AFTER 10 weeks of training, a few blisters (and a few moans of 'I can't do this') I finally completed my Helensburgh 10k challenge. Running alongside my colleagues from the Reporter and Helensburgh Advertiser we all made it across the line and raised a fantastic amount money for Callum's Walking Wish appeal.

I myself ran the race in 68 minutes - which was right in the middle of my personal target.

My thanks have to go to Chris Bowman, from Chris Bowman Fitness, for helping me (a complete beginner) train, to my workmates, friends and family for their support and to everyone who donated money.

The publishers of the Reporter have generously offered to match every penny you gave - bringing the total to more than �2,000 and making all the sweat and sore legs more than worth it!

I would also like to thank everyone who lined the streets of Helensburgh to cheer us on as we ran past and all the volunteers, people who handed out water and marshals who pointed me in the right direction.

Those shouts of 'well done' 'keep going' - not to mention the high fives from youngsters - were so appreciated when my legs felt like stopping!

Also, to the experienced competitors who were walking back to catch the train etc but paused to cheer me on - thank you!

I have decided to keep the running up - with my next target being to take part the Vale of Leven 10K on Sunday, June 9.

If you are considering taking up some form of exercise I would recommend joining a running club and giving it a shot.

It's amazing what you can achieve in a short space of time with the right support and expertise behind you.

And, after the initial outlay of a good pair of running shoes, you can hit the road whenever you like and it won't cost you a penny.

We have some lovely views around Dumbarton and the Vale - I enjoy a run along the cycle path at the weekends, following the path of the River Leven.

There are also good circuits around Balloch Park and through Renton and Alexandria.

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