Midsummer Madness to raise money for charity

A keen Lewis runner is setting himself a Midsummer challenge with a difference for a local charity.

Former team GB canoeist Stuart Simpson is set to run the highest hill on every inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides on 21 June.

Starting with Theiseabhal on Vatersay and ending with Mealaisbhal on Lewis, Stuart aims to tackle all 12 hills on Midsummer’s Day.

Taking in an estimated 20 miles of hill running, 10,500 feet of climbing, approximately 150 miles driving between hills and two ferry crossings, the challenge is in aid of The Linda Norgrove Foundation established after Linda Norgrove, an aid worker from Uig working in Afghanistan, was kidnapped and died in a failed rescue attempt.

Since it was set up in 2010 the Foundation has distributed over half a million pounds to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan. It has funded almost 50 grass roots projects including orphanages which care for some of the country’s most disadvantaged disabled children, homes for widows, education for girls and emergency medical help for women who have been severely abused.

Stuart (44), who works for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in Stornoway, has a track record of long distance endurance pursuits. A keen runner and canoeist, he won the Cape Wrath Marathon in 2006.

He said: “I am always looking for a new challenge and with the long bright nights this seemed like the ideal time to fit all the hills into one day.

“With Mealaisbhal in Uig as my final hill on the day The Linda Norgrove Foundation seemed like the ideal charity to support. Linda is buried in the cemetery at the foot of the hill and I hope to raise as much money as possible to help support the good work she was doing when she lost her life.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor Stuart should log onto http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StuartSimpson3.