Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Perthshire doctor marking retirement with life-saving coast-to-coast running challenge

Alan Matthew with sons Cameron and Gregor.
Alan Matthew with sons Cameron and Gregor.

A Perthshire doctor will celebrate his retirement with a life-saving 80-mile run across rural Scotland.

Alan Matthews, who was a GP at Crieff Medical Centre for nearly 20 years, will team up with sons Gregor and Cameron for a gruelling coast-to-coast challenge.

Dr Matthews, who also spent 14 years at St Margaret’s Health Centre in Auchterarder, said they plan to run between Kessock Bridge, near Inverness, and Skye Bridge on the west coast in just four days.

The exhausting expedition, which will take in the Great Glen Way and the remote Glen Affric, will raise money for Cancer Research UK and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.

The 58-year-old, who retired in June, is an experienced runner, having completed the Edinburgh Marathon in an impressive two hours and 54 minutes. But his Retirement Run Across Scotland, which begins on August 19, will be the longest distance he has undertaken.

Wife Rhona, 58, will also join the adventure, providing crucial backup and support.

Dr Matthews, from Dunning, said: “Over the years, I’ve seen  the many real challenges faced by patients and families affected by cancer and mental health illnesses.

“After 36 years as a doctor, it’s time to hang up the stethoscope and take things easy. I’m fortunate to be in good health and I really enjoy the outdoors.”

He said Gregor, 30, and Cameron, 28, immediately accepted the challenge.

“All three of us have run marathons in under three hours in the past, although for me it was 20 years ago,” he said. “I suspect for me the challenge will be to try to keep up with my boys and ahead of the midges.”

Dr Matthews said he was motivated by alarming health figures.

“The facts are striking,” he said. “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 Retirement Run Across Scotland challenge will only be for four days, but for some of those with cancer or mental illness, it can be for a lifetime. There will be some tough moments along the away, but it’s not meant to be easy.”

Training so far has included a Boxing Day half marathon and the Glen Affric Duathlon in May.

The father and sons team hope to make £5,000. A website – – has been set up to accept donations and sponsorship.

Lisa Adams, spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK in Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Alan, Gregor and Cameron have decided to attempt such a great challenge to raise vital funds.”

Dundee is home to ground-breaking and world renowned cancer studies, focusing on bowel, breast and skin cancers.

Already a subscriber? Sign in