Runner smashes record and conquers all 282 Munros in 31 days and 23 hours

An ultra runner from the Highlands has taken Munro bagging to new heights after setting a new record and scaling all of Scotland’s 282 mountains in 31 days and 23 hours.

Donnie Campbell completed all of Scotland's 282 Munros in a new record time of 31 days and 23 hours - taking eight days off the previous record held. PIC: Contributed.
Donnie Campbell completed all of Scotland's 282 Munros in a new record time of 31 days and 23 hours - taking eight days off the previous record held. PIC: Contributed.

Donnie Campbell, from Inverness, survived on 12 energy bars a day for the epic challenge, which saw him forced to run up the same Munro twice after misjudging the top due to cloud and then complete 28 peaks over two sessions with just 30 minutes sleep inbetween.

Mr Campbell, 35, a former Marine, completed his mission eight days faster than the previous record holder.

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He finished the challenge on Scotland's most northerly Munro, Ben Hope in Sutherland, at 5.02am on Wednesday.

Mr Campbell celebrates with his wife, Rachael, after finishing the challenge on Ben Hope in Sutherland at 5.02am this morning (Wednesday).
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Speaking from his home last night, Mr Campbell said he would celebrate with a bottle of Champagne, a takeaway and an early night, adding that he was looking forward to some home time after almost a month on the move.

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

It felt “surreal” to have finished the Munros in the fastest time, adding that he had dreamt of completing the challenge for a long time.

Mr Campbell cycled and kayaked between Munros and ascended the equivalent of 14 Mount Everests. PIC: Contributed

In total, the athlete ran a total of 883 miles and cycled 896 miles to cover the distance between the peaks. He used a kayak to get between the island Munros.

In total, he ran up the equivalent of 14 ascents of Mount Everest.

His wife, Rachael, followed the route in the couple’s motorhome, where Mr Campbell slept at night.

Mr Campbell, who planned to complete the challenge in 33 days, said: “I knew my schedule was very ambitious but it excited and scared me.”

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His toughest days were some of his final days of the round. On Monday, he reached an incredible 18 Munros in the north-west Highlands, from Slioch near Kinlochewe to Ben

Wyvis near Dingwall.

After only 30 minutes of sleep, he then cycled to Am Faochagach, near Ullapool, and then completed another 10 Munros to finish on Ben Hope.

Agonisingly, he was also forced to climb the same Munro twice on day 29.

He said: “It was annoying when I realised at the bottom of Moruisg in Glencarron that I needed to go up again.

“It was my own fault due to cloud and a lack of concentration at the top.

“I reached a large cairn which I thought was the summit but my tracker showed later that I needed to go another 200m to a small pile of stones."

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He said the hardest moment came on the 17th day when he said he felt fatigued both physically and mentally.

Mr Campbell added: “I’d just done several tough days back-to-back and I was questioning what I was doing.

“I’d been busting a gut for so long but I couldn’t see the end.”

Mr Campbell now plans a two-week rest before getting back to his job coaching other runners.

He said: “ I am sure it will all sink in at some point. I still can’t really believe it is over after all the planning and then all the days in the

mountains.”

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