Heartland’s Reporter Runs 154km for Syrian Refugees

It was talking to Craig Cowan from Blairgowrie that made join the challenge. I say made because listening to him it was hard not to join him in his challenge.

While I enjoy the rain in the day and the cool in the evening, Craig is running 154km over 30 days to raise money for the charity he’s working for in Jordan under the unforgiving sun.

The 154km represents the distance endured by Syrian refugees from Damascus to Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

In his interview, Craig told me that now they’re even 3D printing prosthetics for children in the camp. Now he’s made it impossible not to help.

Knowing I can do it, and that I was planning to try get active again there’s not been an option for me not to take Craig up on his challenge.

Luckily, it’s quite cold down here in Glasgow, glowing sheet white and being ginger haired, that’s exactly where I’m comfortable.

So now I’m running at least once a day and I’m keeping track of every step of the way.

Each day I’ve shared on social media every run or walk I’ve made on my journey to reach 154km.

Again, I’m lucky I’m not running for my life, each step is made harder not by the splitting joints and tender thighs but by the growing appreciation of the journey these families make.

Running the same distance still doesn’t come close to walking in footsteps of the people fleeing the now decade old horrors of the Syrian Civil War.

Craig told me: “I grew up on a farm outside Blairgowrie, so it’s a little bit different here.

“I mean, Jordan’s not a complete desert, I have found forests and greenery and hills here, but it’s obviously a completely different culture and environment and landscape from back in Scotland.

“And that’s part of the reason I wanted to get involved in this type of work, I’ve had great privileges growing up and it’s great to be able to support people in these types of countries who’ve maybe not had those privileges. And that’s a lot of the work of the Mercy Corps.

“But you also find the similarities with the people here and talking to local people or refugees and they always want the same thing, which is education for their kids, access to jobs and talking about the football.

“Everyone’s always interested in that aspect and asking who I support.”

Now the ball is in my court, after one week of the challenge I’m up 52km with 102km to go.

I’ve again been treated unbelievably well by everyone supporting me along the way, so far everyone’s managed to more than double my target. So far we’ve raised over £400.

Anyone interested in donating can go to: https://events.mercycorps.org/fundraisers/ramsaybeattie/move-for-mercy-corps?fbclid=IwAR3JnK94fRoKSjOuRBVLkSGiJCyTUPRNHGOikEqK5WLzdZz2SMXQbYKHh48

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