A group of cyclists recently returned to Stonehaven after completing a five-day, 700-mile cycle in aid of rugby legend Doddie Weir’s charity, the ‘My Name’s Doddie Foundation’.
Organised by a group of local residents under the banner ‘STRIVE’, the event covered the length of Scotland, from Stonehaven to Melrose and back, stopping off overnight en route in Inverness, Perth, Glasgow and Edinbugh.
A separate group travelled from Orkney, taking the ferry to Scrabster before joining the others in Inverness on the first day of the trip.
They were welcomed by family, friends and event supporters, all of whom had taken part in a 5km charity ‘Gump Walk’ earlier in the day, which left and ended at Stonehaven harbour.
The cycle is one of three events being organised by STRIVE to hit a fundraising target of £75,000, the other two being a rugby tournament in Stonehaven on Saturday, August 25, and a charity ball on Saturday, September 22, at Aberdeen’s Marcliffe Hotel.
The Foundation was established by the former Scotland international last year after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) aged 46. It aims to raise funds for research into the causes of MND and to investigate potential cures.
STRIVE was set up by Orcadian Willie Tulloch, 43, who now lives in Stonehaven.
Mr Tulloch said: “The whole experience has been absolutely fantastic and we were completely overwhelmed by the support that was given to us as we travelled.
“It is utterly astounding that there is still so little known about motor neurone disease and it seems it is becoming increasingly common.
“We want to do whatever we can to help Doddie raise awareness of the disease and the funds required to provide those suffering from it with a better level of care, while research into its cause is ongoing.”
He added: “Everyone was stunned to learn of Doddie’s illness last year. He is a larger than life character and his decision to publicly share his diagnosis was incredibly brave. Since then he has demonstrated how he is every bit as inspirational off the pitch as he was on it.
“His attitude and courage was a real motivating factor when it came to clocking up the miles over the past five days. There were definitely times that we were tired and sore, but remembering why we were doing it all kept everyone going right to the finish line.”