MSIS Action Man Gets Set for Charity Challenge

12 Feb 2016

John Skinner, senior projects manager for MSIS will be taking part in the Inverness Half Marathon on March 13th, when he hopes to complete the 13.1 mile challenge in 1hr 50 to raise vital funds for the ARCHIE Foundation.

Originally from Inverness, John is no stranger to fundraising challenges. With more than five half marathons under his belt, he has now raised over £2,000 for a number of local charities.

In 2014 he completed the five peaks trek which saw him climb five of the highest mountains in the UK and Ireland in under 48 hours – a total ascent of over 17,000ft. He completed the challenge with 13 of his friends and together they raised over £20,000 for three local Highland charities, Parkinsons UK, Breast Cancer Care and Crocus Highland Child Bereavement Service.

Most recently, John and his son, Jamie ran 300 miles between them in 30 days as part of the ARCHIE’s Virtual Challenge.

To prepare for a half marathon, John usually embarks on a vigorous six week training regime, which can see him cover up to 20 miles per week. 

John took up running five years ago in an effort to improve his fitness after taking a break from football. He wanted to take on a challenge that would help raise funds for charity, so he signed up for the Inverness Half Marathon. Since then, he has ran the length and breadth of Scotland. 

“You don’t have to be a special type of athlete in order train for a marathon, but you most certainly have to be prepared. It’s a huge commitment and investment, not only physically, but mentally,” said John.

“It’s become habit more than anything and it’s a great way to get clear my head after a long day. A half marathon is a great goal for many people wanting to get back into an exercise routine, not to mention an experience to cross off on life's checklist of personal accomplishments. The hardest part is often taking the first step.”

The ARCHIE Foundation's mission is to 'Make the Difference' for every child receiving healthcare in the North of Scotland. In the Highlands, they are currently raising funds to help build a new ARCHIE Highland Children's Unit - a facility that will transform children's healthcare.

“The ARCHIE Foundation is an extremely worthwhile cause and it relies wholly on the support from the local community to continue the fantastic work they do for children and their families across Scotland. Even small contributions can go a long way in helping the charity reach its goals.

“I am extremely grateful to everyone who has shown their support and sponsored me. I have already started thinking about what I could do next in an effort to raise even more money for charity.”

John will also be taking part in a bike and hike covering the West Highland Way and Great Glen later this year, which will see him complete a staggering 172 mile course to raise money for three Highland charities. The challenge includes a 54 mile cycle to Tyndrum, a 42 mile hike to Fort William, before cycling a further 76 miles to the finish line in Inverness. The course is a real test of endurance and the team are challenging themselves to complete it in just three days.