Students’ climb for cancer charity will be summit else

For many of us, just walking to the summit of Arthur’s Seat can feel like taking on Mount Everest.

Now a five-man team are set to face that challenge for real, by running up and down the Capital’s most famous hill for 24 hours straight – the equivalent of scaling the world’s highest mountain.

The challenge – being taken on by Alistair Walker, 24, Stuart Davies, 27, Sean Broadfoot, 25, Steve Hughes, 24, and Darren Leslie, 25 – is part of an effort to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

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The team, all PE students at Edinburgh University, plan to set off wearing headtorches at midnight on June 3 and keep going until their watches strike midnight again.

Steve, who lives in Haymarket, came up with the idea and said the group were inspired by relatives who have suffered from cancer.

He said: “We all considered ourselves pretty fit, but when we were doing our school placements we all started to put on weight.

“So we started running up and down Arthur’s Seat and then I thought, why not do this for charity?”

Steve said it was obvious which charity the team should raise money for. “A few of us have family members who have been affected by cancer, including myself, so we thought it was the best cause to support.

“In training we run three repetitions of Arthur’s Seat every Saturday and Sunday, but on the day of the challenge, each of us will run 13 reps, a total of 178 metres to the summit 52 times.

“Each rep takes about 20 to 22 minutes and only one of us is permitted to run at any one time, so we will have to do them in 30 minutes if we are to have any chance of doing it in just one day.

“As far as I know this is the first time anyone has tried this on Arthur’s Seat.”

At 9256 metres, the distance the group will run exceeds that of the height of Everest by nearly 400 metres.

Darren, from the New Town, said: “A lot of people have thought we are a bit crazy for doing this. We’re hoping there will be a few people there to help cheer us on and gives us bottled water.

“And that will spur us on, because we’re expecting it to get difficult as we get to the halfway point.”

Cancer Research UK’s area volunteer manager for Edinburgh, Linda Hamilton, said: “I want to wish the lads who are taking on this tremendous challenge a huge amount of luck.

“They will certainly need all their energy to complete this mountainous task and but I’m sure the people of Edinburgh will support them along the way by sponsoring and cheering them on.”

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