Innes warms up for world record in land of fire and ice

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Oban ‘gym guy’ Innes Hughes will be turning up the temperature in October when he attempts to set a new world record for running the length of Iceland.

The 24-year-old personal trainer is aiming to be one of the first from Scotland to achieve a Guinness World Record by completing the Run of Fire and Ice in under 10 days.

Like any athlete, Innes will have a top team behind him and will be travelling to Iceland with friends Cameron Scott and Katie Shepherd, also from Oban.

Innes’s girlfriend Natalia will be supporting from her home in Glasgow, while coach Carla Molinaro, women’s LEJOG world record holder, is making sure he is physically and mentally ready to take on the challenge.

Once the trio get to Iceland, Cameron will be in charge of logistics while Katie will document the attempt. So all Innes needs to do is run.

‘It has been a difficult year for me so far,’ said Innes, who was stopped in his tracks during his attempt at the Fort William 100, in aid of Martyn’s Monday Club – now Argyll Wellbeing Hub – in December due to issues arising from a gallbladder operation. He had planned a re-run on June 30 this year but that, too, was cancelled when he caught Covid 19 in May.

‘It took me three weeks to recover,’ he told The Oban Times, ‘so I decided to put the 100 miler on hold to allow me to be ready for October.’

When asked why Iceland, Innes’s response is ‘why not?’

‘Iceland is a once in a lifetime opportunity compared to the 100 miler which will still be there later in the year.

‘Once I’ve conquered Iceland, I’ll come back and hopefully not too long after re-run the 100 miler.’

The team will fly out to Iceland on October 26 and Innes will begin the run on October 28th. He plans to complete the 704km – almost 438 miles – route on November 5.

To keep in line with Guiness requirements, Innes’s attempt will start from Dyrhólaey lighthouse on the south coast and finish at Hraunhafnartangi lighthouse on the north coast.

He plans to beat the current record of 10 days 13 hours 11 minutes, set by the UK’s Tom Whittle in 2018, by at least 24 hours and to do so will run 50 miles every day for nine days.

Innes has been in touch with Tom who has wished the Scot all the best in his endeavour.

‘Tom has been a great support and said he really hopes I do it,’ added Innes.

‘And, with the help of the fantastic team I have around me, I’m quite confident I can.’

While the Iceland run is a personal challenge, Innes intends to raise funds from it and will name his chosen charity in the coming weeks. He is also seeking sponsorship from local businesses.