Dr Andrew Murray completes ultra marathons challenge early

Andrew Murray Andrew Murray won the Ice Marathon in Antarctica

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An Edinburgh doctor who set out to run seven ultra marathons on seven continents in a week has completed the challenge with a day to spare.

Andrew Murray travelled to Antarctica, Patagonia, Atlanta, London, Egypt, Dubai and Australia, where he finished on the Harbour Bridge in Sydney.

He ran 31 miles at each location, and completed the challenge in five-and-a-half days.

The medic said a lack of sleep proved his biggest challenge on the trip.

Dr Murray, who is originally from Aberdeen, told BBC Radio Scotland: "The toughest part of the whole challenge was actually jetlag.

"I've run a fair bit of ultra marathons and long-distance events previously, but I've never had to contend with so many airline meals and also with just constantly being on your feet.

"Even if you weren't on the plane and you were checking in, you hardly ever had the opportunity actually to put your feet up, so I managed a grand total of 10-and-a-half hours (of sleep) in the first five days of the challenge. I slept pretty thoroughly last night."

'Absolutely epic'

But speaking from Australia, he said it had been a fantastic experience.

He said: "It was absolutely epic. There were some amazing places to run, some amazing places to see."

The first part of the challenge was the Ice Marathon in Antarctica, which he won in a time of three hours 41 minutes.

Dr Murray, 32, the Scottish Government's physical activity champion, took on the challenge to promote the benefits of exercise, with the hope of raising more than £10,000 for charity.

He hoped people would walk, run or cycle 5km (three miles) each day he was away on the adventure.

Dr Murray, who was also raising money for the Scottish Association for Mental Health, expects to be back in Scotland on Saturday.

Ultra marathons see people run or walk longer than the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles (42.19km).

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