Mission accomplished for Selkie man James

James Armour completed a 20 mile swim en route from Barra Head Lighthouse to the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse.

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Oban-based adventurer James Armour has became the first person ever to swim, run and cycle the length of the Outer Hebrides in one attempt.

The 25-year-old combined his twin passions of endurance sports and the environment to raise money for, and the profile of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), based in Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull.

The route.

Beginning at Barra Head Lighthouse on July 30, The Selkie, named after the mythological seal-folk that could shed their skin and walk on land, ended at the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse on August 1.

James completed the gruelling challenge, which incorporated 20 miles of swimming; 60 miles of running and 112 miles of cycling in 52 hours and 52 minutes only stopping for food and water breaks.

James, right, had some company on part of his 112 mile cycle.

Speaking to the Lochaber Times after his epic carb busting challenge James said: ‘I really had some low points before the Sound of Harris and seriously doubted I was going to actually make it over the crossing.

‘The only thing that got me through was Coca Cola and sweeties!’

Despite the intensity of the challenge, however, The Selkie hasn’t taken too much out of the European Iron Man competitor.

‘Mostly it’s a sore tongue and scars from the neoprene vest that linger the most, with my muscles feeling relatively OK,’ he added.

The Selkie contains six swims:

• Sound of Berneray 1 Mile
• Sound of Mingulay 2 Miles
• Sound of Pabbay 3 Miles
• Sandray to Vatersay 1 Mile
• Sound of Barra 6 Miles
• Sound of Harris 7 Miles

Two-legs of the race make up the cycle:

• The Uists 60 Miles.
• Harris (Leverburgh to Achmore) 52 Miles

There are three running stages in the Selkie:

• The southern isles 6 Miles.
• Barra 18 Miles.
• Lewis (Achmore to Butt of Lewis) 36 Miles

The 60 mile run wasn’t always plain sailing.

Originally from Edinburgh, James has competed in European Iron Man competitions and cares passionately about the environment having worked in Denmark as a project manager for a clean technology company.

Having travelled the world and marvelled at different species of animal, The Selkie is all about recognising the abundance of marine life on Scotland’s west coast and supporting the trust which raises awareness, protection and the conservation of whales and dolphins here.

‘I care a lot about the planet and our environment, and I have been lucky to travel all around the world,’ he added.

‘But it was only quite recently that I recognised what we have here in front of us on the West Coast – from killer whales to minke whales and Risso’s dolphins – and I was completely oblivious.’

At the time of writing James had raised a grand total of £14,059.32 for HWBT.  To contribute to his  fundraising effort, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesArmour