Colin Meek at the start of his challenge on the England-Scotland border

Colin Meek at the start of his challenge on the England-Scotland border

An ultrarunner aiming to complete a 700-mile route along Scotland’s watershed has passed the half-way point.

Dundonnell-based Colin Meek set off from the English-Scottish border on 26 May and yesterday reached Laggan in the Great Glen, with more than 300 miles behind him.

His run is following the route described by Peter Wright in his 2011 book Ribbon of Wildness and starts on Peel Fell, ending 1,200km (745miles) later at Duncansby Head on Scotland’s north coast.

Mr Meek, who has been training for three years for the challenge, clocking up 3,000 miles and three ultramarathons, explained the rationale for his itinerary. He said: “When rain falls on Scotland it runs either into the North Sea or the Atlantic. It is the Watershed that defines that line.

“While it is a simple linear route, it tracks through some of Scotland’s wildest and most complex scenery. From Peel Fell on the border with England over the Southern Uplands to trace a weaving line through the Central Belt between Glasgow and Edinburgh and over the Campsie Fells.

“From there it runs parallel to Loch Lomond before criss-crossing the A82 taking in some of the country’s most sought-after munros such as Ben Lomond, Beinn a Chroin, Ben Lui, and the peaks of the Black Mount.”

Fuelled by oat and seed cakes and ginger beer, Mr Meek has had to contend with an exploding teacup – check for cigarette lighters in the bottom of your cup before pouring in hot water – sunburn and various insect bites, and aching ankles. He also called in for an hour’s meditation at the Samye Ling Buddhist Centre before tackling another 18 miles.

On the third section of his challenge, he took in 140 miles and 16 munros, including Ben Lui.

He now faces a tough section of his watershed route through the Rough Bounds east of Knoydart to Glensheil then through Kintail to the Fannichs the Beinn Dearg hills to Rhidorroch. After this will come the Cromalt Hills and Strath Oykel.

Mr Meek will then tackle Conival and Beinn Leoid before turning east at Ben Hee. From there, the line continues east in a sweeping line to Duncansby Head.

The runner’s progress can be followed on his picture blog.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Colin completes 600-mile watershed route in 30 days