Banknock ‘Jogfather’ set for marathon around Denny in aid of hen welfare
A Banknock man known as ‘the Jogfather’ is raising funds for the British Hen Welfare Trust by running 26.2 miles around Denny.
Keith McDevitt will be pounding the pavements as part of the Virtual London Marathon which this year, due to the pandemic, sees runners choosing their own routes to complete the challenge on Sunday, October 3.
He will be joined by fellow runners from a group he leads, Jog Scotland Denny - which gave him his nickname - and are also raising funds for various charities.
Keith, 59, chose to raise funds for the BHWT as his wife Varrie is a volunteer with the charity’s rehoming team, and they have 12 chickens themselves.
And they have even featured in his conference calls with work colleagues!
He says, “My wife has been involved in the Denny rehoming group for a few years and we soon became hen adopters.
“They’re curious little creatures. You think all chickens look the same, but they all have different personalities. They’re always looking out for you, even if you’re just passing by the window, they all gather and wait for you to go over and give them a treat.”
The birds are also accustomed to life indoors with Keith and Varrie.
He explained: “We bring them inside if they’re not feeling well and whilst we’ve all got used to working at home and seeing other people’s dogs, cats, and children on video calls, sometimes my colleagues across the UK will see a chicken flying across the screen, which has become a bit of a talking point!”
As the leader of Jog Scotland Denny, Keith is a regular runner and has previously completed two marathons.
However, he says he much prefers 5k and 10k distances and training hasn’t gone exactly to plan, but he hopes the camaraderie of the group and local support will help to egg them on.
The distance is a new challenge for some of the participants - so the long flat stretches will come as a welcome relief!
Keith said: “For lots of the group this will be the first time they’ve done the 26.2 miles.
“Eight of us will be setting off from Denny Sports Centre and following a route I’ve planned, mainly around the Forth and Clyde Canal to make it as flat as possible – although the last few kilometres will be uphill.
“We’re aiming to do each 5k in 30 minutes, so we should finish in around five hours and hopefully other member of the group will run part of the route with us and come out to give us some support.
“I haven’t been able to train as much as I’d like, my longest run so has been 30k so far, so it’s not going to be an easy jaunt around.
“But we will stick together as a group and knowing that I’ve raised money for the BHWT and that it will help to save more chucks from slaughter is great.”
If you’d like to sponsor Keith, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KeithMcdevitt