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Aviemore mountain guide Ian Stewart takes on Cairngorm Parkrun – running all 58 Munros in the national park

By John Davidson

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A mountain guide from Aviemore is aiming to complete a mammoth Munro challenge in the Cairngorms National Park on Wednesday night.

Ian Stewart (37) is due to finish a six-day continuous run taking in all 58 Munros in the park tonight. He set off on Friday at 6am, climbing Mount Keen with his wife Laura Mcauley before continuing his solo challenge.

Nicknamed the Cairngorm Parkrun, Ian’s epic effort is being done in aid of fellow guide Dave Hollinger from Carrbridge, who suffered a horrific skiing accident in March 2018 followed by a brain stem stroke.

Collectively known as the #inspiredbydave fundraisers, people in the area have been raising money to help Dave and his family with continuing treatment and care costs.

Ian and his team said that the incredible determination and positivity Dave has shown on his daily journey towards rehabilitation made this challenge look tiny.

The Cairngorms Parkrun is around 80 times longer than the standard Saturday morning runs, at approximately 400km (250 miles), with more than 20,000 metres (65,000ft) of ascent and descent involved – more than twice up and down Everest from sea level.

The terrain involves wild, rugged country through some of the remotest parts of the Highlands, something Ian is well experienced in through his work as director of Trail Running Scotland and Stewart Mountain Skills.

Ian’s target is to finish the continuous round within six days and he was on target to hit his anticipated finish time of 8.45pm on Wednesday after his final Munro, Cairn Gorm.

Ian has had support at key points along the route, with food supplies and brief sleep stops – including a wild support stop in Glen Tilt – as well as running buddies for some sections of the way.

Laura said his only concern about finishing the challenge was the state of his feet, though he was hoping to push through the pain. “He is doing amazingly,” she added.

To donate to the #inspiredbydave cause, visit www.gofundme.com/cairngormparkrun

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