ARDROSSAN runner Stephanie Symington wants to beat her personal best at the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run – but found for herself cancer could only be fought one stride at a time.

So, when the 24-year-old steps onto the start line of the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run in Glasgow’s George Square, she’ll be running for families who need access to the same comforts she did.

She lost dad Ian to osteosarcoma in July 2017 after a two-year battle, during which he received chemotherapy at the Beatson Cancer Charity and passed away in Ayrshire Hospice.

Having taken part in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run for the first time in 2016, it was second nature for the production manager to do it again in aid of the two charities that helped her father.

Stephanie’s third tilt at the event will be under the banner of the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run Community Challenge, launched to help get Scotland active.

The campaign aims to recruit one runner from each of the 32 local authorities in Scotland to take on the 10k running challenge – Stephanie will represent North Ayrshire.

Each runner will embark on a “10 week to 10k” challenge, receiving a personalised training programme from an expert coach in the weeks leading up to the run, on September 30.

And for Stephanie, taking part in the event is a reminder of the vital care provided by the two charities.

“We got to appreciate first-hand how amazing the work the two charities do,” she said.

“It was quite an aggressive cancer my dad had. He would find himself at Beatson for a week at a time.

“They had a little café upstairs we would sit in and talk. It doesn’t feel clinical, or scary, it just gives you that comfort and feeling of being a bit more at home.

“If people didn’t take on challenges the charities wouldn’t exist and other families wouldn’t get that amazing treatment and amazing support. Keeping that café open means a lot.

“That support makes a world of a difference when you’re going through such a difficult situation.”

After Ian’s passing, Stephanie founded Team Symington Events in October 2017 and raised £2,225 for Beatson and the Ayrshire Hospice in its first year of existence.

Fielding teams of fundraisers in the Supernova Run in Falkirk, the Santa Dash and the Ayrshire 10k has already yielded a pot of over £1,000 this year alone for good causes.

Bank of Scotland is celebrating its 10th year as partner of the event. For more information, visit