Charlotte battles ice and pain to complete 80-mile run

A woman has raised over £2,000 for charity after running the length of Shetland.

Charlotte Black, from Dunrossness, dashed 80 miles from Norwick in Unst to Sumburgh Head on Thursday night and Friday morning.

The seasoned long-distance runner and mother of six completed the mammoth run in 16 hours and 45 minutes.

Her latest running venture – for CLAN and the schools music festival – began shortly before 7pm on Thursday.

Charlotte Black.

She ran through the night, often in icy conditions, before finally reaching her destination late on Friday morning.

Charlotte and husband, Hansen, drove to Unst for her to start the epic run, with Mr Black providing back-up support when needed.
She said she was “blown away” by the support she received.

“Unst is 12 miles and I got to the ferry just before it left, so that was perfect,” said Charlotte.

“Yell was icy, and I hadn’t been expecting ice, so that was a bit tricky underfoot.

“There were 18 miles in Yell and then the ferry, and the last 50 miles I broke into 10 mile segments. Hansen went ahead with the car, and I ran to him and had a drink or a bite to eat, and then carried on.”

Charlotte said running in the night seemed to suit her.

“I run in the dark every morning, because I get up at half five and go running in the dark. I’m running at this time of year with a head torch on anyway, so I wasn’t fazed by the dark. I was wondering how the lack of sleep would go, but it was quite amazing – I didn’t feel sleepy.”

The road surfaces continued to be slippery until the half-way house.

She was encouraged to see people turning out to support her along the way.

“One of the highlights of the run was going through Dunrossness. All the kids from the school and the teachers came out, and they lined the pavement down through Dunrossness as I ran through.

“That was just brilliant because by then I was really tired. It was home turf, but there was still a long way to go, and they were all cheering and high-fiving – it was just brilliant.”

Having reached the South End, Charlotte faced one final, strenuous challenge – a run up the hill towards the Sumburgh lighthouse. But she was assured a warm welcome by workers carrying out development work on the structure.

“It was steep, and my leg was refusing to lift by that point. Of course, all the contractors are there doing the work on the lighthouse just now. They were all standing there and gave me three cheers. They got a tape and put it across the entrance to the lighthouse and I ran through the tape.

“They got me a chair and a bottle of champagne, and that was great. And then they gave me a lift back down to the car park.”

Charlotte decided to support the school’s music festival after becoming involved in the project last year and being left impressed by the wealth of musical talent. CLAN, she said, was a “great resource” for many people in Shetland.

She said she was “really chuffed” by how the run had gone. More in this week’s Shetland Times.


Add Your Comment
  • Lindsey McPherson

    • December 3rd, 2012 18:06

    The Awsome, amazing Mrs Black – well done Charlotte.
    p.s. if I had 6 kids I think I’d be running to 🙂


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