A Skye man has vowed to bow out of lengthy endurance events after smashing a £100,000 fundraising target.
Alistair Macpherson, or Ally K as he is better known, completed his mammoth run from Glasgow to Inverness seven hours ahead of his scheduled 70-hour time.
The 180-mile route incorporated the West Highland Way, Great Glen Way and Loch Ness, before finishing up on the banks of the River Ness.
Ally K’s £100,000 goal surpassed
With more than £22,000 raised, Ally has smashed his target of raising £100,000 for cancer charities.
His fundraising efforts began as he raised £37,000 for Cancer Research UK when he became the first man recorded to run the 125-mile distance round his native island of Skye.
His second challenge involved running from Skye to Inverness, where he now resides, non-stop in aid of Maggie’s Highlands.
Ally then navigated 10 islands on the west coast in just two days, raising £18,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The 43-year-old’s latest challenge was in aid of Highland Hospice.
‘Never in a million years’
Before his latest challenge – the longest to date – Ally said “never in a million years” did he believe he would ever raise £100,000.
Now, having met that feat, he has expressed his delight and thanks to all who have supported him.
Ally said: “Once we got word we had hit the £100,000 mark, we had neighbours round and had a celebration.
“It was really nice and we are just absolutely delighted.
“You can’t do it without the support of everybody, it’s a real team effort and the support I have been shown has blown me away.”
Just how tough was the 180-mile effort?
Ally, who crossed the finish line after nearly seven marathons in 63 hours, said he always knew it was going to be tough.
He added: “The experience was incredible.
“The big problem for me was going into a third night – I have never done three nights.
“That is really challenging.
“When I completed the West Highland Way, normally I wouldn’t be able to go any further but I had to.
“That was tough – even the thought was tough.”
One hour of sleep over three days
Ally was remarkably able to keep himself going with just one hour of sleep.
He broke this down into three 20-minute bursts at Glencoe, Fort William and Fort Augustus, which he says were “just enough”.
During breaks along the way, he received treatment from his physio Graham Watt as well as fuelling an average of 100 calories for every hour of running.
Although titled Ally K’s Long Run, Mr Macpherson conceded that he had to break the run down into “lots of little runs”.
It wasn’t until a steep incline after Fort Augustus that Ally felt he was home and dry, aided by friends joining for the last leg of the journey.
He added: “It was a real high coming into the hospice and seeing all the people there.
“It is quite incredible that we have done this and it will help so many.”
So what is next for Ally K?
Ally has pledged he will stick to his promise to wife Donna that this is his last big event.
He hopes to return to, in his own words, “playing darts badly”.
But he has said he will be on hand to assist cancer charities and fundraisers.
Ally said: “This is definitely the last one.
“I think it’s time to let somebody else have a shot at it.”