A GRUELLING fundraiser in memory of a mum-of-five has raised more than £10,000.

Family and friends of Elaine Simants reached the finish line after clocking up more than 1,500 miles along the John Muir Way.

Fifty-three-year-old Elaine, of Dunbar, passed away last September – just five months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Her family decided to take on the impressive fundraiser, named ‘5 in 5 – Marathons for Mum’, which featured people running and cycling along the John Muir Way, as well as a fun day and race night at Hallhill Sports Centre, in aid of Ward 2 at Belhaven Hospital and Maggie’s Centre in Edinburgh.

Daughter Yvette told the Courier that the run – which saw her dad Marc and brother Kieran run more than a marathon each day – was exhausting.

She said: “As a team, we coped well during the week.

“We were supporting each other with injuries and mentally to keep each other going when one was struggling – we stuck together.

“The last day was very emotional and when we finished it was the culmination of the challenge; obviously we had been focusing on it for months and months.

“It was just relief to be finishing because it was not easy.

“Last Thursday was definitely very emotional as it was not our muscles or feet that got us home but adrenaline and focusing on the finish and getting finished.

“Having our friends and family round us definitely helped us.”

Marc and Kieran set off from Helensburgh, west of Glasgow, with son-in-law Kris Balmforth and Yvette running a half marathon each day.

Day one saw the runners stop at Strathblane before going on to Falkirk on day two.

From there, it was on to South Queensferry on day three before day four saw them reach East Lothian and stop at Longniddry.

Finally, it was back to the family’s hometown of Dunbar, where they were met by family and friends.

A further seven people cycled the full route in two days, while Yvette’s sister Yvonne covered the final 26.3 miles.

Then a race night was held at Hallhill Sports Centre, where representatives from Maggie’s Centres and The League of Friends at Belhaven Hospital were told each charity would receive at least £5,000.

Yvette, of Dunbar’s Ashfield, said the race night provided a good way for everyone to relax after the efforts of the last five days.

She added: “It was the perfect way to finish all the challenges.

“There were a lot of people to thank that had taken part in all the events.

“Bobby Peters and Hallhill, as without their offer of the family day, the hall for the race night and the proceeds from the Adam Cheetham Memorial Cycle we wouldn’t have reached our amazing target.

“They hold these events tirelessly every year for locally chosen charities and should be recognised for the hard work that is put in.

“We now realise the work and dedication that goes into running these charity events!

“Also our support team for the week was my brother Stephen’s mother and father-in-law Janet and Tom O’Connor. They hired a minibus and provided us with constant support all week, driving us between points, providing water stops and all the first aid we needed along the way.

“We really couldn’t have managed it without them.”

Previously Yvette, who works as an administration assistant at Torness Power Station, told the Courier how training for the challenge had proven therapeutic.

The 38-year-old described her mum as “a very proud granny” to 13 grandchildren and someone who had always kept busy.

She said: “It has been a good therapy for us.

“We have all enjoyed our training – barring any injuries.

“Running gives you time to think, time to breathe and time to yourself.”

To make a donation, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/5in5marathons