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End to end isles run in 24 hours for charity

Training sessions are already under way on the Quarff hills.

A GROUP of locals will attempt to run end-to-end across Shetland and its many hills in less than 24 hours this summer, all in the name of charity.

Luke Holt, from Wester Quarff, will raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK by undertaking the 74 mile feat on 11 August.

He will be joined by Shetland ex-pat Benjamin Napier, who recently ran 370 miles from Dunbar to the isles in memory of his daughter, as well as Charlotte Black and Laurence Sutherland.

Holt has history in the end-to-end run after completing the trek in 2012.

While that gruelling adventure included traversing 35 hills, Holt and his crew are aiming to include 40 hills this time around.

The group plan to leave Sumburgh at 5pm and catch the first ferry to Yell at 6.45am the next morning before heading onwards to Unst.

Each person will have their own support crew to help feed and pace them over each of the seven sections.

Holt said he wanted to raise funds and awareness for Crohn’s disease and colitis after coming across the debilitating conditions in his employment as a nurse.

“I have chosen this charity because through my work in the hospital and family experience I have seen how this nasty disease blights the lives of so many young folk in Shetland,” he said.

“The run is the hardest thing I have ever done but it is nothing compared to the hardship of having Crohn’s or colitis.

“I want this run to get people talking about these conditions so that sufferers feel they can be open with their families and employers. These conditions are often diagnosed in people’s 20s and 30s so they are life changing at a point when work and family responsibilities are just beginning.

“The money raised will help fund national research into medications and eventually a cure.”

Holt has a fundraising target of £1,000 and people can donate online here.