Jul 032017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

From left-right, Ashley Coutts, Natalie Fitzpatrick, Martin Peters, Craig Barclay and Jonathan Mitchell.

Staff from Sentinel Marine’s Aberdeen headquarters got their running shoes on to raise much-needed funds for the Aberdeen Seafarers Centre at the recent Bakers Hughes 10k.

The five-strong team has collected in their final donations and will now hand over a cheque for £1,000 to the independent charity which supports seafarers in the north east of Scotland.

Running for Sentinel Marine – which owns and operates offshore support vessels for the oil and gas industry – were Natalie Fitzpatrick, Ashley Coutts, Martin Peters, Craig Barclay and Jonathan Mitchell.

The quintet crossed the finish line in a range of times from 1:00:12 to 1:11:00, all while raising funds for the Aberdeen Seafarers Centre.

Jonathan Mitchell, managing director of Sentinel Marine, says,

“The Baker Hughes 10k is a staple of the Aberdeen sporting calendar, and everyone involved has a brilliant time running along the beachfront. The event was impeccably organised, and it was great to see so many thousands of people enjoying the great outdoors.

“We are proud to have raised £1,000 for a charity so close to our hearts, that provides a safe and friendly space for seafarers who are visiting Aberdeen. We are also all very pleased with our finishing times, and are already considering a return next year to try and shave off a few seconds!”

Sentinel Marine has offices in Aberdeen and Singapore and owns a fleet of seven vessels, with three new builds on order, providing reliable, disruption-free and safe services to the oil and gas marine industry. More about Sentinel Marine can be found at www.sentinel-marine.com.

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Apr 012017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

A north-east cancer support charity is appealing to runners to consider tackling some of the region’s most popular runs on its behalf.

CLAN Cancer Support has spaces available for this year’s Baker Hughes 10K, which will take place on Sunday May 14. The charity is also signing up participants for Run Balmoral on Saturday April 22 and Sunday April 23 and the inaugural Great Aberdeen Run on Sunday August 27.

Last year, runners came to the fore to raise money for CLAN and the charity is looking forward to being well represented at events throughout 2017.

Alastair Brookes, CLAN’s Head of Fundraising, said:

“These races are among the most popular in the north-east running calendar and we are thrilled to have places on offer for them.

“This year we will also see the first Great Aberdeen Run which is sure to be a fantastic spectacle which we are all very much looking forward to. We have spaces available for both the 10K and the half marathon for those who would like to be part of the inaugural event.

“We would appreciate the support of any member of the public who is considering taking part in either, or even all, of the events.

“The backing the charity has had from runners in the north-east has been incredible in previous years and we’re really looking to keep this momentum up this year. I’d encourage anyone interested in taking part in any of the races on behalf of CLAN to get in touch and find out more.”

For more information or to take up a place please contact CLAN’s fundraising team on 01224 647000 or email fundraising@clanhouse.org.

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Mar 022017
 

After battling with necrotizing fasciitis, Robin Grant ran in the Ness 10K in 2016 and will return in 2017.

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

An Aberdeenshire man who suffered from a rare flesh-eating bacteria has recovered to discover a passion for running.

After battling with necrotizing fasciitis, Robin Grant has developed a love of exploring the great outdoors on foot and will compete in the Baxters River Ness 10k in September.

It was an ordinary day at work in August 2014 for Robin (43) – originally from Old Rayne in Aberdeenshire and now living in Inverness – when he began to notice the first symptoms of the illness.

He says,

“I suddenly felt an intense pain in my arm. It felt like I had overstretched and trapped a nerve in my shoulder – only multiplied by a hundred. But after about half an hour, the pain went away and I thought I was okay.”

For Robin, a visit to the doctor is usually out of the question – but as the pain returned and the severity increased – he had little option.

He continues,

“The pain came back and it was excruciating. Although I don’t usually visit the doctor – I wasn’t even registered at the GP – I walked up to casualty and was given some painkillers.

“The next day I visited the GP who gave me some more painkillers. I had to register, but I could barely lift my arm due to the pain and they had to fill in all the forms for me.

“As the week went on I got progressively worse, to the point where I couldn’t get to the end of the road without feeling violently sick.”

Struggling on his own, Robin’s father took him to the family home in Aberdeenshire to offer some support. But over the weekend, Robin’s condition deteriorated.

Robin says,

“I was getting worse and worse, so my dad took me to see his GP in Insch. He took one look at me and asked, ‘Have you got transport or do you need me to call an ambulance?’”

Robin was rushed to A&E in Aberdeen where, after just four hours, he was taken into surgery. He was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis – a rare condition that is known as a flesh-eating bacteria. The illness causes tissue death in affected areas, resulting in incredible pain.

