A LOCH Lomond shop owner put his best foot forward to run a 26.2-mile marathon to raise funds for the loch’s rescue boat.

Andy Howell has been living in West Dunbartonshire for the past eight years and is well known to locals who pop into his Loch Lomond News shop at Loch Lomond Shores.

The 46-year-old has been a long time supporter of the Loch Lomond Rescue Boat, and in aid of the lifesaving service he ran the London Marathon on Sunday, October 3 in four hours, 25 minutes and six seconds, raising close to £2,000.

Andy told the Reporter: “The day itself went very smoothly, everything was extremely well organised which I expected for a big event like this.

“I started to get more and more nervous the closer it came to the event, especially at the start. I was very apprehensive about running in a big event after and during Covid, but the safety measures in place made me feel very reassured, including providing a negative test result before entry.

“Donations are still pouring in but I am hopeful I will have raised close to £2,000 for the Loch Lomond Rescue Boat, which I am delighted with.

“Personally, I feel a massive sense of pride and achievement in having completed this famous run and can’t wait until my next one.”

And Andy is now keen to pass his love of running onto locals who are thinking about taking up exercise but might find it daunting.

“Five years ago I couldn’t run, so if anyone reads this and thinks they can’t do it then they are wrong.” Andy continued.

“There are local running clubs like the Milburn Harriers, of which I am a member, which are full of friendly people who will help you get started and improve and achieve your goals.

“There is the Levengrove parkrun which I take part in which is great for beginners and seasoned runners alike.

“Finally, I would like to thank all the Milburn Harriers who helped me train for the marathon, as well as friends, family, staff, customers and strangers who all donated generously for a worthy cause. And congratulations also to Debbie Savage of Savage Fitness who also completed the London Marathon.”