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Inverness running coach smashes record for Munro round by eight days


By Louise Glen

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Donnie Campbell with his partner at the end of the gruelling challenge.
Donnie Campbell with his partner at the end of the gruelling challenge.

An Inverness runner has smashed the record for one of the hardest challenges for athletes, the Munro-round, by eight days.

Donnie Campbell (35) of Wester Craigs, finished the non-stop 282 Munro climbs in 31 days, 23 hours and two minutes - using only his own steam between ascents.

He scaled the equivalent of 14 Mount Everests, during the challenge, with a total elevation of 413,854ft.

Donnie Campbell ascends his last and final summit.
Donnie Campbell ascends his last and final summit.

Mr Campbell, originally from Skye, ran 883 miles and cycled and kayaked in between.

His time is almost eight days quicker than the previous record set a decade ago by English fell runner Stephen 'Spyke' Pyke.

Mr Campbell, a running coach, completed his challenge on Scotland's most northerly Munro, Ben Hope, in Sutherland, at 5:02am on Wednesday September 2.

Not only did he run up and down all the hills, the accomplished mountain runner, who was raising money for British Red Cross, also cycled and kayaked between his targets - he even climbed one Munro twice after missing its peak by 200 metres.

Mr Campbell running on the 30th day of his challenge at Beinn Alligin – Tom na Gruagaich and Spidean Coire nan Clach, where he completed six Munros.
Mr Campbell running on the 30th day of his challenge at Beinn Alligin – Tom na Gruagaich and Spidean Coire nan Clach, where he completed six Munros.

No motorised transport was used during the challenge, although he did have a back-up motorhome driven by his wife, Rachael, in which he slept each night.

Mr Campbell said: “It is great to have done it – and I am really pleased I don’t have to run again today.

“Doing all the Munros is something I had dreamed about for a long time and for it to finally come true in a fastest time feels surreal.”

Mr Campbell started his Munro round bid on August 1 on Ben More, on the Island of Mull. He then kayaked to Glenfinnan, before he traversed the Cairngorms and reached the most easterly Munro of Mount Keen.

Donnie Campbell ascended every Scottish mountain above 3000ft.
Donnie Campbell ascended every Scottish mountain above 3000ft.

Next came the Munros of the southern Highlands, including the most southerly Munro of Ben Lomond.

He returned to the north-west of Scotland, with the most westerly Munro of Sgurr na Banachdich to come on the Island of Skye and a finish on Ben Hope.

Mr Campbell continued: “I had always wanted to do a round but I needed the motivation to do them all, especially the ones that I thought were very remote or very boggy.”

On average, he spent 12 hours every day running, cycling or kayaking. He slept for around eight hours each night.

Mr Campbell plans to put his feet up and get back to his day job coaching other runners. He said: "I am looking forward to a rest and being back home. I want to thank my wife and all my friends who have helped and supported me on the round. I could not have finished it without them.”

He has so far raised almost £9000 for his chosen charity, the British Red Cross. To donate see https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/donniecampbell84 .

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