A Scottish-based adventure duo is embarking on a marathon challenge on Monday in a bid to raise funds for charities providing vital support to families affected by cancer.

Tartaneers Charlie Brett (age 22), and Toby Gray (age 18), plan to run from Torrisdale in the north of Scotland to their home in Edinburgh as part of their 314.4-mile Highlands2Home challenge. The pair will cover 26.2 miles each day, taking in Inverness, Aviemore, and Perth before reaching home on 26 June.

“The challenge is in memory of all our loved ones who have been taken by cancer and for families everywhere whose lives have been impacted by cancer,” explained Charlie, who is currently in his last year at Edinburgh College, having played touch rugby internationally and rugby union to a high standard.

“We’ve discovered a new-found passion to push ourselves beyond the limits for a cause bigger than ourselves.”

This isn’t the first fundraising effort which they have taken on. In June last year, Charlie and Toby completed a demanding 24-hour challenge comprising a 2km row, 3km run, and 10km cycle (360km -223 miles) – every hour on the hour – raising £24,000 for Cancer Research.

“We have a mindset of pushing ourselves and never settling,” said Toby, who is currently in his final year at school studying A Levels. Having played rugby from a young age to playing at 1XV level he recognises that he will need to draw on all the lessons he has learnt from the sport over the years.

“The hard work we’re putting in is nothing compared to those suffering,” added Toby. That’s why we’re proud to have this opportunity to help make a difference”.

Two charities are set to benefit from the duo’s marathon efforts; Make 2nds Count is a patient and family-focused charity dedicated to giving hope to women and men living with secondary cancer.

Based in Edinburgh, the charity aims to raise awareness and fund medical research that will contribute to increasing patients’ quality of life.

Lisa Fleming, founder, Make 2nds Count said: “It’s an amazing challenge The Tartaneers have set themselves from never having run a marathon to 12 in 12 days and we can’t thank them enough for choosing to support the charity and patients with secondary breast cancer with their fundraising.  We’ll be cheering them on all the way and as they cross the finish line in Edinburgh.”

Marie Curie is the other beneficiary; the country’s leading end of life charity providing frontline nursing and hospice care amongst other support services.

Elma Mitchell, Deputy Head of Community Fundraising, Marie Curie, said: “Without a doubt, this challenge is going to be tough, both mentally and physically, and I hope Scottish people rally round and support The Tartaneers.

“In light of the pandemic, charities have felt the pinch, and we’ve has to adapt the way we fundraise. It costs Marie Curie £250,000 a week to operate in Scotland – across our two hospices in Edinburgh and Glasgow and community nursing services throughout the country.

“It’s through selfless fundraisers, such as The Tartaneers, that we can continue providing much needed care and support to terminally ill people and their families.”

The Tartaneers have also launched ‘The Tartaneers Challenge’, a school and club initiative to support fundraising and encourage communities to get active. More information and how to register for the mass participation UK challenge can be found on the website here. An exciting opportunity to encourage everyone in your community to exercise, competing against each other or other schools and clubs.

Supporting the vital work of charities that make a difference across communities is what The Tartaneers stand for.

Tartaneers Charlie Brett (age 22), and Toby Gray (age 18)