A POSTPONED marathon offered a keen runner the chance to do her bit for a charity close to her heart.

Julie LaRoche had been due to take to the start line of The Dramathon, along the Speyside Way, on October 21 last tear, before Storm Babet forced the cancellation of the event.

However, Julie, who lives in Macmerry, did not allow the setback to put her training to waste or leave her with her feet up for too long.

Instead, she completed her own version of a marathon in aid of the RNLI.

Julie, who is the daughter of one of the first crew members of the Oban lifeboat, said: “I set off from the Scottish Parliament, following the East Lothian coast to join the parkrun and then ran on to my own home in Macmerry.

“I miscalculated a bit and actually ran 27.5 miles, but I was joined at various stages along the way by friends who cheered me on.

“Having grown up in a lifeboat family, I know first-hand the commitment, time and effort that RNLI volunteers give to help others.

“I remember the many occasions when we would be halfway through a dinner or special celebration when the maroons, and later the pager, went off, sending my father off in often-awful weather for hours at a time.”

The lifesaving charity, which has lifeboat stations in Dunbar and North Berwick, encouraged people to take part in the Reindeer Run Challenge at the end of last year.

'Inspired me'

The initiative invited people to raise money by running 24 miles during December, in recognition of volunteer lifeboat crews’ 24-hour and seven-day-a-week commitment to responding to their pagers.

Just before Christmas, Julie, whose father Mike Robertson was a crewmember on Oban lifeboat from the time the lifeboat station first opened in 1972, decided to do her bit.

Last year, her dad, who went on to become a deputy launching authority, the Oban branch chairman and a member of the organisation’s Scottish Council, was awarded the RNLI’s 50-year service medal by the charity’s chief executive at a ceremony in Oban.

“The medal is inscribed with the words, ‘With courage nothing is impossible’,” said Julie, who is a volunteer co-ordinator with Home-Start East Lothian.

“That really resonated with me and has inspired me on my runs,” she added.

Over £200,000 was raised in December by runners across Britain and Ireland, who collectively covered a distance of over 57,000 miles.

Julie, 49, collected more than £800 through her fundraising challenge.