A PERSONAL trainer from Menstrie ran the distance of two marathons in a single day last month, raising almost £1,500 for a charity close to her heart.

Dawn Gibson, who operates GI. Fit at Alloa Trade Centre, set herself a 24-hour running challenge in a bid to help bereaved children who lost a parent in the armed forces.

On Saturday, July 28, she set off from her gym at 10am, running a circular route for just under an hour and taking a brief break.

From then on, it was rinse and repeat another 23 times, on slightly different routes and with a number of supporters including family, friends and clients joining her during the stints.

The former army sergeant, who served as a tank mechanic for 12 years in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, raised around £1,200 for charity Scotty's Little Soldiers on her Virgin Money Giving page and reckons there is another couple hundred in cash donations still to be counted.

Dawn told the Advertiser: "I don't know [what kept me going] to be honest. Different people were running with me every hour – that was good.

"And the charity I was doing it for...you can't not keep going. It's an amazing charity and they deserve every penny they can get."

Her fundraiser follows another effort from last year, when she first put an event on to raise money for the charity.

She reckons it will now turn into an annual happening, hoping to keep it fresh with new, "bigger and better" challenges each year.

Dawn gave her thanks to everyone who took part, helping her to cover more than 55 miles on the day.

And while the money will go to helping those in need, Dawn insists raising awareness for the work of Scotty's Little Soldiers was more important.

The idea for the group came from army widow Nikki Scott following the death of husband Cpl Lee Scott in 2009.

Nowadays, the charity is supporting hundreds of bereaved children who lost a parent while serving.

They offer fun activities like holiday breaks, personal development opportunities through educational grants as well as access to professional counselling.

Founder Nikki said: "What Dawn is doing is astonishing, to run for so long is seriously impressive and we're so thankful that Scotty's Little Soldiers is the charity she has chosen to raise money for."