West Highland Way in a day clocks up £1,300 for SCIAF
5 July 2023
Stewarton teacher Steven Charters completed ‘the challenge of his life’ by cycling the West Highland Way in one go for his favourite charity SCIAF.
The 96-mile route took him a grueling 17 hours, but he made it to Fort William in the dark – and in one piece. Steven, a Biology teacher at St Matthew’s Academy in Saltcoats, set out at 6am from Milngavie and was greeted by his cheering family at 11pm.
“Never again! It was without doubt the hardest challenge I have ever done. I think I overestimated my fitness and underestimated how hard the course was to do on a bike.
“The wind and rain didn’t help; it felt like it rained the entire day and that added to the challenge.
“But the amazing support I’ve received and the faith people put in me and SCIAF carried me through somehow. Knowing that so many people were behind me made me go on. It’s been family, friends, colleagues, pupils but also complete strangers too and that’s what made me slog on, hill by hill."
Steven was greeted by his pregnant wife Joanne, their two sons Robbie and Niall as well as his own dad at the finishing line.
“It was really emotional; I had no idea they were coming along. Dad had supported me along the route and we met up at various checkpoints to eat bananas, drink Lucozade and fix punctures. Even he didn’t know Joanne and the boys were coming along.
“Another highlight was at Tyndrum, where friends surprised me by turning up to cheer me on – everyone has been so lovely.”
So far Steven has raised £1,300 for SCIAF with his epic adventure.
“I had hoped to raise £960, which is a tenner for every one of the 96 miles, but we’ve smashed that. I am so delighted to be able to have raised that amount for SCIAF. I’ve been aware of SCIAF’s work for many years, and St Matthew’s pupils do a lot of fundraising for them. SCIAF does great work around the world, and they support the same values as I do, looking out for everyone in the community.
“Thank you so much to everyone who got behind me. Every pound raised will bring us one step closer to transforming lives and creating a brighter future for those who need to most.”