Carron’s Anthony completes year of challenges for dad

Anthony, pictured at the summit of Ben Nevis with friends, has completed a year of challenges in memory of his dad
Anthony, pictured at the summit of Ben Nevis with friends, has completed a year of challenges in memory of his dad

Fitness fanatic Anthony Shek has completed 13 challenges in 12 months to raise money in memory of his dad.

Anthony (27) beat his original target of 12 challenges and smashed his fundraising aim.

The HSBC fund administrator in Edinburgh started 2014 with similar goals to many, to get fit but then came up with a unique fundraising idea.

Anthony said: “I lost my dad to cancer in 2011 and decided this would be a fitting way to remember him.

“I was a bit out of shape, so thought I could do this challenge, raise money and get fit.”

Dad Joe, who ran the Wing Wah Chinese in Carron, lost his battle with cancer in 2011 leaving wife Carol and children, also June (30) and Susanna (21), devastated. Anthony decided to raise money for Cancer Research UK in his memory and his year long challenge netted £1751 for the charity.

He started in January with a 5km race, in February he did a Glasgow to Edinburgh cycle along the canal paths, March saw the Edinburgh Kilamathon - a 13.1 km run - then in April Anthony did the Edinburgh BUPA 10 mile run.

In May he completed the Edinburgh Marathon as part of a relay team with friends and on Father’s Day in June did the Edinburgh 10km.

Anthony said: “By this time I was pretty confident at running and had got into a routine of training most nights so I naively thought that my next challenge - walking the West Highland Way - would be easy. I was doing so much running I thought walking would be, well. a walk in the park. But it ended up being my toughest challenge and the only one I wanted to quit.

“We walked up to 22 miles a day for five days and by the end of day one I had blisters all over my feet and was in real pain. It’s a tough route and with rubbish boots, it was a nightmare. I almost quit but the friends I was walking with really pushed me to keep going and I just has to keep reminding myself why I was doing it.

“Losing dad was the hardest thing our family has every had to go through, so I was determined to complete every challenge and raise as much as possible.

“As I finished the walk, I reached my initial fundraising goal so it was a good push to continue.”

The next challenge was to climb Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK, with 10 friends and in September Anthony did two challenges back to back, the Edinburgh Half Marathon and next day a road cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh.

He said: “That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, I did enough training for the half marathon and managed to borrow a road bike for the cycle which made things a bit easier.

“I couldn’t decide which event to take part it so ended up doing both. They were two of the most gruelling challenges, so it maybe wasn’t my best idea and I was beyond relieved to reach the cycle finishing line.”

In October, Anthony tackled the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest, an assault course spread over 10 km, dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and November saw another 10 km race.

The year-long challenge ended in December with the Edinburgh Santa Dash, a 5km run through the capital dressed like Father Christmas.

Anthony said: “I’ve really enjoyed having the challenges to look forward to and it’s meant 2014 has flown past.

“I keep joking that 2015 will be the year I get fat, but I’m actually enjoying going to the gym and training so I reckon I’ll keep it up.”