Earlier this year we reported how a tough team of hardy Bellshill fundraisers raised a fortune for the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.
They slogged their way almost a hundred miles along the West Highland Way then - not content with that - three of the six, joined by a colleague, took on the gruelling Ben Nevis Cycle Challenge and won it.
Dubbed the Bellshill Six, the pals are no strangers to fundraising, or to demanding outdoor exploits, and knew they would eventually be able to hand over a tidy sum to charity.
But this week, says team member David Markey, all six want to say a special thanks to everyone in Bellshill, Motherwell and surrounding areas who chipped in to bring their grand total to a staggering £6,000.
The team also want to offer their sincere thanks to employer Akela Construction, which has given them generous and practical help every step of the way.
They were delighted to hand over the time-honoured giant cheque to a representative of the charity at a chilly but heart-warming little ceremony at Strathclyde Park on Friday.
David Markey said: “The support we have had from local people has been simply superb - all of the money came from the local area.
“It has made all the effort worthwhile, and we’re delighted what we did has ended in a substantial contribution to a very worthwhile cause.”
The six completed the West Highland Way over five days at Easter, then three of the men plus a colleague breezed on to the Ben Nevis charity challenge.
It involves racing up and down Britain’s highest mountain, cycling 15 miles to a loch, rowing three kilometres in kayaks, then cycling 10 miles back to the Nevis Centre.
For David it was his third attempt at this particular jaunt, and he was unsurprisingly “over the moon” that the team, against formidable competition, took the winners’ honours.
The men who took part in the West Highland Way walk (over 96 miles) were David Markey, Paul Jolly, Paul Mockus, Allan Savage, William McConnell (all Bellshill) and Kieran Duggan (East Kilbride).
The Ben Nevis Challenge team were David Markey, Paul Jolly, Kieran Duggan and Ryan Daly (from Falkirk).
The pals’ fundraising exploits started four years ago when David, with Paul Jolly, Paul Mockus and Allan Savage ran the Edinburgh Marathon and raised money for Team Kyle – named after a local lad, and friend’s son, who had been diagnosed with a life limiting condition.
They raised an amazing £8,000, and later followed through with two cracks at the Nevis challenge, last year bringing back £4,000 for the children’s hospital charity.
Now, looking back on another massively successful year, it would be surprising if the team were not already contemplating some new fundraising adventure.
What will it be?
“I’ve had a few ideas, and it might have a water element to it again,” said David, “...but we’ll see”!