A personal trainer to the stars has turned a classic Proclaimers hit into a reality by running 500 miles – although he won’t be doing any more.
Stuart Amory, from Aberdeen, finished his epic 511-mile journey from London to Oyne in the north-east yesterday.
The 43-year-old personal trainer, who now lives in London, decided to take on the challenge that he dubbed the “run of gratitude”.
Starting at the end of July, Stuart, who went to school in Huntly, wanted to take on the task for a number of reasons and raise money for mental health charity Mind.
So far, he has collected more than £8,000.
His two children, Sam, eight, and Eva, four, have been supporting him along the way.
Stuart, who has worked with the likes of Emily Blunt, Jake Humphrey and Chris Kamara, is also in a long-distance relationship with his partner Sara Lucas, 43, who lives in Oyne, which is why he decided to finish the race in the village.
The pair were introduced by a mutual friend back in January last year when Stuart was back visiting.
His challenge saw him travel roughly 30 miles a day since July 30 and he told the Evening Express he was delighted to have finished.
Stuart said: “In 2015 I turned 40 and I tested myself in various ways – an ironman triathlon, ran 40 miles on my 40th and also ran 138 miles in five days retracing my childhood.
“I believe I have suffered from various mental health issues for the past four to five years due to relationships, work, illness and financial problems.
“I have seen and worked with many clients and friends who suffer or have suffered from mental health issues far worse than mine and I want to help raise awareness of this so called ‘silent killer’.
“I am running to my girlfriend to show gratitude for what I have in life, like support from friends, family and some major companies.
“Four of my friends have lost their partners due to various illnesses and not many days go by when I don’t think of their loss and feel fortunate of the position I am in.
“Yes, Sara lives over 500 miles away but at least I still have her.”
The former RAF parachute jumping instructor said he was inspired by the hit Proclaimers song I’m Gonna Be.
He added: “I was thinking of different challenges to do and the song came into my head and I wondered where 500 miles would roughly take me to.
“As I am from the area it was great that it is where it ended up.
“With Sara living in Oyne I thought it would be quite nice to be able to run to her.
“I am wearing a tracker so I picked a starting place near from where I live and I’m finishing at the Lil C’s restaurant in the village.”
Along the way he has been supported by friends, family and social media followers, who have helped him with food and shelter.
His challenge also saw him bump into former England Rugby World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson who he got a picture with.
After completing the run, he said it was a challenge, but 18 days was nothing compared with the pain that some people put themselves through every day.
He said: “It was so difficult, it was really tough.
“I honestly thought I would be crawling to the finish line but yesterday I was on a massive high.
“People came out to meet me from my old school days, and my air cadet days.
“Yesterday was just amazing.
“It was the perfect end to the challenge.
“I suffered for 18 days, but some people suffer for 18 years.
“I just want to highlight that it’s a normal thing, and it’s something that a lot of people are going through.”
To donate to the fundraiser, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/therunofgratitude