When Katie Charters woke up on Sunday morning and put on her running gear, it wasn’t to go on a gentle jog. There was one man in her life that she wanted to do proud – her late brother Jamie, who tragically died earlier this year. After running 32 miles to honour each year of her brother’s life and raising £14,000 for mental health charity SAMH, the Innerleithen sister spoke to our reporter Hilary Scott this week, about the exhausting and emotional day.

“I’ve never been called an inspiration in my entire life. I’m not sure I am, maybe just a bit daft,” says a modest Katie.

The words of a remarkable woman who welcomed a new man into her life after giving birth to son Callan in January, and then said a painful goodbye to the other important man in her life – her little brother Jamie, who passed away in July.

“Callan has been a real life saver for us all this year, especially my mum and dad,” she said.

And this family’s little saviour was there on Sunday, along with Katie’s proud family and friends, ready to wave her off on the most gruelling challenge of her life.

However, I am reminded of our conversation last week, when she told me: “This run is gonna hurt, but I know as soon as I get to the end and stop, it’s over, the pain stops. For people with mental health conditions that’s not the case. The battle can be forever and it’s about helping other’s through it. That’s what will keep me going on the day.”

And keep her going it did. Up with the lark, Katie set off with her friend, ultra marathon runner Isobel Knox at 8am.

“I was feeling nervous beforehand and just wanted to get going,” she said. “There was a crowd at the start which was a lovely surprise.”

Like a scene from the films Rocky and Forrest Gump, Katie picked up some running pals along the way.

She explained: “Izzy was with me the whole way and I had a couple girls for the first part running, then picked up others who came with me from Peebles up and over Glentress all the way home which was amazing.

“Izzy’s hubby Stevie met us at the mast and really helped too as that’s when the struggle set in. Up to 17 miles it was all good we were making good time too.

“The last climb from 20-25 miles my legs were hurting. That was to be expected, I just needed to get to that mast, and it was all downhill from there.”

Rarely has going downhill been expressed in a positive way, and as Katie discovered – it wasn’t.

“Unfortunately that’s when the sickness feeling kicked in. Apparently this happens in ultra marathons. I ran for seven miles of feeling like at any moment I would be sick.”

The Innerleithen hairdresser, who owns Number Six Hair Design, says she’s normally a very chatty person, but admitted: “I didn’t talk for the last ten miles so wasn’t the best company, they have never known me to be so quiet! I couldn’t talk even if I’d wanted to, I’d have been sick. I just wanted it to be over, I was so close to the finish.”

Describing it as an “emotional” day, Katie managed to keep the sickness at bay, but couldn’t hold back the tears as she got to the end. The sound of the bagpipes were calling Katie home.

“I managed to keep a lid on it until the final street when my friend’s partner, Graham Connor, started playing the pipes. I had no clue they had planned it and I think that got everyone going, so then I couldn’t breathe for a couple hundred metres.

“I sorted myself out, turned the corner to my street and there was a crowd and banners – simply amazing. The sickness was forgotten about and when I stopped running, it stopped. Pain over.”

Katie and Isobel completed the challenge in seven hours and 30 minutes and ended up running just over 32 miles.

Her body slowly recovering, Katie says she can feel every muscle aching, adding that she’s been lucky to receive free sports massages from James Docherty throughout her training.

She added: “The support was unreal. The amount of people who made the effort to come out in the rain and cheer us on helped so much. Someone even said ‘it’s brought our wee town together’. I can’t thank everyone enough for their kind words.”

As she pounded the hills of Peeblesshire mile after mile, there was one person on Katie’s mind, her brother Jamie, and she even said a little prayer to him.

“He was definitely in my thoughts. Me and Izzy even had a word with him asking if he could possibly stop the rain as we were frozen stiff at the top of Gypsy Glen, and the weather was actually better the second half.”

Jamie’s legacy lives on through his sister Katie, who is shining a light on the darkness of depression and mental illness.

Like everyone in the community, after hearing her story, I tell Katie she is an inspiration, because she truly is.

And although she might humbly disagree, the young woman from ‘Number Six’ has moved up to number one in the eyes of her family, friends, and the townsfolk of Innerleithen.