A MAN overcame two knee surgeries and ankle reconstruction to run a marathon in honour of a friend from Ayr with cancer, raising thousands for the charity that helped him.

Stuart Wilson, 47, a communications director, says he “crossed the line as a gentle breeze after starting as a raging tornado but never stopped running like the wind” when he completed the Berlin Marathon on September 26.

He was running in honour of his buddy, who first got him into running a decade ago, former Ayrshire Weekly Press journalist and now Glasgow Herald newspaper columnist Ally McLaws, 63.

Stuart, from Renfrewshire, has raised more than £5,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Having shed three and a half stone, come through two knee surgeries and an ankle reconstruction, Stuart felt that this was nothing compared to what his pal and his family have had to endure. Much-loved columnist, Ally, regularly shares the ups and downs of his cancer experience, to raise awareness in hope that it will help others going through similar.

He said: “I’ve faced incredible physical hardships in the last few years but nothing compared to what Ally has and is going through.

“Macmillan has done a phenomenal job supporting Ally and his wife, Laura and I wanted to give something back to the charity.

“I have pounded the streets all over Scotland, so lots of training. I also shed three and half stone in the process, so that’s a good thing.

“It was a very hard marathon and in extreme temperatures. It was way too hot for me and many people didn’t finish due to the heat.

“I pushed through it knowing that Ally was tracking my run – he even wore his Macmillan t-shirt.

“I can honestly can say it’s the hardest physical thing I’ve ever had to deal with. Crossing through the finish line, I felt exhilarated and very emotional knowing that it was for Ally.”

Ally, who introduced Stuart to running a decade ago said: “I was linked by technology to my pal as he pounded the streets of Berlin raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support – that’s amazing.

“I’m fitted with oxygen tubes and consigned to a wheelchair so my days of running are clearly behind me, but I was virtually able to take part through Stuart as my surrogate. Why Berlin? Well, it’s the flattest course in Europe and Stuart is no Mo Farah – he needed all the help he could get.”

Ally added: “Together we have raised over £5,000 for Macmillan with sponsorship coming from his pals and mine.

“Charities have had a real challenging time since Covid struck early in 2019. So many events were cancelled and as funds dried up the demands on charities has grown.

“It’s heartening to see mass support for fundraising.

“In my case, as I battle against terminal lung and brain cancer, I concentrate on supporting three cancer charities, Macmillan Cancer Support, Ayrshire Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK. I can’t thank Stuart enough for his support and to everyone who has sponsored us.”