A loyal Dons fan is hoping to hit the back of the net for a second time when she takes part in a 10k race.
Secondary school teacher Caitlin Garrett has already scored a major first goal, shedding 7.5 stones in just under a year – and will now take on the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run in August.
Caitlin, 27, joined Slimming World last January, and at the same time signed up to the NHS Couch to 5k running programme.
She said: “I’d have struggled to run the length of myself when I began.
“I’d let my weight get right out of control, but through making simple changes to my diet and developing self-control, I found the pounds fell off — although I do still miss having a Pittodrie pie when I go to home games!”
She started out weighing 18st 13lbs and now tips the scales at just 11st 6lbs.
She explained: “I reached my target one day short of my Slimming World anniversary.”
But Caitlin — who lives in Gracemount, Edinburgh, and teaches modern studies at James Gillespie High School — soon needed a new focus.
She said: “I decided to challenge myself to a 10k and signed up to the Great Aberdeen Run.As it’s my first race, the idea of taking part as part of the AFC Wave seemed like the perfect fit!”
Along with other Dons supporters running both the 10k and Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Half on 25 August, Caitlin will start in a special dedicated red wave, sporting the club logo on her run number and sent on her way by some of the club’s legendary figures.
She said: “I’ve also signed up for the Scottish Half Marathon in September so the 10k is the ideal stepping stone for that. I’m aiming to complete the Aberdeen run in under an hour, but as it’s my first 10k, I’m mainly just looking forward to enjoying the occasion.”
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Caitlin is running both races in memory of a school friend and her brother who died from undiagnosed heart conditions, with cash going to CRY — Cardiac Risk in the Young.
She was born in Edinburgh but grew up as an Aberdeen fan and one of her earliest memories is of the 2000 Scottish Cup Final against Rangers.
Caitlin said: “I went with my grandad and brother. That was when Jim Leighton was injured three minutes into the game and Robbie Winters had to go in goal. We lost 4-0.”
She has happier memories of trips to see the Dons take on Atletico Madrid in 2007 and last year’s UEFA clash against Burnley and now manages to get to most away games with her father.
“I had a season ticket when I was at uni in Dundee, but since I began working in Edinburgh, I can’t get to Pittodrie as often as I’d like,” she said.
As well as running 5k every morning, Caitlin does 30 minutes of weight training at the University of Edinburgh gym five days a week.
She said: “I found the extra pounds fell off once I’d signed up to Slimming World and I’ve managed to maintain my weight since January.
“Running and having exercise goals have been key factors in helping me do that.”
The Great Aberdeen Run event includes a family run open to everyone over the age of three and the 10k or half marathon.
There will be bands playing at the event, and members of the public can cheer on participants along the route.
More information about the event, which takes place on August 25, can be found at www.greatrun.org
To donate to Caitlin’s fundraiser go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/caitlin-garrett1