By Alexander Lawrie, Deadline Press and Picture Agency
A SUPER-FIT marathon runner is thrashing his opponents – while pushing his 15 month-old son in his buggy.
Sandy Wallace, 56, and his son JJ, are celebrating this week after beating 20 other competitors in an annual fun run. The North Berwick distance runner has invested in a specially adapted buggy imported from the US, which enables JJ to burst over the line in first position closely followed by his proud dad.
The all-terrain buggy incorporates a lockable swivel front wheel, which enables the user to run or jog effortlessly. An engineer with Edinburgh Council, Mr Wallace has been running marathons for over 25 years, and has competed in the famous London, New York and Boston marathons.
He said: “I’ve been running for years and have done nearly 50 marathons in my time.
“We decided to buy the buggy before JJ was born after I saw it on an internet site. It’s got special suspension and JJ fits snugly into the hammock-style seat.
“JJ absolutely loves going out with us. We try to run about 10 miles on a Saturday morning and the fresh air is great for him, which means he sleeps a lot.
“And although we get some funny looks and comments when we run past, it’s all in good humour.”
The charity fun run won by JJ, and his dad, has been a long time event in the East Lothian town and Sandy admits to really going for it this year. The father-of-four said: “I’m very competitive most of the time, so I didn’t think I’d be in with a chance of winning the race this year after deciding to take JJ with me.
“But I really went for it and blasted around the course in 31 minutes and 30 seconds.”
Wife Claire was the first woman over the line and recorded a time of 38:02, but didn’t have to contend with a buggy and child.
The Nether Abbey Fun Run is organised by local hotel owner Stirling Stewart, a keen distance runner himself. He said: “Sandy has been entering our race for years, but this was the first time he has been pushing a buggy.
“However, I wasn’t surprised to see him win because he is incredibly fit for his age. He got a few strange looks from passers-by, but the other runners had no problem with him using the buggy.”
The Wallace’s are currently in training for next year’s Madrid Marathon, but dad Sandy admits JJ might not get to compete in that particular race.
He said: “Now that JJ is getting bigger, I really feel the difference in his weight and it’s getting more and more difficult each time. Hopefully in a few years time, JJ can run alongside his mum and dad in his first marathon. That would make me very proud.”