Why run 1000 Mountains?


After my seemingly spontaneous decision to take my #RunningtheSummits Mountain Challenge to a whole new level it seems only fair to answer the big question……why???



When I had the idea to take myself off on a little jog over the 180 Hewitt classified ‘Mountains’ of England that in itself seemed pretty daunting and to tell the truth I found the whole idea quite scary – I only had to climb a mere THREE summits on my #3PeAksRun, on all of which I experienced bad weather and some challenging conditions, and this was summer time on the most visited mountaintops in Britain with good paths and rarely a place to find yourself really alone. Of the hundreds of other mountains around the British Isles many are much more remote, difficult to reach, pathless and far less visited places.


I do have a strong background of hill walking, a reasonable level of experience and have taken several courses in summer and winter hill skills and navigation, but I still hold a very cautious and wary respect for the mountains as places where I have often been tested. I relate it a little bit to the person who dives into the ocean proclaiming themselves a strong swimmer – it doesn’t matter how strong a swimmer you are, you will never be a match for nature!



But at the same time, being in the mountains has brought me moments of my greatest joy, and certainly nowadays, running trails. As trail, mountain and fellrunners will surely attest, there is nothing quite like the feeling of freedom and agility of moving quickly along a technical trail skipping lightly from rock to rock. When the trail stars align the experience is that of a sublime dance with thd landscape. Then again, when they do not and you faceplant into a tree it can smart a bit!

So the decision to attempt to reach the tops of 1000 Mountains was not taken lightly. But I was feeling that the challenge needed to be something bigger, something to really test my mettle, but also a (dare I say) ‘journey’ to experience and learn so much more about our high places. I wanted the whole experience to last longer and have the opportunity to involve many more people. I had also set a ridiculously big fundraising target and felt it needed a challenge to match.



I also seemed to be getting signs ( I know, sounds a bit sketchy) – but I kept coming across inspiring adventures of others, relating to their motives and experiences while my own growing obsession with mountains was quietly cultivating away. I was beginning to get strong emotions attached to random hills and was discovering I could recognise many peaks from photos of their ridgelines or surrounding landscapes as easily as old friends. The time was right to spend some serious time in the hills!



I recently came across a trailer for the upcoming film ‘Edie’ starring Sheila Hancock which is the story of an elderly woman fulfilling a long held dream to climb a mountain in Scotland. The mountain in question is Suilven, an enigmatic peak which had held me quite entranced when I finally saw it for the first time last winter while spending some time in this remote corner of Scotland. I was equally as inspired by Sheila Hancock. Although the story behind Edie is a work of fiction the true story is that Sheila at 83 years of age did indeed climb that mountain proving the films tag line that it’s never too late.

assynt-suilven-autumn-glencanisp-lodgeThe majestic Suilven – photo credit James Barlow Photography

A final and far more straightforward reason to up my game to 1000 Mountains is simply…..because they are there? Not in a flippant sense but because we actually have so many incredible peaks in the British Isles and it seemed a shame to limit my adventure to so few of them. Climbing only those classified as Hewitts did seem to mean missing out on so many beautiful summits so the #RunningtheSummits 1000 will include peaks classified as Hewitts, Nuttalls and Scottish Munros…..all meeting the loosely accepted definition of a mountain by rising to a minimum of 2000 feet, and Marilyns, which include some lower hills but they do all have an elevation of at least 150 metres relative to the surrounding terrain making them really dominate their surroundings – true ‘mini mountains’. I also plan to include some people’s choice favourites that may not have made it onto any peak-bagging list! There have already been some fantastic hilly recommendations!

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Perhaps a bit of a cliché but #RunningtheSummits has all the potential of an adventure of a lifetime for me and I can’t wait to begin. But what I am most looking forward to is seeing some of you guys out there in the glorious British hills and meeting more of the incredible people who voluntarily give their time to help others as part of the Mountain Rescue Teams, Search Dog handlers and Fix the Fells – the real heroes of this story!


Please join this mountainous adventure by following this blog, liking the facebook page and supporting the mountain charities by donating a little if you can.



Happy trails – see you on a summit!  Tina and trail dog Patch😁👍👣🐾


Introducing Running the Summits!

So….one or two people have been asking me

“what’s your next challenge?


Well, I cant deny I had been thinking about a few ideas for a new, challenging adventure. The #3PeAksRun was a run into the unknown in the sense that i had no idea if my body would hold up to such intense multi day running and, indeed, just two days in I was almost convinced that it wouldn’t. But one of the points of this challenge was to push myself to see if I could go beyond what I thought I could do. More than one person suggested that I couldn’t pull it off but we never know what we are capable of unless we give it a go.


