An Inverurie man is scaling the height of Everest by running 10 marathons in 10 days for local cancer charity Friends of Anchor.
This week, visitors to Bennachie may catch a glimpse of Martin Longmuir as he summits the local hill several times each day.
The 40-year-old aims to run 10 marathons in 10 days in honour of his mum, who the cancer charity supported during her battle with breast cancer.
Tuesday will be Mr Longmuir’s seventh consecutive day running the various peaks on Bennachie’s hilly range after starting his gruelling challenge on July 21.
“Toughest physical challenge I have ever taken on.”
Tackling several peaks each day, he will reach over 9,000 metres of elevation so far on Tuesday – that’s more than if he were to climb Everest.
He said: “This is definitely the toughest physical challenge I have ever taken on.
“There’s a lot of technical running up and down the hills, and the conditions have been tricky – the weather has been really humid, and my feet have taken a battering.
“In the scheme of things, it’s nothing, not when I think of the challenge my mum and other people close to me have faced going through cancer.
“I’ve really enjoyed speaking to people on the runs and have even had a kind donation from someone I met at the end of the first day.
“I’ve had a couple of friends join me for sections of the runs, too, and the support and messages from people have been pretty overwhelming.”
Nearly £5,000 raised.
So far, he has managed to raise over £4,300 on his dedicated fundraising page.
Taking more than five-and-a-half hours to complete each day, the NDT technician begins each 42km journey by cycling from Inverurie and back once he has finished.
Having originally planned a similar charity challenge before the pandemic, Mr Longmuir has had to adapt his route due to Covid.
Having wanted to mark his 40th birthday by running the two summits of An Teallach in the Highlands, then traversing the Glen Shiel Ridge and the Cairngorms before finishing atop Bennachie.
However, when the pandemic hit, he decided the best way to complete the 10-day adventure safely was to keep it local in Aberdeenshire.
He added: “I’ve done other challenges and previously completed a coast-to-coast run, but I wanted something tougher.
“I’d been putting off An Teallach for 15 years, so decided that was the one to challenge me mentally and physically.
“However, keeping the route on Bennachie has brought a huge challenge in itself, tackling the same trails and summits each day, sometimes multiple times to get the distance up to where it needs to be.
“As the days go on, it’s even more of a mental challenge, and I’m really pleased to be past the halfway point.”
“Nothing short of phenomenal”
Due to the charity’s operating costs being covered by a core sponsor, every penny from this challenge will go to helping men and women suffering from cancer.
Naomi Forrest, Friends of Anchor communications executive, said: “When I joined the charity in 2019, Martin was already in training for his original challenge, which would have taken place last year.
“Since then, he’s had to navigate a global pandemic and a delay of a year, but every step of the way, he’s remained committed to his challenge.
“Martin’s effort throughout has been nothing short of phenomenal, and we’re incredibly grateful for his fundraising and the work he’s doing to raise awareness of the charity.
“Some of the team will be joining Martin for a stretch of his final run on July 30, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to say thank you in person for his incredible support.”