Scottish International distance runners and Merrell Ambassador Andrew Murray and Donnie Campbell (Team UVU) have completed an incredible run up the 10 highest mountains in the United Kingdom in 13 hours 10 minutes. It is thought they are the first to complete “the Big 10” within 24 hours. A total of 9 hours 10 was spent running, with the remainder driving between the mountain ranges.
Setting off at 0420 on 19th July, their first mountain was Ben Lawers, followed by a drive to the Nevis Range where they completed Aonach Mor, Aonach Beag, Carn Mor Dearg and the UK’s tallest mountain Ben Nevis before driving to the Cairngorms, where they traversed Cairngorm, Ben McDhui, Braeriach, Angel’s Peak before finishing on Cairntoul at 1730. The challenge, billed “The Big 10” was followed by a team from BBC Scotland’s “The Adventure Show”.
Dr Murray, 34 races for Merrell UK, and is a GP and Sports and based in Edinburgh. His previous achievements include completing a remarkable 2,559 mile run from Scotland to the Sahara Desert, a 7hr run up Mt Kilimanjaro and race wins in some of the most spectacular and hostile locations on Earth. He also works with some of Scotland’s best athletes as part of the sports medicine team at the sportscotland institute of sport.
He said “The mountains in Scotland are magical. The Big 10 had it all in terms of spectacular ridgelines, some wildlife and highly variable weather. We had fog, wind, rain, and even a glimpse of sunshine. We were both glad that the promised thunderstorms did not materialize. For me definitely the toughest part of the day was dealing with the wind, rain and low visibility in the Cairngorms when we were already tired. There were a few boulder fields to cut across which were pretty slippy resulting in a few comedy falls. Part of what we were looking to do We are looking to do is draw attention to the benefits of getting regular exercise in the great outdoors. It really gets the happy hormones going, and helps prevent and treat over 40 major health problems. Even walking 30 minutes 5 days a week increases your life expectancy by over 7 years”
Campbell, 29 is a running coach, and a former Marine Commando based in Edinburgh who previously ran from Glasgow to his former home of Skye without stopping
“It was an early start, followed by a full day of up and down, up and down. We are hoping that other people will take on The Big 10, much like the 3 peaks challenge. With a decent level of fitness it could be great day and a do-able challenge, that people can give a shot. Saying that, low visibility and changeable weather makes finding the routes and navigation tricky so it’s important to have decent kit with you. Some fresh air and a load of hills might give us sore legs the next day, but it’s much underestimated how good exercise is for mental health as well as physical health, which is why we’re encouraging everyone to get active in whichever way suits- there is no better time with the Commonwealth Games coming up”.
The Route/ Mountain Height metres
Ben Lawers- 1214
Aonach Mohr- 1221
Aonach Beag- 1234
Carn Mhor Dearg- 1220
Ben Nevis- 1344
Ben MacDui- 1309
Angels Peak- 1258