Former Borders GP Andrew Murray covered more than 900km in 18 days as he ran through East Africa, completing his challenge on Sunday.
The ex-Borders General Hospital, Hawick and Galashiels medic scaled Mt Kilimanjaro in a day with running partner, Scottish 100km champion Donnie Campbell, as part of the expedition, and the pair ran more than 50km at altitude each day.
Now Edinburgh-based, Andrew was hoping to discover the secret behind the success of Kenyan runners to pass on to Scottish athletes, but returned saying: “There is no secret. It’s about doing absolutely everything right, coupled with a determination to succeed.”
He said: “Scottish athletes can win gold in Glasgow 2014 and Rio 2016 by making ‘being the best’ the clear focus of their ambitions, involving the right expertise, and learning lessons from these world-beaters.”
Asked what the highlight of the expedition was, the 32-year-old endurance athlete said: “Running with the wildlife. Nothing prepares you for the size of a giraffe: at close quarters they are the size of a house. And learning numerous pearls of wisdom from some of the best athletes on earth.”
The most challenging part was “eating enough food to keep going,” he said, “and running with constant injuries. My hip flexor bothered me all trip.”
He told The Southern what he would additionally pass on to Scottish athletes following the East Africa run is: “Believe in yourself and pursue your dreams with an unswerving focus. Surround yourself with the right people and whatever the project there is no substitute for commitment and hard work.”
Andrew, who grew up in Kenya, shot to fame in 2011 when he ran 4,290km from John O’Groats to the Sahara desert. Last year he completed a world record seven ultra-marathons on seven continents in under a week.