Perthshire woman ready for gruelling 100-mile challenge to help disabled riding group

By Douglas Dickie

A Perthshire woman is preparing to take on a gruelling challenge to raise money for a local charity.

Julie Bethune will take part in the 100-mile running race The Pilgrims Ultra this Saturday, September 17.

In doing so, she will help support Kinfauns Stables Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), where she volunteers.

The challenge will see 43-year-old Julie run the full length of St Oswald’s Way, from Holy Island, down the Northumberland Coast and on to Hadrian’s Wall.

It is a mixture of coastal paths, pretty valleys and rugged hills.

Many people who start fail to finish The Pilgrims Ultra, with athletes given just 34 hours to complete the distance.

There will be live tracking on the day and her husband will be posting updates on social media.

Julie, from Bridge of Earn, has been training for over a year but is still expecting a tough time. She said: “This race will test me to my limits mentally and physically and most races of this length have roughly a quarter to a third of people that do not finish.

“I have been training for this race for the last 18 months, running 50 miles on many weeks and entering progressively longer races. In July I completed my longest race, 65 miles on the St Cuthbert’s Way and loved it, although an extra 35 miles is a big unknown and means that rather than finishing in the day I will also run through the night.”

Despite facing a huge undertaking, Julie is determined to help Kinfauns RDA, which she says is an “amazing charity”.

She added: “Kinfauns RDA does amazing work offering riding lessons and horse care to a range of individuals and organisations with differing needs.

“The horses and staff are wonderful, making it a fantastic place to volunteer, and the adults and children that come along get a brilliant experience offering physical therapy, improving health and well being, and building confidence. It is a truly amazing place.

“If you could spare a small amount to donate to this brilliant charity and help them continue the amazing work they do that would be fantastic.”

Donations can be made through PayPal at or by cheque made out to Kinfauns Stables RDA and sent to Castle Farm, Kinfauns, Perth, PH2 7JZ, adding a note that it is for Julie’s challenge.

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