• STV
  • MySTV

Scots pensioner gears up for 85-mile cycling challenge

John McNally, 81, will take part in the Etape Caledonia across Highland Perthshire in May.

By Steven McMenemy

It's safe to say that John McNally's not your average pensioner.

The 81-year-old from Fife is training for the Etape Caledonia through the Scottish Highlands for the 12th year in a row.

Next month, when he will have turned 82, he will be cycling 85 miles across mountains and glens in one of the toughest routes in the country.

Mr McNally said: "I've been retired 24 years so I've had the time to train, and Els is supportive of it which is good, and that's really what makes it.

"If you can train, you don't need to be training fast. Just get the distance in; hopefully keep as fit as you can."

Supportive: Els and John McNally have been married for 52 years.
Supportive: Els and John McNally have been married for 52 years. STV

His wife of 52 years, Els, admits her husband is almost obsessive about his keep fit regime.

She said: "There's nothing else goes between his ears, but cycling and running.

"He's very fit. Every day he runs, but he does nothing else, and doesn't know we have a hoover."

Mr McNally started to keep an eye on his fitness when a former work colleague died in his late 40's.

That inspired him to keep as healthy as he could and he took up running.

He then found a new passion after he was invited by friends to take part in the Highland Cross - a 50-mile duathlon across the Scottish Highlands.

The Etape Caledonia previously had an age limit on participants in the race, up until last year when Mr McNally led a challenge to let cyclists over the age of 80 take part.

He won his argument and raced last year. Now, he's going to be raising funds for Marie Curie in this year's race on May 19.

For Mr McNally age is just a number and not something that has ever concerned him.

Speed racer: John McNally enjoys running and cycling.
Speed racer: John McNally enjoys running and cycling. STV

He said: "A few years ago I was asked 'did you worry when you were 70?' and I said 'no, why would you worry about something you can do nothing about'.

"I was asked the same question again when I was 80."

Instead, Mr McNally hopes his adventurous pursuits will inspire someone else to lace up their trainers and hit the great outdoors.

His ever supportive wife added: "He is lucky to be coming on to 82 and not to have anything wrong with him.

"But no, he is very fit. It's the way I look after him."

For more information on the Etape Caledonia, go to etapecaledonia.co.uk.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.