Loganair pilot Michael Burgess from Keith running his way to boost for Scottish Association for Mental Health
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Have a look at our brand new digital subscription packages!
THE sky was the limit when it came to setting a challenge for his 40th birthday year for Keith pilot Michael Burgess.
Michael will hit the big 4-0 in December, however, he hopes to hit an even bigger milestone before then.
He is on course to run 40 half marathons, a full marathon and perform a skydive before the end of the year.
Michael (39), completed his 21st half marathon run last weekend, setting a personal best of 1 hour 43 minutes.
And it is looking good for his participation in the Berlin Marathon on September 26, with the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine programme hopefully ensuring he should be able to fly over to Germany for that event.
Thankfully for his passengers, Michael won’t be at the controls of his Logan Air jet when he does his tandem skydive, hopefully in October.
He wanted to do something extraordinary as part of a fitness drivefor his 40th birthday celebrations, and is also raising money for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
“I have a couple of friends who received good support from SAMH,” he said.
“I left school at 16 and joined the RAF. I have always been above average weight, and as you get older you start to feel all the aches and pains.
“I started doing a lot of calorie counting and exercise, and before I knew it I had run five or six half marathons and wanted to push myself a bit more.”
Michael is a member of the Keith JogScotland group and also the Cullen Wild Swimmers group set up by fellow Keith resident Emma Williams.
He has been using the wild swimming as recovery from his running, and on June 27 he was accompanied on his 20th run by fellow members of the JogScotland group, which culminated in a swim at Cullen with around 30 friends who also supported his fundraising efforts.
His total stands at £1916 and he hopes to keep adding to the pot
as he completes his
half-marathons before Berlin.
“I try to take a different route every weekend. A few weeks ago I was working in Manchester, and my cousin’s boyfriend took me on a route through the Cheshire hills, which was tough.
“My mum lives in Huntly, so I also have a route which takes me to her house.”
You can support Michael’s fundraising effort at www.justgiving.com/michaelburgess40