A Forfar man has set himself an epic personal challenge to raise funds for the Scottish Mountain Rescue Service.
And, appropriately, Gary Milne will be taking to the Scottish hills next weekend to do it.
Gary is intending to complete his own gruelling 245-mile triathlon, taking in 10 of the country’s highest mountains, in just three days.
Starting on Saturday (July 18) with a four-mile swim across Loch Lomond, he will cycle a total of 198 miles divided into five sections and cover 41 miles over the ‘Big 10’ Munros in three runs which will include Ben Lawers, the Nevis range and the Cairngorms.
An experienced triathlete and keen hillwalker, Gary (23) graduated in medicine recently from Glasgow University and said he came up with the idea to keep himself occupied before taking up a new post at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
He said: “I was looking for an event to keep me ticking over during the summer but I couldn’t find anything that fitted in with my plans, so I decided to make up my own.
“I’ve done a few triathlons before but wanted to do something a bit different, then I watched the BBC’s ‘Adventure Show’ and saw the ‘Big 10’ being done as a run over 24 hours, so thought I could turn that into a triathlon. As it’s a bit bigger than I’d usually do I thought I’d also do it for charity.”
Although Gary only came up with the idea in May, he has been training hard by embarking on ‘recce’ runs on different parts of the route, the most recent of which was in the Nevis range on Saturday.
He will also be supported throughout by his parents and girlfriend, as well as a number of friends who will cycle and run with him.
As well as the sheer scale of the undertaking, Gary said his biggest challenges will be the weather and navigation if conditions are bad.
He added: “Navigation’s more of an issue than I thought and when I did the Nevis range it took twice as long as expected, but I think I’m capable of doing the distance.”
Anyone wishing to donate to Gary’s fund-raising can do so online at http://www.justgiving.com/GaryBig10Triathlon