Woman runs 330 miles in support of Falkirk businesses

A woman who jogged more than 300 miles in aid of Falkirk businesses is hopeful her efforts will help firms to get “back up and running”.

By Jonathon Reilly
Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 4:52 pm

Dorothy Balfour (44) covered over ten miles each day in May in an attempt to support her local economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

A keen runner, the Falkirk resident began pounding the pavements on May 1 with the aim of drawing in sponsorship money for business owners in the town, many of whom she knows face an uncertain future.

Dorothy, who works as a category manager for North Lanarkshire Council, is hugely grateful for the work of all those who are on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19.

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Runner Dorothy Balfour clocked up more than 300 miles in an attempt to support businesses in Falkirk.

Aware of the many fundraisers taking place for those such as NHS workers, she instead sought to do something that would benefit businesses in the town she moved to from Glasgow three years ago – even if it meant providing only enough money for initial supplies.

So far, Dorothy has collected £1050 in donations via Facebook and JustGiving pages.

Detailing how a conversation on a radio programme acted as a source of inspiration, she said: “I was listening to Chris Evans the day I decided to do it.

“His wife came on and spoke about a lady who had cancer and how she wanted to fundraise for scrubs. I thought, ‘There are that many making scrubs, what can I do differently?’

Dorothy Balfour in action in May when she ran 330 miles in aid of Falkirk firms.

“I very much wanted to do something for local businesses. Outwith Covid-19, I think supporting local businesses is something we should be doing.

“I live in Falkirk, I work for North Lanarkshire Council and I lived most of my life in Glasgow and thought, ‘They’re my three areas where I would like to help’.

“If I can help someone to get their business back up and running, that’s the main thing for me.”

Although she has completed marathons before, Dorothy conceded she wasn’t fully prepared for just how difficult her latest challenge would be – to the extent she almost packed it in.

She explained: “I ended up with Achilles problems and by day nine I had shin splints – it’s painful!

“There was a point I was thinking of giving up. There was a good bit of pain but the last ten days it eased a little bit because I was strapped up with bandages and tape.

“The weather was amazing which I think helped!”

With cash still being donated to Dorothy’s JustGiving page, a plan for passing money on to struggling businesses has still to be formulated. However, she is open to suggestions of worthy recipients.

She added: “If I don’t find businesses, I will donate the money to local food banks.

“I would like firstly to thank my partner Andy Rust for all his support. He met me on at least two thirds of the 30 days and brought me ice packs and medicine on those nights when I was hurting.

“I would also like to say a massive thanks to all of those who donated. It is very much appreciated and will hopefully provide support for a business to restart after lockdown.

“This experience has been amazing and, believe it or not, I would do it again but maybe with a little more training the next time.”