A PEEBLES PE teacher is set to fulfil his dream of running the London Marathon for a charity close to his heart.

It is almost 10 years ago since Richard Edge and his wife Lisa endured the heartache of losing their newborn son Oliver.

The joy of welcoming their first-born into the world was swept away from the couple who faced every parent’s worst nightmare when they had to say goodbye to their son.

Richard explained: “On May 29, 2009, my wife had an emergency Caesarean Section in the Borders General Hospital, following pre-eclampsia and a placental abruption [when the placenta separates early from the uterus] at 30 weeks.

“During the operation Oliver was born, however neither he nor my wife were safe and well. Lisa lost lots of blood and was incredibly lucky to survive.”

Following the operation both Oliver and Lisa were transferred to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to the specialist baby unit. Sadly Oliver passed away two days later.

But thanks to the charity Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal (SiMBA), Richard and Lisa have treasured memories of the very short but precious time they had with Oliver.

“The support we received from the staff at the hospital and from SiMBA was amazing. The memory box we have will always be a part of our family,” said Richard.

Competing in the London Marathon is a dream unrealised for most aspiring runners, but it seems Richard’s successful bid was predestined.

“I have tried for two years to enter the London Marathon and failed to get a place for another charity,” said Richard. “Lisa saw a post on Facebook from SiMBA looking for a runner. Interested people were to write a story detailing why you would be the right person. Names were put in a hat and mine was pulled out.”

The Priorsford PE teacher said his passion for running began following a brain haemorrhage in October 2007.

As previously reported in the Peeblesshire News, his conquests include the gruelling Glencoe Marathon.

He said: “I have run several half marathons as well as three marathons over the last few years, all of which have been in the hills, so London will provide an interesting change of atmosphere.”

The popular teacher is also being supported by his pupils with one youngster, Holly Foster, rolling up her sleeves to raise money for Mr Edge.

“Holly made Christmas decorations and cakes and the proceeds went to my fundraising. A very touching gesture from a very thoughtful young lady,” added Richard.

A whopping £1,259 has been raised so far, and Richard hopes to hit his target of £2,000 with the help of friend Stuart Macdonald who is organising a race night next month.

Although the journey of starting a family began with heartache, Richard and wife Lisa welcomed Elsie (eight) and Emily (five) into the world, and most recently a baby boy William.

And it seems that some dads will do anything to get out of changing nappies, but pounding the streets to train for one of the world’s most prestigious marathons is probably a first in the list of excuses!

Richard mused: “Lisa has been very supportive of my training – probably likes me out of the house! Since William’s arrival, time has become a little harder to find and I’m tired before I start, but apparently that’s good training.”

As the Edge family prepare to remember Oliver on what would have been his tenth birthday, Richard feels fate had a part to play in him participating in this year’s London Marathon.

The force driving Richard through the gruelling 26.2 miles will be the memory of Oliver and other families who have lost a child.

“Our little boy would have been 10 years old the month after the marathon, so it does feel like it was meant to be that I will be able to run in his memory for this fantastic charity.

“I might be doing the running, but everyone else is contributing to this amazing cause which helps bereaved parents.”

The fundraising race night is being held in Peebles Rugby Club on Friday, March 29, at 7pm. Tickets cost £5 and are available from Richard or Stuart Macdonald who can be contacted on Facebook.