Why sheep farmer James scaled seven mountain peaks in just half-a-day
A farmer who had never climbed a mountain nine months ago managed to conquer all seven of the Mournes' highest peaks in less than 12 hours at the weekend.
James Gilpin (31) swapped his wellies for walking boots to complete the gruelling Mourne Seven Sevens challenge - an 18-mile trek across the range.
The Comber-based sheep farmer told how his fellow walkers spurred him on, and revealed his surprise on hearing he managed to beat the time of Cool FM presenter Paulo Ross.
James said he first started hillwalking in preparation for a charity challenge with Co Down Young Farmers in April, when he was one of 23 members who completed the Mourne Wall Challenge in 15 hours.
But the pressure was on for the Seven Sevens event with a cut-off time in place at Ben Crom dam along the route to ensure walkers finish before nightfall - meaning James would have to be faster than he was in April.
The event run by the Spartan Red Socks sees competitors take on the peaks of Donard, Commedagh, Bernagh, Meelmore, Meelbeg, Binnian and Lamagan.
Alongside his friend James Smyth, he finished with a time of 11 hours 13 minutes.
"There was one bit I hadn't walked at all until Saturday," he said.