VIDEO: A marathon first for Bill on St Kilda

A man from Lochaber has become the first person to complete a marathon in one of the country’s most remote and inhospitable places.

Bill Cameron from Fort William undertook the 26.2 mile challenge by running two and a half circuits around St Kilda.

His route took him dangerously near treacherous cliffs as well as up gradients thousands of feet high as he pounded over the rocky terrain.

And all the while he had to try to fend off angry seabirds who were dive-bombing him.

Mr Cameron said: “I ran a half marathon there in 2015 when I went to St Kilda for a day visit, but I really wanted to challenge myself and do the full 26.2 miles.

“I have checked and, as far as I know, I’m the first person to run a marathon there.”

The Lochaber High School teacher – who only took up running six years ago – plotted his route carefully and left bottles of water, energy bars and apples at strategic points along the way.

“I set off at sunrise which was 3.30am and it took me seven hours altogether. It was very hard-going and I was relieved to finish.

“I realised during the run that I was daft to leave out the snacks on the route as they would probably be eaten by the sheep or the famous St Kilda mouse, but I was lucky and they were still there.”

He added: “I was also dive-bombed by seabirds who were obviously protecting their young. Fortunately, I managed to find a stick and a piece of rope, so I tied the two together and whirled this round my head as I ran to keep them off.”

It was the 43 year-old’s fifth marathon and he was determined to complete it to commemorate Lochaber’s connections with the last of the islanders who were evacuated in August 1930.

Mr Cameron said: “When the remaining 36 people on St Kilda were taken off, many settled in Lochaline on the Ardnamurchan peninsula.

“They only spoke Gaelic and didn’t understand a word of English. Also it was the first time anyone had seen a tree when they arrived in Lochaber, but ironically some of the men went on to work with the Forestry Commission.”