Woman Runs 40 Miles for Autism Organization That Has Struggled to Fundraise Due to COVID

If you’re the sort of person who’s into running, 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic hampered your chances to do any races. Those effects are still lingering into 2021, but one woman in Scotland decided to make her first run in a while a meaningful one.

Lesley Reynolds, a support worker from the organization Scottish Autism, ran 40 miles from her home in Crossford, Fife to the organization’s head office in Alloa to raise money for the nonprofit. The route, which she covered in eight hours and 15 minutes, took her past her local office and the homes of some of the people on the spectrum that she helps.


After the run, she said, “I am delighted to be running after a year of injury in 2020. With races unlikely to be resuming quickly, I wanted to set a personal challenge to celebrate my return to running fitness whilst fundraising for a charity that is both close to home and heart.”

Reynolds was helped along the way by her husband Colin, who made sure she had the necessary nutrition during the final stretch. The two of them are raising a son with autism. On her fundraising page, she spoke about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on charities’ abilities to fundraise. She said she wanted to help out financially with this run. Her goal was £1,000, which she easily passed by several hundred.

Her organization was thankful for the effort, posting on Facebook, “Lesley ran for a staggering 8 hours and 15 minutes on Saturday, and enjoyed a hot cuppa when she got to her finish line in Alloa. What an impressive achievement, thank you for supporting us Lesley and for raising awareness of autism.”


Scottish Autism offers a variety of services to adults and children with autism, their families, and professionals. They say they consider a person’s unique needs and create specialized support plans for them, based on their own goals and strengths.

One of the things that will be funded with the proceeds from Reynolds’ “A Different Way of Thinking” run is the advice line, which has seen triple the typical call volume since the pandemic hit.

On her fundraising page, Reynolds explained the meaning behind the title.

She said, “The title of my run is a nod towards how autism affects those who live with the condition. Autistic individuals vary greatly and whilst they can struggle relating to a neurotypical person’s interpretation of the world, their unique way of thinking is fascinating and working alongside them is hugely rewarding.”

To learn more about Scottish Autism, check out their website.

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