The inspiring story of a Perthshire doctor who marked his retirement by raising more than £10,000 tackling an 87-mile run across the Scottish Highlands has been made in to a new film.
Former GP Alan Matthews took on the four-day fitness challenge from Inverness to Skye with his sons Gregor, 32, and Cameron, 30, in the summer of 2018 for Cancer Research UK and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.
The Dunning doctor completed the challenge after a 36-year career as a GP, which included 17 years working at Crieff Medical Centre and 14 years at St Margaret’s Health Centre in Auchterarder.
His journey, which raised £10,392, was captured in “Run Across Scotland,” a film made by Rich Watson of Flux Video.
The film highlights the highs and lows of the challenge, which started at the Kessock Bridge near Inverness and took on the iconic Great Glen Way by Loch Ness and remote Glen Affric, before heading past Eilean Donan Castle and finishing over the Skye Bridge.
The film is being premiered at the Peebles Outdoor Film Festival on Friday.
Dr Matthews will attend with friends and family, including his wife Rhona, who drove the support vehicle during the challenge. The film will also be shown at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival in March.
The 59-year-old said: “I’m looking forward to seeing the film on the big screen for the first time as it’s packed full of special memories.
“We’re so lucky to live in Scotland and I hope this film will inspire others to make the most of the outdoors. After 36 years as a doctor I’d seen the many real challenges faced by patients and families affected by cancer and mental health illness.
“The facts are striking. One in two born after 1960 in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime and one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem.
“The Run Across Scotland challenge was only for four days but many people with cancer or mental illness face challenges every day of their lives. We wanted to acknowledge that and do something that could help.”
Last year, Cancer Research UK spent £38 million in Scotland on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research, including a wide range of research in Dundee.
Lisa Adams,the charity’s spokeswoman in Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Alan, Gregor and Cameron completed such a great challenge to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.
“Cancer Research UK has made enormous progress in the fight against cancer, however we have only been able to do this thanks to the dedication and commitment of our volunteers and supporters without whom we would not be able to fund our research.”