Hundreds of hardy hikers trooped through the Perthshire hills this weekend in one of Scotland’s toughest endurance challenges.
More than 1,150 brave souls signed up for this year’s Cateran Yomp, which saw soldiers and civilains marching side-by-side – through driving rain and mud – on a round-the-clock 54-mile circuit.
Organisers said the event, now in its seventh year, was a record-breaking success with yompers covering 37,000 miles collectively – the equivalent of one-and-a-half times round the earth.
Since its launch, the Cateran Trail challenge has made nearly £3 million for the ABF Soldier’s Charity, the national charity of the British Army.
The group offers a lifetime of support to soldiers, veterans and their families.
Among this year’s trekkers was former infrantryman and yomp ambassador Stewart Harris. He was left partially blinded and suffered brain damage while on duty in Afghanistan in 2012.
“Whilst I was unwell, the Soldier’s Charity stepped in to support my family,” he said. “Without their help, our lives would have become even more difficult. Without fundraising efforts like the Cateran Yomp, the charity would not be able to help people like me.”
The trek set off during a spell of torrential downpours on Saturday morning. Participants hiked from Blairgowrie to the Spittal of Glenshee and back again, via Kirkmichael.
With an average completion time of 22 hours, first place gold was award to Paul Osborne, 30, a project engineer from William Grant and Sons in Bellshill who finished in 11 hours, 59 minutes and 19 seconds.
“I’m dead chuffed with myself,” he said. “I did the event last year and came in 24th. I had lots of encouragement to do better this year, so I thought I’m going to hit it out of the park.”
William Grant and Sons was also named the top corporate fundraising team, on target to make £35,000.
The Courier also had a team in this year’s event.