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Veteran Women’s Munro Relay passes half-way

Written by Fiona

June 18 2022

The Veteran Women’s Munro Relay reached half-way earlier today. At 04:45 Munro 141 – Càrn Liath – was bagged by two women, Kate and Alison.

The continuous relay to reach all 282 Munros started on June 4 on Beinn Sgritheall before progressing through the 12 Munros of the Isle of Skye and then the mainland of north-west Scotland.

Today, the relay continues eastwards and into the western edge of the Cairngorms. As I write this another four Munros have already been bagged today.

What is the Veteran Women’s Munro Relay?

This month, a group of women, all aged over 40 and based in Scotland, are aiming to complete a full round of Munros on a non-stop journey by foot, both running and walking, as well as by bicycle and kayak.

Over the past fortnight, and average of 10 Munros have been bagged daily. 

I joined the relay last Monday completing two Munro summits on the Beinn Eighe ridge in Torridon.

While the weather at the start of the relay was sunny and calm with some days of high temperatures, the women have also faced much less clement conditions with high winds, low temperatures and a great deal of rain.

Navigation has been tricky at times due to low cloud and mist. The relay has journeyed through the night as well as the day.

There have been only a few occasions when the relay has paused for a short spell due to difficult weather. Some women, especially those who have been working hard behind the scenes on logistics, have had to deal with  sleep deprivation.

Yet despite the difficulties, the challenge has revealed a group of highly enthusiastic, resilient and up-beat ladies.

Fran Loots, the brainchild of the relay, said on June 15: “We’ve had a tough few weather days but nothing dampens the spirits of our team.”

Cuddly squirrels Morag and Nutmeg have carried the trackers throughout the round. 

The numbers: A non-stop Munro round

A continuous self-propelled round of all the Munros is a tough target. Munros are Scottish mountains with a summit of at least 3000ft / 914m.

In total, the team will climb around 137,000m, which is more than 15 times the height of Mt Everest. They are likely to cover a distance of more than 2500km by land and on water.

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.

You can donate on Just Giving.

Follow the Veteran Women’s Munro Relay

Follow progress on the live tracking website, Facebook and on Instagram.

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