Robin explains,

“When I came out of surgery, I was in intensive care for about two weeks and on a ventilator for a week. The only way to treat the bug is to cut it out – the flesh is essentially dead – so I also required plastic surgery.”

Frustrated by the constraints of his hospital bed, Robin’s thoughts turned to an old hobby – running. He says, “For me, hospital was an incredibly boring place. I signed up to take part in a local 10k event while I was still admitted, and completed it the next year.”

Six months after his ordeal in hospital, Robin was back in Inverness and back at work as driver supervisor at Arnold Clark Car and Van Rental. But he couldn’t shake his passion for running – despite having to adapt to new limitations. Robin explains,

“I had to develop a different style of running. My right side was hit hard by the bug – I lost my shoulder muscles and part of my bicep – so it really affected my balance. I couldn’t swing my right arm, and I still can’t lift it properly to this day.

“I noticed that I had begun to compensate with the left side of my body, but I actually feel like I’m running better now than I ever did before. It might be because I’m running more now, but I think that I’m also improving because I’m thinking more about how I need to run.”

After his first race, Robin began to enter a number of 10ks across the country – including the River Ness 10k, part of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running. And despite having run in some incredible locations across the country, Robin counts his local race as one of the best.

He says,

“I was back living in Inverness and decided to run the River Ness 10K. It was tough – it was roasting hot that day – but I absolutely loved it. The course is great, and the energy around the whole event is really uplifting.

“This year I’m looking to up my distance and run a few half marathons. I’d run a few before I was ill, but this will be the first time I’ve attempted it recently. And I’ll definitely be back to run in the River Ness 10K. The year wouldn’t feel complete without it.

“I’ve got my sights set on the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, though. One day soon, you’ll find me on the starting line.”

The River Ness 10k takes place on September 24, and is part of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running. The event, which draws thousands of people from across the world, also comprises the title marathon, 10K Corporate Challenge, River Ness 5K and a Wee Nessie fun-run for pre-school children.

The finish line is based around the Event Village at the Bught Park in Inverness, where runners and spectators can enjoy the Baxters Food and Drink Fayre, a Sports Expo, live music and activities for children.

Entries are still open at www.lochnessmarathon.com The event is also active on Facebook at facebook.com/lochnessmarathon and on Twitter @nessmarathon

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May 222015
 

CLAN logo2With thanks to Paul Smith, Citrus Mix.

Hundreds of runners have shown their support for a leading north-east cancer support charity by taking part in the Baker Hughes 10k road race on its behalf.

Over 115 individuals laced up their running shoes in support of CLAN Cancer Support at the popular event on Sunday (May 17), helping raise thousands of pounds for the charity with donations still flooding in.

Runners were also accompanied by charity mascot CLANCY who was taking part in the race for the first time. The charity also helped provide marshals to help with the event itself.

Organised by Sport Aberdeen, the beachfront run is the largest 10k race in the north-east and attracts thousands of participants on a yearly basis.

Susan Crighton, CLAN’s fundraising manager, was delighted with the support shown towards the charity.

She said:

“CLAN has had a presence at the Baker Hughes race for a number of years now and the support for the charity really has grown in tandem with the popularity of the event.

“Across the entire morning, there was a sea of runners donned in CLAN t-shirts making their way along the route and I’d like to personally thank each and every person who gave up their time to run for the charity at the race.

“Donations are still flooding in and all funds raised from the race will go directly towards our provision of free support services to anyone affected by cancer. Participating in events like these on our behalf really does help us in all that we do.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer.

CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness. Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For further information about CLAN Cancer Support please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

Sep 072012
 

Ben Hukins gives Voice’s Suzanne Kelly the run-down on his background, races, interests and opinions on Aberdeen’s hot topics.

I meet Ben at Café 52.  I’ve been running (it was a Thursday and getting around town on Thursday evenings at rush hour is always problematic) and am somewhat out of breath.

Ben is a local runner with a number of local races and victories under his belt.

He has a girlfriend who is now into running, several cats, a rabbit which has chewed through his mobile phone charger, a father who used to be a professor at Aberdeen University and opinions on the day’s issues.

Unsurprisingly the Olympic Games is our first subject for discussion:

“As a sporting event it was fantastic.  I was actually quite surprised we did so well… my girlfriend and I saw several events including some of the women’s running events.  I felt like getting on the track and running. 

“There was negative press and commercialism…when you have companies like Dow Chemicals involved…  but all the negatives such as transport and security – all of that was forgotten.  As a sporting event it was fabulous.  You couldn’t leave an event without wanting to go run round the track.  We watched the women’s marathon on the street.  Everyone just got a huge buzz out there.

