A WEE COUNTY man is well on his way to completing a series of gruelling running challenges by the end of the year in memory of his late dad.

Alloa's Chris Barnes set himself the task of taking on five races throughout 2019, and raising a total of £500 for Alzheimer Scotland in the process.

The father-of-four lost his dad William after a battle with Alzheimer's disease in 2017. He hopes that by completing the runs he can provide much needed financial support towards the charity's work.

Speaking about the impact the condition had on his parent, Chris said: "Dad was diagnosed in 2015 after some changes in his behaviour and habits.

"He was fairly quickly appraised and started on medication.

"Sadly though, he deteriorated quite rapidly and despite attempts to maintain a normalised home life he spent the last year of his life in hospital.

"[The condition] took away everything from him: it took his memories, it took his dignity, and in the end it took away his life."

So far, Chris has completed the Stirling Castle 7.4km run, and the Alloa and Stirling Half Marathons for his fundraiser.

And later this month, he'll compete in the Scottish Half Marathon, before finishing 2019 off with the Supernova 5k run in November – where he'll be joined by his 11-year-old son, Lachlan.

Incredibly, Chris, who works at the Scottish Police College in Kincardine, only started his running exploits last year after deciding to try the NHS' Couch to 5k challenge.

He said: "When I first thought about the Couch to 5k idea, I did it from a place of wanting to improve my own mental health and fitness.

"Never did I think that come the summer of the following year I'd have five half marathons under my belt and well over 2000 miles of training runs.

"The idea behind [this year's] challenge was simple: do five races of varying lengths from 5k to half marathon during 2019 and raise much needed funding for Alzheimer Scotland along the way.

"I'm really looking forward to completing the final two races, [then] sitting down on December 31 and writing my year review with a real sense of achievement."

To keep up to date with Chris' progress, or to donate towards his fundraiser, visit tinyurl.com/y2ja5hfy