HSD pupil ends epic fundraising month with marathon run

A High School of Dundee pupil has gone just a little bit more than the extra mile for an epic fundraising challenge.

Malachy Keough runs marathon

Malachy Keough ran, walked and cycled an amazing 600 miles in the space of just 1 month as part of Dundee High Rugby’s Discovery Challenge.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the F6 pupil had pushed his total beyond the distance required to travel from Dundee to England and back by completing a marathon – without any formal training!  

Taking place between February 8th and March 10th, the Discovery Challenge saw the club’s membership attempt to collectively cover 10,123.37 miles – the distance covered by Captain Scott’s famous boat on its journey to Antartica – through sponsored exercise. 

To complete the challenge, members initially targeted covering roughly 200 miles each. But, with no rugby to play because of the pandemic, Malachy found himself seizing the chance to embrace a different form of physical activity. 

Malachy, who is the School’s 1st XV captain, and also helps to coach the Junior Years team, said, “I’d never done anything seriously just to keep fit for rugby. Since there has been no rugby I thought it was a perfect chance to do something different and push myself and I’m glad I did. 

“I managed just over 600 miles over the month, with just over 100 miles by bike and almost 500 miles by running and walking.” 

Speaking about his marathon run, he said, “I didn’t have any proper training for the marathon, I just went for it to see if it was possible.  

“Earlier in the challenge I managed a hilly 18 mile run. That went well so that really inspired me to try it and for the last day of the challenge I wanted to push myself.”  

Even budding endurance athletes appreciate support though, so Malachy was delighted to have the company of several school friends as he travelled a 26.2 mile route from Broughty Ferry to the North Inch in Perth.  

Archie Rawson cycled the entire way with Malachy, while Angus Neville, George Youssef, Finlay Acford, Hamish Findlay, Innes and Iain Chalmers, and former pupils Callum Elliot and Callum Findlay, also ran legs with him. 

“The support was unreal; I had lots of different people at different times,” said Malachy. “I couldn’t thank them enough. Without them I don’t think I could have completed it, it just made it so much easier to have a chat and a laugh along the way. 

“When I finished there was almost a sigh of relief. There were parts where I really struggled, but all I could think about was the big takeaway I was going to have after! It felt amazing though to beat my target of 4 hours and run it in 3hrs53mins.” 

Chris Allan, APT Guidance (Lindores), said, “Malachy's dedication and commitment to the challenges epitomises the way he has also dispatched his duties in school as Lindores house captain and 1st XV rugby captain; he sets an excellent example to younger years to follow. 

“He has been a great help in the PE department this year, assisting with younger years classes and coaching Junior Years rugby teams.” 

The money raised through the Discovery Challenge will support rugby at all levels across the participating elements of Dundee High Rugby, and of all the funds raised, 20% will be passed over to Togs for Tots. Togs for Tots is a local charity which provides clothing and equipment for disadvantaged kids, something that has been very much in demand in the last twelve months due to the pandemic. 

As a result of his efforts, Malachy has raised £239 and in total, the Challenge has so far raised over £16k.  

You can find out more at: https://www.dundeehighrugby.club/discovery-challenge-2021/