows you to see parts of Stirling and bits of where I stay that I wouldn’t normally see. It supports local charities here in Stirling too so I can’t complain. I’m running for children’s liver disease, it’s one that helps me quite a bit so I’m looking to give back.”
In 2017, Stirling’s inaugural marathon reached capacity months before the event, with 6,500 people signing up for the 26.2mile run through the Stirlingshire countryside in May, and organisers The Great Run Company have unveiled a new and improved course which will showcase the beautiful scenery and historic landmarks of central Scotland.
To sign up, visit greatrun.org/Stirling