With that in mind I plan to attempt a bigger, tougher trial by mountain starting in 2018 –

Running the Summits –A jog over 1000 Mountains of the British Isles in 365 Days


It’s quite a leap from 3 mountains to 1000 so this will be a real monster of a challenge and I dont mind admitting I’m trying to construtively channel the fear on this one. Our diminutive mountains may lack a little in stature but they certainly pack the punch of far loftier peaks in terms of challenge. Even in summer conditions our mountains can possess huge difficulties with terrain, weather conditions and navigation. When I summited each of the 3PeAks, the conditions were far from ‘summery’, each one shrouded in mist and cloud and I struggled through poor visibility, high winds, rain and hail – imagine that 1000 times!

With this new adventure I hope to raise further funds for the phenomenal work of our Mountain Rescue Teams and Search and Rescue Dog Association England as well as the double award winning volunteer manned charity, Fix the Fells. Though Mountain Rescue Team members would never refer to themselves as heroes the work they do must certainly be described as heroic not to mention the huge amount of commitment and sacrifice they make and the unwavering support from their families, friends and colleagues in order for them to carry out this work, and all for no financial reward. These highly skilled volunteers involved in Search and Rescue are called to a myriad of situations – lost, injured or disoriented walkers, climbers or runners, school groups, missing children, vulnerable people suffering from mental illness and depression, avalanche victims, flood or weather related rescue or downed aircraft to name but a few and the teams are receiving more callouts every year!


What can YOU do to help?
Support my mountainous challenge by donating to these charities at


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I look forward to seeing you on the trail ( virtual or actual👍)
Tina and TrailDog Patch 😁 👣🐾


Be Outdoors Savvy

These super helpful websites have a ton of free info and advice on enjoying the outdoors with confidence. With free downloads and social connections, plus how to get involved to protect your own great outdoors these are some top resources. If you are planning your own 3 Peaks Challenge or outdoors fund raising event there is also a lot of help here to organise it safely and responsibly……good luck and #getoutdoors


A fantastic wealth of information on this great site whose aim is to provide a free resource for people to learn and be more fully prepared for their outdoors adventures in the hills and mountains of the UK. Advice on everything from how to best pack your rucksack, great lunch treats, or how to safely move on challenging terrain and avoid common hazards. Check it out here


Walkhighlands is the busiest outdoors website in Scotland. Their mission is to encourage the enjoyment of walking through being the best information resource and social network for walking in Scotland They are a great source for info on routes, with downloads, podcasts and advice on safety, skills and navigation. It is also a great social forum to log and share experiences. You can explore the site here

mwissmallMountain Weather Information Service

An essential portal for all hill goers from novice walkers to experienced mountain goers. Detailed, relevant and up to date forecasting for specific upland areas. Get the latest forecasts here

20170501_153107-200x66Three Peaks Partnership

The three peaks partnership exists to protect the stunning landscapes that are home to the three highest mountains in England, Scotland  and Wales. Made up of organisations and charities that manage these regions they aim to provide the help and assistance needed to ensure those undertaking the National 3 Peaks Challenge can do so in a way that means these iconic mountains can be enjoyed for years to come. But they are also an invaluable source of information for any walkers visiting the regions. Find out more about these beautiful places here

threepeakspartnersmallThe Real 3 Peaks Challenge

This great well supported project, the brainchild of popular mountain guide Richard Pyne aims to educate visitors on the importance of maintaining mountain and upland environments. Every year volunteer teams trek to the tops of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon on the same day to remove as much discarded litter as possible from the summits and hiking paths. Removing well over 500kg from the peaks last year they made front page news by discovering a sex toy on top of the mountain! Other unusual finds include a pair of boots, a handbag, a porcelain toilet, several garden gnomes and an ornamental bench! Check out their Facebook page where you can also sign up to join the 5th annual event this year on October 7th here



The BMC is a representative body for climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers. They are a phenomenal resource for all things hill-going as well as producing some incredible and inspiring outdoor films that can be viewed via their website and they work very hard to protect our beautiful upland and mountain environments. The BMC produces a number of good practice Green Guides which give a wide range of super useful info on topics from how to minimise your impact in the hills, staying safe or how to spot rare species. The guides are free and can be downloaded, click on the cover photos below to see them at the BMC along with a rucksack load of other info!


New to the outdoors or planning your own adventure challenge? Some great advice in these downloadable guides.

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