Generations apart but running side by side

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For most, Boxing Day is a chance to put your feet up — but not so for southsider George Clarkson and his granddaughter Christina.

There may be more than 60 years between the two of them — but that didn’t stop the pair from tackling the Pollok Park 5k run together in aid of a charity close to their hearts, and in memory of a much-loved family member.

The duo handed over a £700 sponsorship cheque for Kidney Research in honour of 12-year-old Christina’s grandmother Anne Clarkson, who passed away last year after four years of dialysis treatment and complications caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

George (78), married to Anne for 54 years, told The Extra: “Coming through these doors was something we did a few times a week for years, and everything was controlled by our Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday visits.

“But we’re both committed Christians and that kept her going — Anne’s faith was strong and the support we received at Cathcart Baptist Church, where we’ve been members for 40 years or more, has been fantastic.

“I’d like to thank the dialysis units we’ve visited over the years too, and a rheumatoid arthritis specialist from Gartnavel hospital, John Hunter, who followed Anne’s case throughout her treatment — as well as everyone who contributed at short notice to our £700 total.”

A talented musician, Anne was involved in the church choir, and was well known in the Cathcart congregation.

George — who has tackled five marathons in his lifetime — added: “I just wanted to do something. The run was therapeutic to me, and to Christina after losing her gran.

“Of course, she ran with me for about 100 yards and then disappeared into the distance, and I finished about 10 minutes later.

“It was a strange day — one of those ones where you feel like you’ve never run before. Maybe it was the occasion and my emotions caught up with me. But I made it to the finish line.”

George has more feats in mind for Kidney Research, and will be working his way up to a half marathon run in Stockholm this September.

So too does Williamwood High pupil Christina, who trained by running around the school’s gym hall in her spare time, and hopes to follow in Grandpa’s fundraising footsteps.

Christina said: “It was my Grandpa’s idea to do the run, and we both thought it would be a nice tribute to my Gran to pass the money on to Kidney Research.

“Afterwards I went home and just needed a lie down — it definitely worked off Christmas dinner!”

The pair are pictured at the new Victoria Infirmary renal unit with Cathcart Baptist Church minister Derrick Watson, sister nurse Susan Finnigan and Liz McGuinness of Kidney Research UK, who thanked the pair for the generous donation.