An Angus guide dog training school chief is enjoying success as an ultra-marathon runner.
Charlotte Finch, 42, from Carnoustie, was the first female home and fourth overall in the recent Glasgow-Edinburgh 55-mile race with a time of seven hours 42 minutes – despite not being fully fit.
The Dundee Road Runners athlete is now hoping to compete in a few more ultras this year including the Great Glen 75-mile race and the 36.5-mile Speyside Way race.
She said: “I wasn’t fully sure if I would be able to compete as I am also training for Stirling Marathon at the end of May and I didn’t know which race to prioritise.
“Also, I wasn’t as fit as I could have been and I wasn’t sure I’d done enough mileage training to get through the race.
“Eventually I decided to do it, and…I was first female home and fourth overall.
“I was very happy with the result not least because it was totally unexpected.”
Originally from Wigan, Charlotte got into running about 12 years ago in a bid to get fit again after she hit 30 having given up sport due to work commitments.
She said: “I began with shorter distances and then entered a marathon in Spain.
“I did pretty well coming fifth and my coach thought I had an aptitude for the longer distances.
“It was then I started thinking about ultra-distance racing.”
Charlotte, who is the head of the Guide Dogs Training School in Forfar, entered her first ultra-distance event in 2009.
She finished a 35-mile road race in the Midlands in second place with a time of four hours and 29 minutes.
Charlotte’s talent was spotted by the England Endurance Team but her aspirations suffered a setback when she was injured in her first race.
In 2015 she broke the women’s record to win the Keswick-Barrow ‘ultra’ run and place an impressive eighth overall from a field of almost 2,000.
She moved to Scotland later that year to live with her partner and joined Dundee Road Runners.
“There are quite a few runners on the staff at Guide Dogs in Forfar and we do train together fairly regularly,” she said.
“As a staff team, the guide dogs team are very fit, because they are always out and about working with their dogs.”