A DUNFERMLINE granny inspired eight Australians to run more than 800 miles from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.

They were led by grandson and fitness trainer Jamie Milne, who pledged to take on an extreme running challenge each year in her memory.

Mary, who lived in Dunfermline, died in the late 1990s after suffering from Alzheimer’s for many years and is the inspiration of the Many Miles for Mary campaign.

Jamie and his mates from Down Under aimed to complete the challenge, from England’s most south-westerly point to the northern tip of Scotland, in 12 days.

They left on July 22 and finished the 874 miles slog on Thursday August 2.

He said: “Many Miles for Mary is a tribute to my nanny who was the true essence of the word lady.

“For all the goodness in my personality and character, my values, principles and love, I accredit to my grandparents, especially my Nanny Mary.

“The yearly event reminds me of this sweet and special person that was to me my own angel sent down to earth to show me that in a world full of complexity, there is much peace in simplicity.”

Jamie was an only child raised by his father and his grandparents played a pivotal role in his early upbringing.

Many Miles for Mary came about following her funeral. Unable to gather words to describe or say farewell, he promised he would always remember Mary and say farewell to her in his own special way.

He said: “One of my fondest childhood memories was sharing her foot stool watching Coronation Street under a tartan blanket enjoying jam, tea and toast.

“She left this world lonely and scared, and at the time I didn’t know what to do.

“This disease of forgetfulness stole the one person in my life I never wanted to lose, she was a mother to me, a friend and a nurturer.

“Now for two to three months every year I hear people speak her name, I tell my story, and I give so freely of myself for a purpose greater then myself, just like she did. MMFM is my way of saying I’m sorry and honouring her precious memory.”

Jamie launched Many Miles for Mary in 2009 and previous challenges include running 554 miles from Wellington to Auckland in 2011; the length of Scotland, 435 miles from Gretna Green to John O’Groats in 2013; and running the 597 miles circumference of Tasmania in 2015.

His most extreme challenge was in 2016 when he ran 1,242 miles solo from Albert Park Lake in Melbourne to the Jamie Milne Training Facility in Warana, Queensland.

Last year he ran along the west coast of Australia.

The strength and conditioning coach has already raised around £55,000 for various charities and this year’s challenge, running the length of the British Isles, will raise money for Dementia Australia and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

It's the 10th year and final event in the many Miles for Mary journey and, after reaching the finishing line at John O'Groats, Jamie wrote on Facebook: "We are all a little sore, but not broken. What a joyous 12 days it’s been, exactly how I envisioned the final chapter of this 10 year story.

"The journey, my quest, (our quest) has come to an end. We get to go home soon. My decade of MMFM, the grief and the celebration of my nanny’s life is complete in this capacity.

"To my beautiful courageous Nanny Mary. You may have been taken by the disease of forgetfulness, but you will never be forgotten. 
Love Jamie."

To donate go to mycause.com.au/page/171151/many-miles-for-mary-2018-scotland