Left to Right - Shona Mason, Bronwen Currie, Joanna Robertson, Danny Gordon and Phil Owens

Scottish Half Marathon - Edinburgh

On Sunday 24th September the annual Scottish Half Marathon took place in Edinburgh. We were fortunate enough to have runners involved raising funds for Spinal Injuries Scotland.

The competitors, Shona Mason, Bronwen Currie, Joanna Robertson, Phil Owens and Marc Irvine raised an incredible £1437 for the charity, for which we are eternally grateful. We were delighted to also see Danny Gordon in the photos. Back in May Danny and his partner Laura took part in the Edinburgh Marathon raising funds for SIS.


"The Scottish Half Marathon yesterday was incredible, over the moon with the results! 😊 The race organisers were so accommodating to the wheelchair athletes which made the day all the more great!"

 - Joanna Robertson

"It was an excellent day and we were really lucky with the weather - stayed dry and the wind was not much of a bother at all. Once again a really well-organised event, but it has certainly grown since last year."

 - Bronwen Currie

Joanna's trainer, Phil Owens has written this wonderful piece about his experience

Phil at the finish line

I like the saying that life is too short to drink bad coffee, but when it comes to declaring things I love in life, athletics and particularly running features near the top of my list.

Club running on track and cross country have featured since I was in late primary school years and then in my late twenties expanded to include road, trail and hill racing. I say racing, but in reality those races were more participating rather than racing as I always had my mind on the next club or group run in mind and didn't want to miss those through having to rest after a race!

I can honestly say that, right from the outset, I understood and felt how running was both beneficial to both mind and body. Around thirty years or so back I started to assist in Athletics Coaching and that too has become a passion within. It is during coaching at Aberdeen AAC that I met Joanna Robertson, whom many of those reading this will know from  both her previous working at SIS and from her inspirational wheelchair racing that she does since acquiring her spinal injury.

It is through the above mentioned coaching that, whilst working with Joanna, my knowledge of  spinal injuries truly resulted and continues to develop. Early trackside conversations during training sessions with Joanna quickly established that the capability to take on her desire to participate in athletic wheelchair racing certainly existed.

From a coaching perspective, the coach-athlete relationship should always be athlete centred, the coach needs to know what the athletes aims, aspirations and goals are, thereafter the partnership works towards the realisations of same. Sure, there are physical conditions that are a result of the spinal injury that need to be recognised and managed in training and competing (just as in life in general post SI), but with knowledge and understanding that joint management can be put in place.

So, having said all of the above, in response to the question of why did I run the Scottish Half Marathon for SIS? The answer  can be either complex or simple.

The complex answer:  Over the past two years my awareness of how spinal injuries can occur is quite thought provoking. During athletic meetings with Joanna, I've met others who have acquired their SI from accidents during sports pursuits, working on ladders, motoring etc. It is then easy to recall some of my own "near misses" such as coming off a motorbike at speed only to have cuts and grazes, falling from a ladder whilst carrying out some DIY roof maintenance and taking a nasty fall during some hill running both of those latter examples I ended up with cracked ribs. All of which could of course have resulted in a SI but for luck on my side.

The simple answer: If my effort and combined fund raising with Joanna and her cousin Shona gives both increased visibility and funding contribution in support of the fantastic work done by the SIS organisation, be it from the wearing of the T-shirt on training and race day, social media posts or word of mouth, then I'm one happy coach and athlete.

- Phil Owens, Sept 23.