RACHEL BIGGAR has completed her inspiring month-long running challenge, raising over £13,000 for farming charity RSABI.

In memory of her father Donald Biggar who passed away earlier this year, Rachel embarked on the impressive challenge, which saw her rack up 100km in just four weeks, in the blistering Greek sun, finishing her final run on what would have been her dad’s birthday, on July 7.

She told the SF that she was overwhelmed by the support she had received during the past month, giving her a boost when motivation levels were running low. She said that it was a bonus that she had a beautiful setting and glorious weather as a backdrop to the challenge: “It was very special to be able to get up and run alongside the sea, watching the sun rising over the mountains in the village and the fishing boats leaving the dock.”

Thankfully, she completed the runs before the current heatwave Greece is now experiencing but said that she was still regularly running daily 5km’s in 34 degrees. Initially, when she signed up for the challenge, her only running experience dated back to the 200m at school, adding that she knew it was quite a jump to suddenly run 100km in a short period of time.

Over the course of the month, Rachel was inundated with good luck messages cheering her on and generous donations from family and friends. “The warm words of support that came with donations have been strengthening on days where I was feeling down and motivated me into action,” said Rachel. “It was the pressure I needed to complete the runs, knowing that I had such a huge amount of support behind me.

“Once I got to the 50km mark it did seem much easier, but my body has never ached so much, and I don’t think I have ever purchased so much deep heat in my life.”

On the final day of her challenge, she managed to convince 10 other people to run the last kilometre with her and she said she completed it in five-and-a-half minutes, two minutes faster than her average pace.

Rachel continued: “That last km was total adrenaline. I knew dad would have wanted to have been there at the finishing line and I was determined to end with a punchy time. As we came down on to the waterfront and I saw the group of people waiting to cheer me on, with balloons and a banner, I was overcome with emotion.”

Rachel has been living in Greece for the past five-and-a-half years and is the chief instructor at a local sailing school.

She is not shy of a challenge, having completed a 55-day sailing trip across the Atlantic less than two years ago, which she said was made possible by the continued support from her dad.

“Dad was so thrilled with what I achieved and when I had my doubts leading up to the trip, he kept saying I had to think about when a chance like this would come round again.

“He was always so supportive of myself and my brothers in all of our pursuits and would always be there with a huge smile and a hug to celebrate any achievement. He would have been at the end of the phone offering support throughout this challenge, and I know he would have been there at the finishing line cheering me on.”

Commenting on why she chose to raise funds for farming charity RSABI, she said: “It is the cause dad would have chosen and he had always been so passionate about supporting them over the years.

“He felt they provided wonderful support for Scottish people working in agriculture and rural communities and that it was a sector not particularly covered by other charities.

“Sadly, when farmers fall into hard times, it is often out with their control and there aren’t many avenues for them to receive back up. Without RSABI these individuals could get stuck in a rut, but RSABI are there at the other end of the phone to help.

She praised last year’s ‘Keep Talking’ campaign, ¬which was launched by the charity to encourage those working within the industry to reach out and connect with those more isolated than usual during the pandemic.

“During harvest, people are working longer hours, often on their own and this was exacerbated during the pandemic as people abided by restrictions. This message of support has never been more important than this past year and RSABI understands the unique needs of the industry and has the knowledge and means of directing support to those who are struggling.”

RSABI chair David Leggat shared his warm felt thanks with Rachel for committing her time and energy to raising funds for the charity. “We’re very touched that Rachel chose RSABI as the recipient of funds raised in memory of her father. She has raised a wonderful sum of money so far, which reflects very highly on Rachel’s incredible efforts and the huge appreciation we all had for Donald Biggar and his many contributions to UK agriculture. Thank you to all who have generously donated so far, and huge thanks to Rachel for taking on this fundraising challenge to raise funds for RSABI.”

Chief Executive of RSABI, Nina Clancy, added: “We can’t thank Rachel enough for her amazing fundraising achievement. Running 100km in a month is challenge enough without having to contend with high humidity and the 30-degree heat of the Greek summer. The fantastic sum raised will help RSABI provide practical, emotional and financial support to so many people in the Scottish agricultural industry.”

If you would like to make a donation to Rachel's fundraising effort, please visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Rachels100km