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In a bid to take things up a level since racing the Marathon des Sables last year, ESP’s resident action man Darren Grigas is now running 400km through the challenging terrain of the West Highlands.

Over eight days from Sunday May 22 he will race nearly 100 other competitors from the UK and overseas up to 45 miles per day over mountainous terrain totalling more than 11,000m is ascent. That’s 1.25 times the height of Everest!


The whole course is unmarked so runners have to navigate their own way across the country using map and compass, tackling climbs, crags, bogs and river crossings to make camp before each cut-off time. There are no food or water stops so natural sources such as streams and rivers will be the only supply each day.

This is the first time this event has taken place but is devised by organisers of the notorious Dragon’s Back race which typically has around a 40% drop-out rate.

With days like this there could be a pretty high retirement rate for this one too:

Day 1: 37km (23 miles) 500m ascent

Day 2: 57km (35 miles) 1,800m ascent

Day 3: 68km (42 miles) 2,400m ascent

Day 4: 35km (22 miles) 1,400m ascent

Day 5: 44km (27 miles) 1,400m ascent

Day 6: 72km (45 miles) 1,400m ascent

Day 7: 61km (38 miles) 1,600m ascent

Day 8: 26km (16 miles) 700m ascent

Darren hopes to raise vital funds for local charity Anna’s Hope who give life changing support for children battling or overcoming brain cancer.  As if this challenge wasn’t enough Darren accidentally broke his foot and tore some ankle tendons in late January so has only had around 8 weeks regular running training.  However he’s pledged to do his best to complete this epic event and would greatly appreciate all the support he can gather for Anna’s Hope.

It should be possible to track him live on the CWU website: and Darren will try to give updates on his own site here:



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