Nine-year-old North-east schoolgirl completes 10th Race for Life

A North-east youngster has taken part in 10 annual Race For Life runs … and she’s only nine years old!

Katie Burness, from Inverbervie, was just four months old when she first took part in the event with mum Caroll, 39.

Bervie Primary pupil Katie and Caroll take part in the 5k race in Aberdeen every year in memory of Katie’s grandparents Phyllis and Bryan Burness, who died three months apart from cancer when her dad Craig was only 19.

Caroll said: “It started when I took her round when she was four months old. My cousin’s daughter was three years old, and I thought if she can take part Katie can too. It was never intended to carry on for 10 races!


“The second year she was carried, and the third year she was carried as well, although she was starting to get a bit heavy. After that, she walked.

“She wants to do it every year now. It’s her choice. I’m only there because she can’t do it herself.”

The race quickly became a family tradition between the pair.

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Caroll said: “My mum did it with her six years ago. I’d just had my third child the day before so I wasn’t able to go.

“My mum lives in England but she came up to do it with her, which was nice because she doesn’t get to see her often.

“That’s the only one I’ve not taken part in, I’ll go with her for as long as I can.

“The boys don’t do it, they said it’s Katie’s thing.

“We do it in memory of her grandparents. She never met them, but how proud they would be of her.

“It’s her charity of choice now, it’s just stuck with her from day one, just knowing that she’s doing it for Nanny and Grandad.”

Over the years, Katie has raised £2,000 through her races.


She has even taken part in other fundraising events and had a sponsored hair cut for the Little Princess Trust, which helps to make wigs for children who have lost their hair through cancer treatment or other illnesses, choosing to donate the proceeds to Cancer Research.

Caroll said: “She knows it’s a lot of money, but I don’t think she realises just how much it is.

“We’d been speaking about it. I have alopecia, so I do have wigs but I don’t always wear them.

“She had decided that she grew her hair long so it was all pretty for our wedding, so she wanted to cut her hair.

“They always speak about things like that at school now, and they do touch on cancer research, but it was always going to be for that charity.”

She added: “I asked her if that was her last one and she said no!

“If I’m not able to go she’ll have to take someone else.”