A HELENSBURGH couple has thanked people who took part in their 12-hour fitness challenge to raise money for Coeliac UK.

Steve and Gail Losh, who own The Journey fitness centre on West Clyde Street, held the event to raise awareness of the charity after their daughter Rhia was diagnosed with the condition at age nine.

The pair managed to raise more than £2,500 for the charity and hope they can make £3,000 after members collect their sponsor money.

Gail told the Advertiser: “It went brilliantly and some of the members are desperate for another 12-hour challenge - but I think we need a rest!

“We weren’t sure how it was going to go because of the weather, but by Saturday a lot of the snow had cleared up.

“We had a few members from Glasgow that couldn’t make it and a few from Cardross that couldn’t make it because they were snowed in but it went really well.”

The fundraiser took place on Saturday, March 3 from 8am to 8pm.

Gym members were invited to take part in a variety of classes including zumba, metafit, hula hooping, boxing and snow running.

Gail and Steve were joined by about 50 members in total throughout the day with some coming for a couple of hours and 14 of them, including Rhia, completing the whole 12 hours.

Gail told the Advertiser: “Rhia was delighted and she did pretty much the whole 12 hours which surprised us.”

Before Rhia’s diagnosis Steve and Gail, like many others, had heard of the disease, but thought it was just an intolerance.

They didn’t realise the effect it could have, and are now aiming to raise not only money but awareness about the disease and the effect it can have.

Participants supported Rhia, who has had to change her diet to include gluten free products, by donating gluten free snacks for the event to give people a sugar lift to get them through.

Gail has also signed up to run the London Marathon on April 22, and in the three weeks leading up to the event Rhia will head out on different nights to cover 26 miles before joining Gail for the last 0.2 miles of the London marathon so that mum and daughter can complete a marathon distance together.

Gail added: “We are so grateful to everyone who donated to the raffle and who sponsored or donated to the event.”

Gail’s just Giving Page will remain open until she completes the London Marathon.

Donations can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/Gail-Losh2.