AN ENDURANCE athlete ran all 92 miles of the Ayrshire Coastal Trail in under 20 hours last weekend to complete the third stage of his bid to run 500 miles for those living with Motor Neurone Disease.

Last August, Greg Lee, from Neilston, set out his running schedule to complete six of Scotland’s best-known long distance walks over two years, to raise funds for research into the terminal condition that impacts the nervous system.

So far he has raked in over £6,200 for MND Scotland and aims to raise thousands more for the charity as he grafts towards his 500 mile target.

Greg’s ultra-marathon plans to complete distances between 60 and 100 miles involve going up to 28 hours without sleep, with only stops for toilet breaks allowed.

Greg Lee and Family

Greg Lee and Family

The Ayrshire Coastal Path, which he completed between May 30 and 31, has been his toughest challenge so far.

As Greg explained to the Herald: “We set out at 3am, as it is always better to run into the day and it was good for the tides. The first 30 miles were relatively relaxed, before we hit sand and seaweed around Dunure. By mile 45, my feet were soaked as much of the terrain is sand as you move on and off the beach to Irvine. I changed my shoes twice, reducing to a jog so I could keep the pace.”

From South to North, the curved coastline of Ayrshire county path stretches from the most southern edge of South Ayrshire at Glenapp, to the north border of Skelmorlie that borders with Inverclyde.

Greg followed the coast, along cliff-tops, gullies and over rocky shores and sandy beaches, with the path looking out over the firth of Clyde and the dramatically changing landscape of the rock of Ailsa Craig and the mountains of Arran in the distance.

running end

running end

Beginning his 500 mile challenge on Arran last October, he completed a loop around the island, running the 62-mile coastal path in under 12 hours.

And after the February lockdown restrictions cancelled his next challenge in Speyside, an alternative route between Neilston, Stewarton and Irvine, allowed Greg to add 78-miles to the total in just 13 hours.

Close to his halfway point, he will next tackle the 96 miles of the West Highland Way in September, followed by 78-miles of Skye trail, with elevated mountain terrain and no paths in March next year. His final run will be the rescheduled Speyside Way, aiming to complete the 85-miles in 24 hours.

Greg has added a seventh and final event, in honour of his original inspiration for the challenge, his wife Jessica’s grandmother, Mary McKee.

Mary, who turns 90 this year, has lost 12 members of her family to illnesses that would be categorised under the umbrella of MND over the last 30 years, including her dad, two brothers and a nephew.

Over the last three decades, Mary has organised the Cumbrae cycle, an event that has raised thousands of pounds towards MND research.

Greg has decided that the challenge will conclude on the Isle of Cumbrae, cycling the last 11 miles that feature in charity event to reach 500.

He continued: “I enjoy running, maybe not 92 miles! But I am fortunate in my life to have never lost any loved ones and have grown up not needing support from third parties.

“To see Mary has lost 12 members of direct family, and supports the charity every year is inspirational. MND is so degenerative, it can sometimes happen so quickly, so any funding that I can raise through something that I enjoy is the least I can do in my book.”

To support Greg, just visit: