AS millions were left stranded by planes, trains and automobiles with freezing conditions across the UK this month, it seems using your feet is the best way to get around.
It certainly is for endurance runner Andrew Murray, who has reached Spain in his bid to run 100 marathons in 85 days from John O’Groats to the Moroccan Sahara Desert.
The GP, who has worked at health centres in Galashiels and Hawick as well as Borders General Hospital, says he has been running along deserted roads at times as motorists have stayed indoors to avoid the wintry weather.
But he has battled on, and upon arriving at the town of Guadalajara, just north of Madrid, on Monday, he had run more than 1,600 miles in 50 days – with less than 1,000 miles to go.
And thus far he has raised £36,000 for the Yamaa Trust with the sole aim of helping alleviate poverty in the Gobi desert in Mongolia.
Andrew said: “The challenge has been fantastic so far.
“I’m loving the variety of scenery, although this has mostly been snow for two weeks. I’m having to eat enough calories for two-and-a-half men, and am making full use of local delicacies, having eaten more than 20 pain au chocolates in France.”
The 30-year-old added: “The physical challenge has been relentlessly difficult.
“I had consistent snow throughout England and northern France.
“In fact there were some days that I was pretty much the only one on the roads. When I ran past Gatwick Airport, for example, there were no cars, no trains, and no planes operating.”
Discussing his experiences in Spain, Andrew, who has been suffering injuries to his Achilles and thigh, said: “Scenery wise, Spain has been immense. Hills galore, and citadels, not to mention some quality food.
“It’s absolutely knackering physically with all the hills, especially as I’ve tried to keep the distances relatively high despite the mountains.”
Andrew has thanked the “incredible” support he has received on his route so far as he makes his way to Morocco by January 31, including a visit from fiancee Jennie for Christmas Day.
“Jennie eventually managed to find her way to Spain via train, and it was great spending Christmas with her, added Andrew. “I’d already run more than 38 miles before sitting down to Christmas dinner.”
To support Andrew, visit www.scotland2sahara.com