AN NHS worker who was spurred into running is to be coached by an ex-Olympian in his quest to be fit for the Stirling Marathon.

Steven Smyth was one of four entrants selected out of a possible 1,000 to receive training from Liz McColgan, who won a gold medal in the 10,000 metres at the 1991 World Athletics Championships.

The 37-year-old from Glasgow only started running because he “fancied a change”, and was trying to become more active.

Already a gym user, he said he was happy doing weights before he caught the jogging bug.

He said: “I gradually built my level of running up, and aimed to do 10k events and half-marathons.

“I then took part in some challenges, and I did two on the same day at one meeting. So I just thought to myself why not do a marathon.”

Steven has had family members who served in the Armed Forces, and it was this connection that led to his decision to fundraise for Help for Heroes.

He hopes to raise more than £200 by the time the marathon arrives, and paid tribute to the men and women in the military and the role which the charity serves.

He said: “The thing that I love about Help for Heroes is that it helps people rebuild their lives and it is very worthwhile.

“I just want to do my bit – it is a very good organisation and you can’t make up what they do."

The NHS employee added that he was thrilled by the opportunity of working with Mrs McColgan.

Steven said: “I am so excited, not only because of this once in a lifetime opportunity to be coached by a world champion, but also because I can raise money for our servicemen and women.

“I am looking forward to the challenge, and with Liz’s help I think I can run a decent time.”

If you would like to sponsor Steven on his running challenge, visit