Each week, we’ll be introducing you to one of the amazing ambassadors who are helping the #ItsUptoUs campaign by stepping up to #SaveMountainPaths.
This week, we’re meeting the inspirational and record-breaking mountain-runner Pawel Cymbalista, who the Mountaineering Scotland team had the pleasure of hearing speak as part of Tales from the Trails at the 2023 Fort William Mountain Festival. He said:
“Hello! I’m Pawel Cymbalista, a 35-year-old mountain runner, ultra runner, and coach at Pawel Cymbalista My Mountain Lab Coaching. Originally from Poland, I relocated to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands in 2013. It was there that my love for the Highlands blossomed as I explored the local hills and trails through running. Currently, I reside in the picturesque port village of Mallaig on the West Coast in Lochaber.
“Reflecting on my journey, it’s incredible to think how far I’ve come in the past decade. I was never athletically inclined, but Scotland’s influence transformed my life, shaping me into who I am today.
“Over the years, I’ve achieved numerous long-distance Fastest Known Times, including the First Unsupported Cape Wrath Trail completed in 86 hours and 49 minutes. I’ve also achieved Fastest Known Times like the Great Glen Way, East Highland Way, and Unsupported West Highlands Way. Through these endeavours, I’ve raised funds for local charities in the region.
“Apart from personal achievements, I find fulfilment in coaching others, pushing myself through running, and constantly seeking new ways to unlock my potential and reach new heights.
“My long-distance running exploits have led me to breathtaking locations that few have ever witnessed. These places range from untouched landscapes unmarked by human footprints to well-travelled areas frequented by visitors daily. Recognising the need for their preservation, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve as an Ambassador for Mountaineering Scotland. This program allows me to give back to the region that has given me so much.
“As someone who utilizes these paths on a daily basis, being part of a team that spreads awareness and helps maintain our invaluable outdoor trails holds great significance for me. I am committed to ensuring that future generations, including our children, can experience the wonders of these paths for years to come.”