Ben Hunter's human-powered winer Munro project is back on again for this winter, here's what's been happening.
Ben Hunter planned to complete the first ever 100% human-powered Winter Munro round last winter and was blogging about his preparations on OM, then suddenly things went a bit wrong and he was forced to cancel his attempt - the good news is that it's back on again for this winter and here's Ben to tell you all about what's been going on.
As some of you may be aware, back in 2010 I was living in Australia and decided that I wanted to come back to Scotland and climb all the Munros in a winter. So in March 2011 I found myself back in Aberdeen with no money and no job but a great project that I wanted to take on. I started sending e-mails and created a facebook page. Within a few months I had sponsors, media coverage and a growing number of people interested in what I was attempting.
No Food For The Trip...
I had set myself the date of 1stDecember to be the day that I undertook the 4 month long challenge of walking, cycling and kayaking my way around Scotland climbing all 283 Munros starting on Ben More on Mull. Unfortunately for me about 3 weeks before I was due to set off one of my sponsors went into administration and I lost out on £2000 worth of sponsorship money.
This meant that I had no food for the trip. Although I was still keen on giving it a shot the Nutritionist who was helping me at the time informed me that I would find a 4 month long trip with no food pretty tough going so I had to face up to the fact that my dream for the last 12 months had fallen apart right before it was due to start.
I sent out a bunch of e-mails to my other sponsors who were all really cool. They told me not to worry, keep hold of all the amazing free stuff they had sent me and to try again next year. Not wanting to let people down I signed up to the first big challenge I could find to help keep myself motivated.
Tackiing The Spine
That challenge turned out to be The Spine. The Spine is Britain’s toughest running event. You start at the bottom of the Pennines and start running north with all your own gear. If you are lucky you make it to the Scottish borders 270 miles later within one week. This race took place in January.
I was at the fittest I had been in a long time so I thought I had what it took to take on the race. Sadly, during the first night of running I went down hard on the ice. The Spine had broken me. I had twisted my knee and for the second time had to make the tough decision to drop out.
I was now heading into February, in a knee brace, unable to get out into the hills. I had failed at two of the big challenges I had set myself. It would be fair to say that I was feeling a little bit low. I had stopped updating my blog and was not out training anywhere near as much as I had been before.
230 Miles On The Bike...
At the end of March, however, I cycled from Dunoon to Aberdeen, crossing over the Rannoch Moor and the Spittal of Glenshee. It was a 230 mile route that took me cross country, up and over Britain’s highest road. Three days later I was back in Aberdeen and feeling great.
This little boost has spurred me back into training. I have now signed up for my first ever triathlon and the Ride the North event. It may be a year later than planned but this coming December I hope to be stood on top of Ben More taking the first steps on my Munro Winter Challenge, better late than never!