Academic over the finish line in city street charity challenge

A University of Aberdeen academic has crossed the 'finish line' in his charity attempt to run all 2,634 streets in Aberdeen city.

Dr David Cornwell, a lecturer in geophysics, set himself the challenge of covering over 1,200 miles during the first lockdown in March and aimed to complete it by the end of 2020.

He succeeded in hitting his end of year deadline but it required him to run his first ever marathon distance to meet the target.

Dr Cornwell said: “I was regularly teased by family and friends that I did not know my way around the city, despite living here for seven years.

“The lockdown in March provided an opportunity to explore every possible corner whilst keeping myself mentally and physically healthy.

“I set myself a deadline to complete it by the end of 2020 to keep myself motivated but getting to the final streets proved challenging.

“By December 30 I had 11 streets left in the far-flung corners of Aberdeen so decided to attempt to visit them all in one go which meant covering my first ever marathon distance, running nearly 29 miles in 4 ½ hrs.

“The icy conditions made it tricky but I managed to finish at ARI as a dedication to the NHS and other frontline workers.”

Dr Cornwell, who is a Type 1 diabetic and in the vulnerable coronavirus category, has now raised £1,200 for the Miscarriage Association, which runs a range of support services and raises awareness of the issues surrounding pregnancy loss.

He added: “It is a charity that benefits so many people from every walk of life, as this is an under-publicised fact of life that indiscriminately affects so many families.”

Dr Cornwell is now thinking up new ways to keep himself motivated during current restrictions and is considering running to all of Aberdeen’s March Stones.