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Oban-based adventurer James Armour has became the first person 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 and the profile of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), based in Tobermory.
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.
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 make it over the crossing. The only thing that got me through was coca cola and sweeties!’
Despite its intensity, 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 okay,’ he added.
The Selkie contains six swims:
• Sound of Berneray, one mile
• Sound of Mingulay, two miles
• Sound of Pabbay, three miles
• Sandray to Vatersay, one mile
• Sound of Barra, six miles
• Sound of Harris, seven 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, six miles.
• Barra, 18 miles.
• Lewis – Achmore to Butt of Lewis – 36 miles
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 £14,059.32 for HWDT. To contribute to his fundraising effort, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesArmour.