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Scottish Island Mountain Triathlon in memory of climber Martin Moran

Written by Fiona

June 12 2021

Childhood friends are taking on a self-created Scottish Island Mountain Triathlon in memory of climbing legend Martin Moran.

It’s thought this is the first time that all 13 of the Scottish island Munros been attempted in a single non-stop push with the 300km and 7000m of ascent completed by running, cycling and swimming.

The 282 Munros are defined as any Scottish mountain over 914.4m in height.

Who is Martin Moran?

Martin Moran, who died in 2019 while leading a mountaineering expedition in India, was a well-known climber, mountain guide and author.

In 1985, he became the first person to climb all the Munros in winter during a single journey.

In 1993, he and his climbing partner became the first people to make a continuous traverse of all the Alpine 4000m mountains in a single continuous trip and without using any form of motorised transport.

Martin created more than 100 new winter climbing routes in Scotland and made a number of first ascents in the Himalayas.

Skye Cuillin scramble, Sgurr nan Gillean.

Island Munros triathlon for charity

This summer, childhood friends Alex Moran (Martin’s son) and Mike Coppock will embark on the Scottish Island Mountain Triathlon to raise money for The Martin Moran Foundation, a charity supporting young people from diverse backgrounds to pursue adventure in the mountains.

The clock will start at the foot of the Greater Cuillin Traverse, which is considered to be the UK’s finest mountaineering challenge. The route will cover all 12 Munros. The pair will run and scramble more than 27kms and 4500m of ascent.

This traverse takes most people two days and is rarely done at speed due to the dramatic and exposed terrain throughout its length. However, this will only be the beginning of the adventure to come… 

Following the Cuillin traverse, Alex and Mike will jump on their bikes and begin the 250km cycle along some of the north west Highlands’ most beautiful and gruelling roads to the coastal village of Lochaline.

The pair will then put on wetsuits to swim the cold water of the Sound of Mull to complete the 2.5km/1.5-mile swim to the Isle of Mull. The strong tides and busy shipping route will make for a daring crossing as sleep deprivation sets in. 

Next will be a bike ride of 30km to the base of the last mountain climb. With a final 1000m climb on tired legs, their journey will come to an end on the summit of the final Munro, Ben More.

Commenting on the challenge ahead, athlete and director of operations at the Martin Moran Foundation, Alex said: “This is by far the most challenging thing Mike and I have taken on in the mountains.

“It will be a huge sense of achievement to stand on the final summit and know we have raised funds to support others to get out and experience the magic of mountain adventure. Your donations will keep us going.”

Alex believes his dad would be proud to know the pair are continuing his legacy through the foundation and taking on this epic journey over some of his favourite mountains. Alex added: “But, if he were here, dad would probably beat us to the finish line.”

The triathlon is sponsored by Mountain Equipment, who will be providing the athletes with the right gear.

To find out more about how you can support The Island Munros Triathlon or The Martin Moran Foundation, see www.martinmoranfoundation.com.

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