A TROON lad is on a mission to encourage people to “never give up” after running a marathon in Spain.

Gary Sharman, 27 completed the Bilbao run last week, his second marathon after taking on the Edinburgh one last year.

After several months training in Troon, Gary flew out to Malaga to acclimatise for a few days, before heading to the Basque country in the north of Spain for the evening run on Saturday, October 19.

And former greenkeeper brought the Ayrshire weather with him as he paced through the streets of a rain soaked city setting his personal best of 3hr 17mins.

He told the Advertiser: “After Edinburgh I was determined to do another one but I wanted to make it harder and a lot more challenging in the heat to be honest.

Gary joked: “But when I got over there it was pouring of rain, it was launching down, the complete opposite of what I thought but it was still warm, it was 20 degrees on the night.

Gary first started running when he was working at the famous Le Golf National as a greenkeeper during the season of the French Open and later the Ryder Cup in 2016.

“When I first went out over to France. I was eating too much bread and drinking red wine so I had to lose the weight in some way so I started running around the golf course.”

“I was never a runner, but you get addicted to it.”

Now he wants to inspire others on the benefits of running for their mental health and wants to help the homeless this winter with his campaign “never give up”.

Gary added: “It’s about tackling mental health and helping the homeless throughout the winter time. I’m going to donate via the Salvation Army. This run was part of the campaign.

“Mental health ties in with the running as well. It completely clears your mind. It helped me, I’ve never felt better. I honestly never thought I’d say that, but going out running and covering a big distance gives you such a buzz.

“It changes the way you are, if I can go round and encourage people to go out a run rather than hit the bevvy all the time.

“I just believe if you go into something in your own time like running it honestly sorts you out. It’s all about believing in yourself.”

You can support Never Give Up here