RUGBY coach Chris Laidlaw aims to have completed his seventh charity marathon of the year on Saturday – starting in Hawick and ending in his home town of Jedburgh.

Laidlaw, son of the former Scotland and British & Irish Lions scrum-half Roy, began 2021 with his first marathon on New Year’s Day on a 26-mile course near Edinburgh.

And since then has completed another five.

His plan, dubbed ‘12 in 12’, is to complete a marathon each month this year to raise funds for three charities which mean a lot to him – the Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation; Marie Curie; and Alzheimer’s Scotland.

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“It’s crazy to think I’m halfway through my challenge now,” said Laidlaw.

“I was unable to complete a marathon in June because I was working with the Scotland Women Sevens team as Interim Head Coach, so it feels like it’s been a long time coming. There’s been a few tough ones to get to six, but I also have to remember I’ve still got six to go.

“We’re going to start in Hawick and finish up at Jed-Forest Rugby Club.

“We’re starting at Hawick as it’s nice and high up so we should avoid having to run uphill.

“I’ve got over 20 people so far who have agreed to support me, I’m really delighted about that.

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“Marathon seven is going to be a tough one, it’s going to be really emotional for both me as an individual and for my family as well [as it is in the Borders].

“I think the biggest challenge with this marathon will be keeping my emotions at bay, because if you get emotional at the start of a run it just drains you.

“But knowing I’ll have the support of some of my good friends and my family, it’ll spur me on.”

Laidlaw had set an original fundraising target of £3,000 but the latest total is approaching £12,000.

You can find out more about 12 in 12 and donate to support Laidlaw via his Just Giving page: