Councillor to swim to Bressay to celebrate parkrun centenary

It is only a five minute ferry crossing to Bressay, but Moraig Lyall is going to make the crossing more challenging to celebrate her 100th parkrun.

The keen runner is set to step out of her comfort zone and swim the 1km crossing from Lerwick to Bressay – all in the name of raising money for Alzheimer Scotland.

Mrs Lyall, who is also councillor for Shetland Central, said she had wanted to do something special for her century of parkrun appearances.

And once she had the idea to swim across the sound she “couldn’t get it out of my head”.

“It takes a long time to get to that point [100 parkruns], it’s taken me six or seven years, so I wanted to do something to mark that,” she said.

“The Bressay parkrun is so unique because you have to get a ferry just to get to the starting line.

“And that made me think, instead of getting the ferry, what if I swam?”

Mrs Lyall said that it would be “a real challenge” for her, as she was more comfortable walking or running than in the water.

She has decided to combine her parkrun century celebrations with a fundraising effort, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland.

The Shetland Central councillor said there were three main reasons for deciding to support that charity.

“I’ve been involved over the last year with helping to organise a cafe at the Quoys Baptist Church for the local Alzheimer’s group,” she said.

“I worked at a care home for a number of years before that, and my mother-in-law had it for the last 10 years of her life.

“We were witness to seeing her gradually changing. She went from being a very active and outgoing person to being able to do absolutely nothing for herself.”

She said she had seen first-hand how crucial fundraising was to the running of the charity.

“That pays for the local staff, but it also pays for more direct support for families and carers.

“It’s not easy supporting someone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because that’s what it becomes.

“It’s really important that people get the support that they need.”

She has encouraged as many people as possible to join her on her 100th parkrun, which will take place the first Saturday after 26th August where the weather is calm enough for her to swim across.

“Don’t be put off by the name parkrun – we have people come that push buggies, or walk their dogs,” she said.

“You don’t have to be the next Mo Farah, just come and give it a go.”

Anyone who wants to donate to her fundraising effort can do so by following this link:

Full story in today’s edition of The Shetland Times.


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