An Angus vet has taken his personal challenges to new heights after completing the gruelling Cape Wrath Ultra challenge.
Gavin Durston, 48, of the Thrums Veterinary Group, completed the eight-day ultra-running expedition from Fort William to Cape Wrath, covering 250 miles and climbing 11,000 metres.
Out of the 177 runners from around the world who started the race, 40 retired with Gavin finishing as the 22nd placed male.
The course took in some of the world’s most inspirational landscapes, including Morar, Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Assynt and Sutherland.
It is virtually all off road and required a degree of navigation.
Gavin set himself the challenge of raising £1,000 for Bardet-Beidl Syndrome (BBS), an extremely rare genetic condition which has varying symptoms such as blindness.
On his Just Giving page he said: “At the beginning of 2017, our vet nurse Ashley Wilkie’s little girl, Caitlin, was diagnosed with BBS.
“BBS UK is the only registered charity which supports children and families who are impacted by BBS.
“There are no cures for this but Professor Phillip Beales from Great Ormond Street Hospital is researching the condition in great depth, and may only be a few years away from finding a cure to prevent the blindness element of the syndrome.”
Gavin’s efforts through the Cape Wrath challenge have already raised £1,467 for BBS.
He added: “I have already forgotten the bad bits, the whole thing was wonderful and I am glad I did it.
“There was a lot of navigation. The scenery was amazing and the weather was good – if I saw a speck in the distance I knew what direction to go in.”
Caitlin’s parents Ashley and Liam said: “2018 has been overwhelming for us as family.
“We set out to raise Caitlin’s charity, BBS UK, £5,000 in January and are sitting just over £41,000 including gift aid now.
“We have had lots of good-hearted people setting up fundraisers where they have challenged themselves personally.
“When Gavin decided to dedicate his next adventure to Caitlin and her cause, we were thrilled.
“Cape Wrath Ultra was a phenomenal achievement for Gavin and we loved following his progress daily whilst he was doing it.
“He raised a fantastic sum which will be going into the research currently underway at Great Ormond Street Hospital into gene therapy.”
She explained the hope for gene therapy is to slow down the rate or potentially stop the blindness element of the syndrome.
She added: “This would be a fantastic achievement if a breakthrough is sought as most sufferers are clinically blind by their teenage years.”
Gavin is no stranger to ultimate challenges, completing the gruelling Marathon Des Sables in 2010.
After a short rest he is now back training for the Glenmore 24 hour trail race in September.