A pair of runners from the United Kingdom have harnessed the heinously hot month of July to shatter mountain running records in the Scottish mountains. Jasmin Paris and Kim Collison have set new women’s and men’s 24-hour Munros records with ascents of dozens of peaks in Scotland.
The Munros are the 282 mountains in Scotland in excess of 3,000 feet in height. The idea behind the 24-hour record is to top out on as many peaks as possible in that time, and to return to the same place you started by the time the clock ticks over to 24 hours.
The records, 33 Munros totaling nearly 30,000 feet of climb for Collison, and 29 for Paris, totaling nearly 27,000 feet of climb, were set just weeks apart and in the dead of summer. Collison’s run spanned 100 miles. Paris tallied about 90 miles.
Jasmin Paris’s 24-Hour Munros Record of 29 Peaks
Paris, a 37-year-old mother of two, said she ran the first leg with her husband Konrad Rawlik and Jim Mann, the latter of whom previously held the men’s record when it was 30 top outs.
“It was one of the most beautiful nights of running I’ve ever experienced — good ground, a full moon, frequently silhouetting deer on the horizon, and a gradual pink/purple of dawn spreading over us as we ran,” Paris said. “Konrad headed straight back home to the children after that, and I continued onto the next leg supported by Ally Beaven and Sasha Chepelin, the latter of whom held the men’s record when it was 32 Munros.”
The later legs of the run presented challenges. Paris said she face-planted on the descent of Beinn Bhrotain, grazing the skin on her hands and knees in the process.
“The last leg — supported by John Ryan and Graham Nash — was hard, I had to dig deep to keep going. Now that I look back on some video of me during that leg, it’s funny to see how slowly I was moving!”
Paris said she spent a good deal of her time focusing on the thoughts of her children to stay positive throughout the Munros record run, especially when it got tough.
“The final long run-in along the valley tracks was more exciting than I’d have liked. We got a little disorientated with a few kilometers to go and ended up standing in a field thigh deep in grass, contemplating an electric fence and river crossing between us and where we suspected we should be.”
Luckily, Paris said she was able to get back on track and complete her route in under 24 hours.
Paris posted photos of her trekking over hills in front of a beautiful sunset and cooling off in a stream during the run.
Incredible Saturday spent running over 29 Munros with friends in the Cairngorms. Huge thanks to my fantastic support team! pic.twitter.com/1nuUpCTqSO
— Jasmin Paris (@JasminKParis) July 25, 2021
Men’s record-holder Collison wasted no time offering his congratulations to Paris, sending a tweet of his own the same day.
New Women’s 24 Hour Munro Record!! Outstanding day out with friends 👏👏 https://t.co/W6qlcIrCXm
— Kim Collison (@CollisonKim) July 25, 2021
Paris said she is thankful to have a support team of talented runners and a family that makes adventures like these possible.
“It’s nice to now have a ladies record to sit alongside the men’s,” she said. “I would expect (and hope) that like the men’s record over the past few years, it will be improved upon sooner rather than later.”
Kim Collison’s 24-Hour Munros Record of 33 Peaks
Collison, who completed his record-breaking run in early July, celebrated with a tweet on July 4.
What a 23 hours 48 mins! Over the moon to of run 33 Munro’s in a day. Could not done it without the support of so many. What an adventure pushing my limit. 😀📸@rossbrannigan95 pic.twitter.com/R7dD7Wyclg
— Kim Collison (@CollisonKim) July 4, 2021
“The Munros record really appealed to my sense of adventure. I would be able to explore new mountains and journey across a fantastic landscape, immersing myself in nature for 24 hours,” Collison said. “The record would really challenge my limits to see if it was possible, which made it exciting to attempt.”
Collison said highlights of his run included stunning views from Ben Macdui, the second-highest peak in Scotland, the feeling of flow in the first six hours, and spotting two magnificent stags near Lochnagar, his last Munro, just after dawn. But there were tough parts too.
“The hard part was battling fatigue during the night section with 10-meter visibility and rain whilst losing time on the buffer I had built up on the schedule,” he said. “The pressure of the clock ticking down and wondering if you have enough left in your tank to make it back to the finish is immense. The smile of achievement was incredible at the finish.”