Rugby star Hastings takes total raised through Aberdeen Standard Investments race to over £50k

(L-R) Laura Hughes, Scott & Jenny Hastings and Elaine McCann

Former rugby star Scott Hastings got a record number of runners under starter’s orders in Edinburgh this week in a 5K race that brought property professionals from all over the UK together in the Scottish capital.

The charity race – the fourth to be organised by Aberdeen Standard Investments – has raised £20,750 for the Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH) and a total including that reaised by previous runs to more than £50,000.

Hastings and his wife Jenny officially started the race and handed out prizes in a show of support for the charity and the runners.

Scott won 65 caps playing rugby for Scotland and was twice a member of the British Lions, whilst Jenny was a swimmer, runner, biathlete and triathlete in Scottish squads.

Together they work tirelessly for many charities, especially helping to promote mental health awareness, an issue close to their hearts after Jenny was diagnosed with depression.

Scott Hastings said: “Jenny and I are sports daft and have had a great afternoon supporting the 5K and SAMH.  We know how important it is to look after your mental health as much as your physical health. Talking and sharing is one of the first steps you can take when dealing with mental health, but getting outdoors, being active, doing sport and fun runs like this can also make a difference.”

Neil Hanna Photography

In all 400 property sector professionals signed up to take part, with the event’s reputation growing to such an extent that a waiting list was in operation for the first time after all places were snapped up well in advance.

The runners – many wearing fancy dress – gathered at Holyrood Park for a scenic run past some of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks, including the castle, Holyrood Palace, Royal Mile and Scottish Parliament.

Aberdeen Standard Investments colleagues Laura Hughes and Elaine McCann organise the event in their home city, bringing staff from more than 40 different companies together for a race that is full of fun, but with a serious side too having raised more than £53,000 for charities and good causes over the past four years.

Laura said: “This is the fourth running event we’ve organised, and its appeal is growing each year, with property professionals from all over the UK taking part. All 400 places were taken up, giving us a record field of runners.

“They’ve shown they’re up for some fun too, with some taking up the challenge of running the race in fancy dress. There was a serious side, too, in raising funds for SAMH, a charity that does fantastic work and we’re proud to be supporting this cause.”

Fellow race organiser Elaine McCann added: “It’s a challenging route, taking runners around Arthur’s Seat and offering fantastic views over Edinburgh Castle, the River Forth and Holyrood Palace and raising valuable funds for the Scottish Association for Mental Health.”

The race, on Wednesday, September 12, was exclusively for property professionals. First over the finish line was Michael Wright of Watts Group Ltd with a time of 16:23.

First female was Lauren Hand of Umega Lettings in 20:37.

Fastest over 45 was Lorcan Mooney of Aberdeen Standard Investments in 19:43.

First team of four was Aberdeen Standard Investments - James Britton, Lorca Mooney, Cameron Mackay and Gary Sleator.

Ian Beattie, vice-chairman of SAMH, participated in the race and later spoke about the work of the charity which currently operates over 60 services in communities across Scotland providing mental health social care support, homelessness, addictions and employment services. These services together with its national programme work in See Me, respectme, suicide prevention, sport and physical activity; inform policy and campaign work to influence positive social change.