Ben and Ruaraidh go the extra mile...or 50.
Byline: CARLA TALBOT
Two cycling-mad schoolboys pedalled almost 50 miles with their champion efforts raising more than PS1,000 for causes close to their hearts.
Pals Ben McMurray, eight, and seven-year-old Ruaraidh Macpherson, got on their bikes at the weekend for the Pedal for Scotland challenge from Glasgow to Edinburgh.
The determined youngsters who are members of cycling club Johnstone Jets were joined by their mums Deborah Murray and Claire Macpherson for the mammoth distance on September 7. The cycling buddies left their mums in their dust during the 45-mile challenge, crossing the finish line in three hours and 46 minutes.
And their efforts managed to raise a total of PS1,300 for both the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Paisley's Royal Alexandra Hospital and Pancreatic Cancer Scotland.
Ben's mum Deborah, from Kilbarchan, said: "The boys had a amazing day and kept each other going.
"The support and encouragement from fellow cyclists and supporters along the route was amazing and the boys got so many cheers.
"It was just fantastic to see them beaming with pride and being recognised for their hard work and determination to get to the end.
"Other than cold hands at the 7:30am start, they didn't make any other complaints.
"They had to wait patiently at the top of the hills for us to catch up with them."
The Express previously told how little Ben decided he wanted to raise money for SCBU at Paisley's Royal Alexandra Hospital.
He was born weighing a tiny 2lb 15oz in March 2011 at 32 weeks and decided he wanted to give something back to the people who cared for him as a baby.
It was also an emotional challenge for Ruaraidh, who decided to raise vital funds for Pancreatic Cancer Scotland in memory of his gran Eileen Longmuir, who died last year just two weeks after her devastating diagnosis, aged 74.
Ruaraidh's proud mum Claire, 40, who lives in Newton Mearns, said: "We sadly lost my mum just after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was a horrible shock for us all.
"Ruaraidh was very close with her so we are happy to be raising awareness of the charity.
"There isn't a lot of publicity surrounding pancreatic cancer and death rates have not decreased in the past 40 years so it's so important to get the word out there.
"We explained to Ruaraidh that while it can't help his gran, it can help other people who were ill like she was.
"Both boys have done so well. It is a fantastic achievement for them."
Both Ben and Ruaraidh have been cycling from just two years old, and have become good friends since joining the Johnstone Jets a few years ago.
They both regularly surprise their families with their determination from a young age.
Ben, who is a pupil at Kilbarchan Primary, previously completed a 26-mile cycle challenge, while Ruaraidh took on the ten-mile Millport route when he was just three.
And their mums say they are always competitive with one another when racing at the club.
Claire added: "There is always a bit of friendly competition between them.
"It's all in good fun and they are good friends."
No limits The boys and their bikes
Challenge Ruaraidh, left, and Ben raised more than PS1,000 for charity