Former Borders doctor Andrew Murray faces his toughest challenge to date when he runs from the Andes to the Amazon in a day.
On Saturday (June 14), the Scottish International distance runner will start his 24-hour run of over 100 miles by climbing Mr Cotopaxi in Equador.
He then will traverse the undulating ‘Avenue of the Volcanos’ which includes one of the most active volcanos on earth, Mr Tungurahua, before descending onto the Pastaza river, a feeder to the Amazon.
Now Edinburgh-based, the sports medicine doctor, 33, said: “The landscape and wildlife are utterly amazing.
“The major difficulties are having to run about 100 very hilly miles at pretty significant altitude, having just climbed a mountain higher than anything in Europe.
“I ran Mt Kilimanjaro last year and Cotopaxi is a little higher and is covered in snow and ice so I’d anticipate being tired even before getting off the mountain. Altitude, heat and humidity are usually the enemy of the long distance runner. But I have gear that will help minimise the effects of the heat, and it would not be a challenge unless it was harder than what I have done before.”
Dr Murray, a Scottish Government physical activity champion, hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of exercise through his latest challenge: “Taking regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If everyone did 30 minutes of walking, or any other form of exercise a day, stats show it would increase national happiness. Even this amount of exercise increases life expectancy by seven years.”
In 2011 Dr Murray ran 2,659 miles from John O’Groats to the Sahara desert. In 2012 he completed a world record seven ultra-marathons on seven continents in under a week and last year he ran up and down Mt Kilimanjaro in seven hours.