Hugh Campbel is the 2010 winner of the Gerald Cooper Memorial Cup, presented by Highland Solicitors Property Centre (HSPC) to the first resident from the Highlands across the line in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon.
Competing in his first marathon, Hugh (25) from Portree, Isle of Skye, set a time of 2 hours 30 minutes and 12 seconds, securing sixth place overall in addition to being first Highland finisher.
Speaking at the finish, Hugh Campbell commented:
“This was, indeed, my first marathon. My transition to running came through a background in football. After coming back from university, having gained a few pounds and lost fitness, I decided to start running to get fit enough to compete for a place in the local football team.
“I started running two miles, five times a week and started eating a healthy diet. After a winter of training I got my fitness up to a level where I became a player in the football team. We went on to do a clean sweep of the domestic honours of the local football league and cups in 2008.
“In 2009 I continued my running, still with the objective of raising fitness for football. It was not until this year that I ran my first-ever competitive running race. It was a 10k. It was then I realised I may have a talent for running and I started to focus on that more so than the football.”
The Gerald Cooper Memorial Cup commemorates Gerald Cooper, HSPC’s former chairman who died in 2008. In addition to holding the trophy for the year, the winner receives an engraved quaich and £1,000 to present to the charity of their choice.
Dawn Cooper presented the award in memory of her late husband:
“The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running is a huge event and it is wonderful to be part of something so special. This year I joined in with the runners taking part in the 5K Fun Run along with some girls from my guide unit.
“For the first local runner home and winner of the HSPC cup, Hugh Campbell, it was his first marathon event. What an achievement!
“I am delighted Hugh is donating the prize money to a small local charity on Skye doing good work providing defibrilators to rural communities. This is an excellent, and indeed life-saving, cause.”
Hugh is donating his prize money to Isle of Skye charity ‘Lucky2BHere’, which aims to raise funds to place defibrillators in rural areas and train people to use them.
Ross Cowie from the charity Lucky2bhere commented:
“We are absolutely delighted with the extra funds and wish to thank Hugh and HSPC for the donation. Any local community interested in our work can log onto lucky2bhere.ning.com.”