A WOMAN who recovered from a brain haemorrhage is among those taking on an epic challenge in aid of the charity which helped her.

Fiona Grant-MacDonald, 39, who made history as the first ever female principal of Musselburgh’s Riding of the Marches last year, was helped by Headway East Lothian after she suffered a brain haemorrhage almost five years ago.

Now she has organised a marathon cycle and climb to raise cash for the charity, which works to improve life for people after brain injury.

The Alternative 3 Peaks on Sunday will see 20 intrepid participants attempting three peaks in Edinburgh and East Lothian: Arthur’s Seat, North Berwick Law and Byres Hill (Hopetoun Monument).

They will climb the trio of hills and cycle a total of 70 miles in between.

The final mile will be a sponsored walk by Headway members from Port Seton to The Gothenburg in Prestonpans for those unable to take part in the marathon cycle.

People are also taking part in stages, cycling what they can on the day, while others will be climbing one or more of the peaks, with a total of 100 supporting the feat.

Fiona, who lives in Prestonpans, organised a similar event two years ago, raising more than £4,000, and is on the way to beating that total this year with just short of £3,000 already raised – £2,120 by Fiona herself.

There will be breakfast, lunch and dinner stops as well as watering stations all over the county, donated by local businesses, the Musselburgh-based Clark Community Choir, Musselburgh Yarnbombers and residents, as well as massages and rub downs as required by suitably qualified people.

Fiona has done a lot of work with Headway, which she got involved with after suffering a burst aneurysm while lying in bed. A keen singer and founder member of the Clark Community Choir, of which she was also musical director, she has performed for Headway and held science workshops.

Fiona took to horseback as the turf cutter’s assistant in last year’s Riding of the Marches, playing an important role in Musselburgh’s ancient boundary-marking ceremony. She works as a senior physics technician at Preston Lodge High School.

Fiona said: “After my brain haemorrhage in 2012 I have dedicated much of my time to helping Headway East Lothian. They are a local support group for brain injury survivors and do amazing work within our local communities. Many survivors suffer from long term disabilities.

“I have been lucky to still lead an active life and use this to help the charity raise much need funds.”

The day begins with a 7am ascent of Arthur’s Seat before jumping on the bikes. There’s a stop off in Musselburgh for breakfast, then it is on to North Berwick Law. This route takes the team on National Cycle Route 1 along the River Esk before joining the Ormiston-Pencaitland Railway walk.

As they head through Haddington, they carry on to pass Hailes Castle and up the John Muir cycle path until they reach their second climb of the day: North Berwick Law.

After a quick lunch they will get back on the bikes, travelling through Athelstaneford and up Hopetoun Monument, which is the final climb.

Then the cyclists will make their way along the Haddington to Longniddry cycle path into Port Seton, where they will join friends from Headway for their annual sponsored walk. The walk will finish at The Gothenburg in Prestonpans, where stovies will be served along with entertainment by the Clark Community Choir.

Fiona is hoping spectators will turn out to cheer on the team and thanked all the sponsors, including the Walk With Scott Foundation, Roots & Fruits, East Lothian Produce, Ace Bikes and Image Scotland.

To donate to the challenge, visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/fionagrant-macdonald1 and for further details visit facebook.com/Alternative3peaks-Sunday-20-Aug-2017-688972427879276