Run to the North

In 2011, Charlie pioneered a running trail 350kms across Scotland, running the entire route in 100 hours.

Standing on top of Ben Nevis at the start of his epic journey, Charlie simply looked north and started running. During the 4 days, he ascended 9,000 metres (higher than Mount Everest), crossed rivers, circumnavigated lochs and scaled boulder strewn mountains. Of the 350kms, only 30kms was run on road.

“It was the most magnificent, serene, peaceful run I’ve ever embarked on. I was blessed with perfect weather for 3 of the days, saw otters, eagles, deer and only 6 people. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to that spectacular wilderness and do it all over again.”

Charlie was accompanied in Scotland by his nephew, Angus Collins, who drove the support van, fed him, carried spare clothes & shoes, and provided him with a tent and camp bed to grab 3 or 4 hours sleep each night. With mobile phone signal being non-existent in the remote countryside, Charlie and Angus communicated via lasers, beaming them into the sky to see where the other one was to ensure they wouldn’t miss each other.

Charlie’s fortunes changed on the last day and he was faced with running against northerly winds and lashing rain. In true Charlie spirit, he arrived at Cape Wrath lighthouse with a big smile on his face and from there, took the ferry to Durness where he was greeted with an enormous cooked breakfast.

Soon after Charlie’s run, the Cape Wrath Trail was declared an official route up the west coast of Scotland and in 2016 the first Cape Wrath Trail Ultra Marathon was launched.