John puts Children 1st

Scotland is being asked to give a big ‘welcome home’ to an ex-pat as he completes a 560-mile run between Germany and Glasgow to raise money for Children 1st.

John McGurk (53) will complete his epic fundraising feat in Glasgow Green at around 4pm on Monday, June 6, just a stone’s throw from where he was born. And he hopes local people will dig out their trainers and run the last leg with him to send a message to children and young people that they matter.

He said: “I survived a traumatic childhood and chose Children 1st because they work with abused children and those whose lives are blighted by poverty. The work they do is all about helping children recover from trauma, or helping families who need support. That’s what needs addressed, and what I want to change.

“When I read that one in three children in Glasgow is living in poverty that just blew me away. I wanted to do something to raise awareness as well as money, so I planned this run.”

John Running Team

Children 1st Chief Executive Alison Todd and Bailie Margot Clark from Glasgow City Council will welcome John and his team over the line. Meanwhile, staff from Arnold Clark and West Brewery have pledged to run with John, alongside local children. Now the ex-army man, who always runs in his kilt, wants more people, businesses and those with a military connection to join in.

“I may live in Germany but I’m still a true and proud Scotsman!” he said, “And I know that the people of Glasgow will get involved and give children the help they need and deserve.”

Alison Todd said: “I hope that people will get behind John as he makes his way through Scotland and completes his run in Glasgow. By doing so you’ll help children who, like John, have had their lives impacted by poverty and abuse.”    

John, once a squaddie with the King’s Own Scottish Borderer’s regiment, set up a charitable association in Germany and has raised almost €1million for children’s organisations across the globe.

His five-day feat will see him cover four countries and run through Dumfries and Galloway, the Borders, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, Stirling, Lanarkshire and Glasgow.

Follow John's run

John's itinerary

Saturday, June 4

  • Newcastle - Gretna Green
  • Gretna Green - Lockerbie (lay a wreath at the Pan-Am memorial)
  • Lockerbie - Dumfries
  • Dumfries - Kelso

Sunday, June 5

  • Kelso - Chirnside
  • Chirnside - Gullane
  • Gullane - (via Edinburgh, Alloa, Dunblane) Kinbuck

Monday, June 6

  • Kinbuck - (via Stirling, Bannockburn, Cumbernauld) Blantyre
  • Blantyre - Emirates Arena, Glasgow
  • Emirates Arena - Glasgow Green finish