A TRANENT schoolboy is in training for a huge upcoming challenge that will see him run a half marathon for a local community project.

Lucas Buchanan, eight, of Gavin’s Lee, is going to attempt to run the distance, just over 13 miles, on August 1 in aid of Jane Russell’s Sunday Fresh Chicken Dinner Boxes initiative, which is in the process of becoming a charity.

The P3 pupil at Windygoul Primary School, who will be starting primary four in August, also trains with Tranent Colts, something he has done since he was four years old.

The youngster, who started training with Hearts and Hibs pre-academy last year, is described by his mum Vicky as an “energetic wee boy”, and usually trains with his football teams for a combined six days a week.

The idea for the challenge came both from Vicky, after she started collecting toiletry items for the dinner boxes cause, and Lucas’ main way of keeping fit during lockdown.

Vicky said: “During lockdown he decided to start running to keep his fitness up and keep him going, so he started running with his dad Kevin.

“He is still doing some football training online.”

At the start of lockdown, Lucas ran five kilometres and donated £5 to the NHS; he was able to complete the distance very easily and over the coming weeks he ran further and further.

Vicky added: “I was collecting toiletries for the dinner boxes and he asked why I was collecting them.

“I told him that other people are not as fortunate as us, so he suggested that he could do something to help raise money for them and we came up with running.”

A target of £500 was initially set and it has already been beaten, with £595 raised so far.

Vicky said that despite having already exceeded their initial target, she hoped to raise as much money as possible to support more families.

Lucas is now training with his aunt Lesley Watson, who has previously run marathons.

Due to her experience, she put a training plan in place which both Lesley and Lucas are following. Part of the plan includes increasing his running distances over the coming weeks until he can run 13 miles.

Vicky said: “I am delighted with what he is doing. He is a really active creature and during lockdown has had to keep himself going.

“I’m very proud of him. He just wants to give something back, other people are not as fortunate as he is.”

Jane Russell described Lucas as “a wee superstar”. She said: “I’m delighted that he is doing this for us.

“We are a community project that runs entirely on donations at the moment and every single penny helps us massively and goes right back into the community to buy food for people that are financially struggling.

“His donation alone will feed roughly 200 families.

“I think it’s wonderful that kids want to do something to help us and realise they want to help other people, it’s a really nice thing for them to do.”

Jane added that her project, which covers the whole of East Lothian, had helped 4,000 families since it was founded last Christmas.

To donate, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lesley-watson-2