BIG-hearted banker Robert Marshall is looking forward to putting his feet up at Christmas ... after completing 12 races in 12 months for charity.
Robert, who is a commercial bank manager for Lloyds, has raised almost £2,000 for St Vincent’s Hospice by running a series of half-marathons, 10k and 5k races.
His epic adventure has taken him across Scotland and into England and finished in Paisley at the weekend with the annual Jingle Bell Fun Run around Barshaw Park.
Robert’s cousin, also Robert, passed away a few years ago from cancer and received palliative care which was a great comfort to the family.
Although he wasn’t cared for at St Vincent’s, Robert decided to raise money for the Johnstone hospice as it’s local and does a lot of good work in the community.
Robert explained: “I’m a commercial bank manager and am based at the Bank of Scotland in Paisley.
“St Vincent’s Hospice actually bank with us and one of my colleagues who deals with them directly gave me a leaflet where you see in black and white what the money you raise would go towards.
“Robert wasn’t cared for at St Vincent’s but his memory is what got me out my bed and out running when it was pouring with rain.
“My company also does an appeal with staff called Force for Good, which urges people to get involved in the community. I was looking at it last November and started to put the idea together.
“I thought it would be something a bit different and a bit of a challenge to myself. I turned 50 this year so that was another incentive to keep myself fit.
“It’s also the Olympics next year and my work is a major sponsor of that, so my aim was to raise £2,012 for 2012. I’m nearly there and I’m pleased with how it’s going.”
Robert has used the same pair of shoes for all 12 races, slipped and fell over twice and has been soaked to the skin several times – but insists he’s finished every one with a smile on his face.
He said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it all. I ran the Mull of Kintyre half-marathon in May and it was typical Scotland, four seasons in one day.
“It was raining, then it was freezing, then it was sunny. At one point, I was running along the beach at Machrihanish and it was just beautiful, it turned out to be a lovely day.
“I had felt like giving up at six miles but that kept me going. I always run the Glasgow half-marathon, which is good fun, but I’d never run in Edinburgh before or down in England.
“I even missed a stag weekend because of a race.
“I did one a month, which was good because I couldn’t flag.
“It’s been a great experience. I’m sure I’ll do some more races next year just to keep my fitness going.”
Robert, who lives with his wife and three sons in Newton Mearns, said he’d often pull on his trainers and run home through Paisley after work.
He added: “Paisley is a great town, it’s got so much going for it. I got involved with Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce to get involved with the community and now I’m a director there.
“It’s a fantastic community of people.”
To make a donation to Robert’s fundraising, go to www..justgiving.com/Robert-Marshall