THE idea of running non-stop for almost 24 hours is hard to fathom for the vast majority of us - but not for Lanark man Gregor Heron.
The 45-year-old has just won the Cateran Trail Ultramarathon, a gruelling 110 mile race with over 15,000 ft worth of climbing with the finish line near Glenshee.
To put the climb into context, Gregor climbed more than the three times the height of Ben Nevis during this monster run.
He said: “I’ve been doing races like this for a number of years and the hardest thing is running while it is dark; it’s quite tricky.
“You are trying to keep your eye on the road but the main thing you have to have is the mental strength to keep going.
“Thankfully my support group (wife Lynn and friend Gayle Tait) had to meet me every 10 miles to make sure I was fine.
“They were up all night as well.
“I had been building my strength up doing longish runs of about 50 miles and trying to do them back-to-back.
For example I’d do a run on a Friday night, come home and then do another one on the Saturday morning.
“I work in Hamilton so I’ve also been running back from there as well.”
A former mountain biker, Gregor has been running for the past 15 years and races for both the Carnethy Hill Runners in Edinburgh and the local Tinto Hill Runners of which his friend Gayle is secretary.
He has competed in a variety of events such as running The West Highland Way twice and taking part in a number of 24 hour challenges.
However, there is one major race later this year that he has set his sights on - The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, held each year in the Alps.
“The race is coming up in August,” said Gregor. “The race is around Mont Blanc and means that you travelling across France, Italy and Switzerland.
“The course is roughly 106 miles and this takes you up to around 30,000ft so it’s definitely a blue riband event.
“It’s very difficult to qualify, which I managed to do by winning the Cateran.
“For me it’s definitely one to tick off the bucket list. It will be unbelievable to be part of it.