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Scottish challenge: Veteran Women’s Munro Relay

Written by Fiona

May 19 2022

A group of women, all aged over 40 and based in Scotland, are setting out on a continuous self-propelled round of the Munros in Scotland this summer.

The aim of the Veteran Women’s Munro Relay is to reach the summit of the 282 Munros – Scottish mountains with a height of 3000ft (914m) or more – in a non-stop journey on foot, running and walking, as well as by bicycle and kayak.

The idea for the challenge came from Fran Loots, who works for Scottish Orienteering, and it is supported by dozens of enthusiastic and active women.

She said: “I had this daft notion in lockdown to do something to celebrate what women can do.

“I have always fancied an outdoor  challenge involving other women and I tentatively suggested the idea of an all-female relay last summer to some friends.

“The response was an overwhelming yes – and so the germ of an idea has grown with lots of work happening in the background and fabulous support from a great team of women.”

Some of the Veteran Women’s Munro Relay on a recce on Skye.

The Veteran Women’s Munro Relay feat

A continuous self-propelled round of all the Munros is a tough target. In total, the team will climb around 137,000 metres, which is more than 15 times the height of Mount Everest, and cover a distance of more than 2500km by land and on water.

Fran said: “We will run where we can – and cycle and kayak in between each mountains. 

“Many of the Munros are in some of the most beautiful, remote parts of Scotland and the round will involve some wild and challenging landscapes.” 

Fran Loots is the brainchild of the challenge.

Who are the Veteran Women’s Munro Relay team?

The Veteran Women’s Munro Relay team celebrates “being active as we age”.

Fran, a Nordic walking instructor, mountain leader and orienteering coach, said: “We are all 40 years-plus with many of us in our 60s.

“We are runners, orienteers, cyclists and kayakers, who love the freedom of being outdoors exploring our wild lands. 

“We know we are privileged and appreciate the opportunities we have.”

While the team is “free to run”, they know this is not the case for women and girls everywhere, so the Munros challenge will support and raise funds for Free to Run.

What is Free to Run?

Free to Run is a small charity that empowers women and girls through sport, training women as leaders in areas where it is more difficult for women and girls to be active.

Their current programme operates in Iraq and funds raised through the Veteran Women’s Munro Relay will support this mission.

Follow the Veteran Women’s Munro Relay

The aim of the Veteran Women’s Munro Relay team is to start on June 4 on the Isle of Skye, weather dependent.

Follow progress on Facebook and on Instagram.

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