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Newbie Runner trains for Marathon to raise £10k for Hospiscare and Derriford ICU

After unexpectedly losing his sister to an accident in 2003 then his brother from cancer in 2010, Iain MacDougall has decided to raise £10,000 for the organisations that looked after his siblings in their final days.

Iain MacDougall and his siblingsIain MacDougall and his siblings

In order to get fit and raise money, Iain chose this year to start running. But this isn’t just your average fitness regime. Iain decided that he wanted to quite literally go that extra mile and spend two years working his way up to running a full marathon. Along the way he will be running 5k and 10k races and a half marathon. 

The £10,000 that Iain hopes to raise over the next 2 years will be shared between Derriford ICU and Hospiscare. 

Hospiscare is a local Devon charity which provides end of life care for people who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses. The charity is based at Hospiscare’s Searle House in Exeter, but offers support across Exeter, Mid and East Devon in the form of nursing teams, day services and a twelve bed inpatient unit.  

Iain’s brother, Ricky Smith, came into Searle House three times after his diagnosis, providing him with respite, practical support and symptom control, and it was at Searle House that Ricky passed away. 

Iain said, ‘That night, when they knew it was nearly time a Hospiscare nurse, Neil, called us and we came straight away. When we got there, Neil was there watching on the camera for us to arrive so the doors were open before we’d even reached them.’

After his brother’s death, Iain joined the ambulance service. The loss of both his brother and his sister seven years previously meant that Iain really saw the value of the ambulance service, and he realised that that was an area where he could really make a difference. 

A year later, Iain was on duty and brought someone to the hospice in his ambulance. The person was given the bed that Ricky had used, and Iain was touched by the reaction of the nurses. 

‘Even after all that time, they still recognised me. They were really sensitive to the fact that the bed this patient was going into was one that Ricky had used, and checked with me that I was ok with it all. That really stuck with me, because I was there in an official capacity and they didn’t need to do that. It was really something.’ 

Ricky SmithRicky Smith

The training for Iain’s mammoth challenge is going pretty smoothly so far, and he even manages to get his daughters (aged 12 and 14) to come running with him sometimes. But in order to reach his fundraising target, Iain knows he needs to get the word out about his challenge. 

‘I wanted something to capture people’s attention because these organisations really deserve all the money they can get. I’ve never done anything like this before but I really want to be able to give something back.’ 

If you’d like to find out more about Iain’s challenge and sponsor him, visit and track his progress on his blog

Or if you’re feeling inspired and you’d like to set yourself a challenge, why not give Hospiscare’s fundraising team a call on 01392 688020 or check out our upcoming events