Largs Press Officer swaps yellow wellies for trainers in autumn run challenge

Lifeboats News Release

Claire McRae has been pounding the pavements taking part in multiple running events to raise funds and awareness for the RNLI.

Claire completing the London Marathon


Claire completing the London Marathon

Claire, a Computing Science lecturer at New College Lanarkshire, recently joined the volunteer lifeboat crew at Largs, however her connection to the charity goes back several years.

She has been fundraising for the RNLI for the past nine years, following her father being involved in a scuba diving accident off the coast of the Isle of Cumbrae. An experienced diver, with the correct equipment and planning, was involved an accident which resulted in him suffering from the bends. The quick actions of the RNLI volunteers and the Coastguard involved that day saved his life.

Earlier this year Claire took part in the virtual Kiltwalk and decided to continue her fundraising by taking part in an autumn running challenge. She decided to run a total of three Half Marathons and four Marathons, including three Marathons in just two weeks.

Starting in September, Claire ran the Great North Run in Newcastle, then the following week she ran the virtual Boston Half Marathon around her hometown of Saltcoats, North Ayrshire.

It was then off to Germany to take part in the Berlin Marathon. The following weekend Claire travelled to London where she was representing the RNLI in the London Marathon at the start of October, followed by the virtual Boston Marathon running the 26.2 miles in the towns and villages around her parents’ home in Bishopton, Renfrewshire.

After a short break to recover, she is now getting ready to run the virtual Edinburgh Half Marathon and the virtual NYC Marathon in the next couple of weeks to complete her epic challenge.

Claire said: “I have previously completed marathon events for the RNLI. I took part in the Edinburgh Marathon a few years ago and last year, during Lockdown, I took part in the Virtual London Marathon. Running three Marathons in two weeks is pretty crazy - even for me!

“I have been fundraising for the RNLI for the past nine years and have raised several thousand pounds. The work done by the RNLI is so important. No one ever expects to be in a situation where they need help at sea, but if they do they just expect the big orange boat to be there for them and this is my way of helping the RNLI continue saving lives at sea.

“My family and friends have been so supportive of my running. I have been spending my evenings and weekends out running regardless of the weather, on top of my day job and my volunteer Press Officer role at Largs lifeboat. It has been hard work but I have enjoyed it!”

Speaking about the events, Claire added: “The Great North Run was the first event I had taken part in since Lockdown. It was amazing to be running with other people again! Berlin was incredible and it really felt like the whole city was out to cheer us on. It was always a dream to run the London Marathon for the RNLI so that day was literally a dream come true. The support was phenomenal - it was such a great experience.

“I will be running the virtual Edinburgh Half Marathon this weekend and then I will be completing the virtual NYC Marathon on the 7th of November. I am really looking forward to running the virtual NYC Marathon as I have planned this route to finish at the lifeboat station in Largs. Crew members, family and friends have arranged a virtual finish line for me and will be cheering me on as I run along the promenade towards the 26.2 mile finish line.”

Claire has already signed up for running events in 2022 and will continue raising funds and awareness for the RNLI, as well as wearing her yellow wellies when she is down at Largs lifeboat station.

Claire is hoping to be running along the promenade in Largs at 3pm on Sunday the 7th of November and would love if people could cheer her along the way. To donate to Claire’s fundraising efforts for this epic challenge her sponsorship page is:

RNLI media contacts

Claire McRae, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07738681546,

Brian Rankin, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07810862468,

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07920 365929,

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07826 900639,

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Claire completing the the Great North Run.


Claire completing the the Great North Run.
Claire on completion of the Berlin Marathon


Claire on completion of the Berlin Marathon

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.