4 Jun

Truly, MADly, steeply: Arthur’s Seat climbers reach new heights for change


MAD Seat, an event which turns the idea of sponsoring a runner to take part in a challenge on its head, took place at the weekend – and organisers MAD Challenges are thrilled with its success.

As reported last year in runABC Scotland online, instead of asking for money, participants in MAD Seat asked their friends and family to make behaviour change pledges that would benefit their environment and health, in exchange for their own commitment to climb up Arthur’s Seat as many times as they could in 24, 12 or 6 hours.
So far, the 2019 participants have gathered 1422 pledges – and counting – through the platform Do Nation. This has saved 52 tons of CO2 emissions, which is equal to 472 flights from Glasgow to Amsterdam.  
Organiser and co-founder of MAD Challenges, Dave Bell, told runABC Scotland online: “All of our participants and volunteers were incredible and supported each other with encouragement, conversation and snacks throughout the event. We are delighted that even as the event gets bigger, we can keep creating an inclusive and friendly atmosphere that supports people to reach their own targets.”
When all was said and done, those taking part finished 1069 ascents of Arthur's Seat – well beyond the 2018 record of 755. 
But that wasn’t the only record broken. A new 24-hour record of 61 ascents was set by Lewis Breen, smashing the previous record of 48 he set in 2017. In the 12-hour event, the top three finishers all broke the previous record of 24 climbs. Alex Leutchford finished on 33, Sam Chrisp on 31 and Edite Gailite on 27. 
The winner of the six-hour race was Ellie Corsie with 15 climbs, just one short of the record.
Bell added: “The number of new records set is really exciting for us. As the event grows each year, it’s brilliant to see the bar being raised higher and people setting their own level of challenge – whether they’re ultra runners, or heading up Arthur's Seat for the first time.”
The event was summed up well by Edite Gailite, who took second place in the 12-hour event. She said: “MAD Seat is the toughest and most enjoyable race I have ever done. It is a great, friendly and thought provoking event, and unlike any other race I have taken part in. It's all about everyone realising that by making these small changes we can have a massive impact on what we are leaving behind for future generations.” 
Image courtesy MAD Challenges