“The running track is going to stay.  There was a huge debate over the stadium with Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham – the West Ham solution was the best. Luckily in the end international bodies intervened.”  

But are kids today being active?

“People in my generation all kind of grew up outdoors playing, playing football.  Even when computer games were starting up, most people still went out to play as well.” 

We get into some early background history.  Ben is a Liverpool fan, although he grew up in Manchester before his family moved to Aberdeen.  His dad got a position in Aberdeen University and he and his mother moved to Aberdeen once Ben finished his A levels (one week after his 18th birthday).

Ben studied electrical engineering, stayed to work in the energy sector and is now the only member of his family still in Aberdeen.  His girlfriend recently took up running.

We then get to Scottish football and the future of Rangers:

“I actually read quite a lot; the actual administration process was interesting; there was so much written about it.” 

We talk about running – Ben is about to be put in the ‘veteran’ age group for running purposes.  He recently ran the Baker Hughes 10K, which is a big charity event.

“It’s great because you get a whole spread of people.  There is a guy from Greenock who goes to every single race in a clown’s costume.  He must have raised quite a lot of money for charity.” 

And if Ben is running competitively?

“I normally take it easy, but I like to get up 4 hours before a race starts.  I just have breakfast and get ready.” 

Ben enjoyed the Stonehaven half marathon in particular and he discusses some other races:

“It’s a great atmosphere and it’s very well organised.  I’m doing the Loch Ness Marathon at the end of September.  In April I went to Rotterdam and I’ve been to France.  I enjoyed the Champagne region.  There are marathons in so many places in the world… I really want to go to America.”

We get around to some of the environmental issues of the region:

“One of the reasons I like Aberdeen is the green space.  In no time at all you can get out of Aberdeen into some great countryside.  You see the current plans and proposals and it’s like greenbelt means nothing. 

“They were going to destroy Loirston.  The leadership of the recent council has given me great cause for concern towards the destruction of the greenspace.  There was just no joined up thinking. “

I can’t offer any argument against these sentiments.  We discuss Tullos Hill:

“There is so much propaganda and misinformation.  Tuesday night, for the first time in a long, long, time, I saw deer.  The council said there were 28 living in the area. They killed 34.  It was clearly a migratory population.”

[note: at the time of publishing, the total looks closer to 44.]

Ben and I note the change in the council and the lack of LibDem representatives in Torry/Ferryhill and Altens post -election. We discuss UTG:

“The ‘For’ (pro granite web) campaign had more money, more press.  P&J is clearly pro development of Union Terrace Gardens, shown in the way they aimed their headlines and articles.” 

Again, no argument from me.

Ben does as much working out in the out of doors as possible:

“I am a member of a gym which I use sporadically – I’m involved in the STV appeal.  They’re trying to cover 10,000 miles on the treadmill.  I’ve been doing running; for a fiver I’ll go and do your section of running for you – I’m up to 14 so far. 

“You don’t have to join a gym.  If you don’t like the gym, don’t do it.  These days there so many sports you can do in Aberdeen at RGU and the sports village and other venues.”   

STV’s charity event hopes to raise £5,000 by having people donate money for miles run on the treadmill at The Warehouse Health Club on Mearns Street which has organised a treadmill relay where they aim to cover 10,000km – the length of the Scottish coastline.  They have already started the run and expect to take around a month to complete the distance.

For full details and to help, visit http://campaigns.stv.tv/stv-appeal/about-us/latest-news/312977-aberdeen-gym-hits-the-treadmill-in-aid-of-the-stv-appeal/

We are in touch after the interview as we didn’t get a chance to discuss the amazing, moving Paralympics.  But two recent Scottish running events have had serious issues.  A man collapsed and died in the recent Glasgow run and several people had to be airlifted from Ben Nevis.

Ben had this to say:

I ran the Glasgow event on a number of occasions and it is a very well organised, excellent event. I don’t know the circumstances surrounding the death and it is obviously a great shame, however, from my experience of the event I believe that the organisers will have done everything they could to have prevented this unfortunate incident.

“With regards the Ben Nevis event, I really don’t know much.  Unfortunately fell running is a sport with its inherent risks and all competitors are aware of these.  Race organisers do their best to manage all the risks as far as reasonably practical.  Running isn’t a dangerous sport.”

No, running isn’t a dangerous sport.  It is a means of keeping fit that everyone can afford to do, all ages and sexes can enjoy running to their individual abilities and, as the Paralympics have shown, running can change peoples’ lives for the better.  ‘What’s not to like?’ as the saying goes.

All the best to Ben in his upcoming races.  We will be following his progress and will try and catch up with him figuratively, as catching up literally might take some doing.

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