A doting dad will bring his marathon fundraising challenge to Montrose this weekend in the hope of passing a new milestone for a mental health charity.
Marius Coste has pledged to run 36 kilometres every week in 2021 to support the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
The 35-year-old is closing in on £3,000 and hopes to break the barrier when he takes on a 15k fancy dress costume run in the Angus town.
Marius, from Aberdeen, endured his own mental health challenges during the pandemic.
Although the cleaning manager continued to work during the coronavirus crisis, he and wife Jessica have faced their own personal struggles after living through three miscarriages.
Their sadness turned to joy with the birth of daughter Daisy in April.
He recently returned to running to help tackle high stress levels.
“The past year has been a very difficult one for everyone,” Marius said.
“I lead a team of more than 40 staff and we all struggled with our mental health in one way or another.
“I have been one of the lucky ones and worked all throughout the past year but the strain on cleaning services has been more accentuated than ever before.”
“The stress levels were quite high all year round and so I started to run for my own mental wellbeing. It was very helpful.
“I have also been doing a two-minute cold shower after every run as well, which also helped a treat as it awakens your senses and gets you in the mood for whatever the day might bring.
“I felt amazing so I decided to lead by example – if it helps me it might be useful to other people also.”
Marius started fundraising for SAMH in January and has clocked up almost 650 miles.
“I heard about the strain on all charities at the minute in relation to getting funds, so why not do it all year round to maximise the support I could raise for them,” he said.
He was involved in a horrific car accident several years ago which involved three breaks in one of his legs and so is proud of his ability to run such extensive distances today.
“No matter the weather, no matter what life might throw at me, I decided to run for myself and everyone’s mental wellbeing.
“Those that have donated have worked hard for the money they sent us.
“I appreciate it and am very thankful.
“We are just short of raising the fabulous amount of £3,000 for SAMH,” said Marius.
“Let’s see if we can reach a new milestone this weekend with the kind support of people in Montrose.”