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Kim Collison shatters record by running 33 mountains and climbing 29,500ft in 24 hours

Kim Collison
Kim Collison smashes 24-hour mountain running record (Image credit: Ross Brannigan)

Another impressive mountain running record fell this week when Kim Collison reached 33 mountains – and climbed 29,500ft – in 24 hours.

The 41-year-old running coach ran 100 miles to summit the Scottish mountains – known as Munros – all with a summit of more than 3000ft.

He beat the previous record set by Sasha Chepelin last August when he reached 32 Munros.

It is the third record Kim has broken in the UK’s hills and mountains in the last 15 months. Exactly a year ago, he set a new 24-hour record in the English Lake District, where he lives.

He ran to 78 peaks of at least 2000ft in under 24 hours, covering 90 miles and 38,500ft in 23 hours and 45 minutes.

In April 2021, Kim also ran into the record books with a new fastest time for a classic journey of Welsh mountains called the Paddy Buckley Round. That time he ran 61 miles and 28,000ft of elevation to reach 47 summits.

After finishing his latest epic mountain run, Kim said: “Running to the most Munros in 24 hours is very tough. I am very happy to have set a new record but it was a very hard run.”

Kim Collison

Rain and poor visibility slowed Kim Collison during the tough mountain challenge  (Image credit: Al Hubbard)

Kim Collison

Kim praised his support team during the endurance run  (Image credit: Richard Bannister)

Kim Collison

KIm set a fast schedule to beat the 24-hour mountain running record (Image credit: Matt Stapley)

Only minutes to spare in record 24-hour mountain run

Kim left himself only 11.5 minutes inside the 24 hours to finish the circuit of mountains. Rules dictate that runners must start and finish at the same place, remote Invercauld Bridge near the historic Scottish town of Braemar.

The choice of route over the mountains is down to the runner but Kim ran the Munros in the same order as Sasha. He added an extra mountain, 4251ft tall Braeriach.

Munros are Scottish mountains with a summit of over 3000ft. There are 282 in total. 

Kim said: “I thought it was possible if all things went well to add an extra Munro to the 24-hour challenge but anything can go wrong with this sort of journey. In the end there was very little time spare. 

“With a 24-hour record, it’s a performance challenge, pushing hard through all the hours.”

Kim suffered the usual lows of this type of run, including fatigue and an inability to eat.

He said: “At one point, close to the end, I had to sit down and stuff pizza into my mouth. I knew I needed to eat.”

The weather was mostly good for a long-distance run although the evening threw up rain and poor visibility.

Kim, a La Sportiva athlete,  said: “I am grateful to my running support and their navigation for the times when we could hardly see in front of us due to the weather and then the darkness of night-time.

“Inevitably there are slower stages during a 24-hour challenge.”

Kim also enjoyed a number of highlights. He said: “The views are amazing in this part of Scotland, especially in the Cairngorms. On one summit we were met by two huge stags, which was incredible.  

“I also enjoyed the community aspect of the run. So many people came out to support me. Some I knew and some I didn’t. I am very grateful to all those that were part of the team, including my wife.

"This record would not have been possible without all of them.”

Fiona Russell

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.