Jo’s marathon effort for local charity

Banchory runner Joanna Groucott after the Manchester Marathon
Banchory runner Joanna Groucott after the Manchester Marathon

A Banchory teacher has committed to running three marathons this year, all to raise funds for the Cats Protection charity.

Joanna Groucott already has the Manchester Marathon under her belt and is back in training for the St Magnus event in Orkney in July, before finishing off the year with the Nice to Cannes Marathon in November.

Jo, who teaches French at Banchory Academy, encourages her pupils to be active, organising a lunchtime running club for girls.

She said: “I was never very sporty when I was younger, and I never enjoyed PE.

“I took up running just before I turned 41, once the kids had got a bit older, and I found that I loved it.

“I go out at 5.30am and that is my time to myself to just get away from it all.”

Jo has previously run four marathons, including Paris and London, raising money for a prostate cancer and children’s charity.

Her three-race challenge is gathering funds for the Deeside branch of Cats Protection, having received help with one of her cats from local volunteers.

The cat, Pushkin, was struggling to settle at home.

Jo explained: “I really didn’t know what to do and I felt so guilty that Pushkin was not happy and that I didn’t know why. I sought advice from vets and from Liz Robinson at Cats Protection.

“Liz was such a help and support, and didn’t judge when I made the difficult decision to give her up for adoption.”

Cats Protection Deeside was quickly able to rehome the cat.

Jo added: “I will always be grateful to Liz and Cats Protection for their help and I wanted to raise money to show my gratitude.”

Liz , Deeside branch co-ordinator, said: “We are so pleased Jo has chosen to run for Cats Protection and we wish her the best of luck with her marathon challenge.”

Anyone wanting to support the teacher’s fundraising efforts can donate money via her Justgiving page at