More than 1,000 walkers commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day by trekking 54 miles and raising nearly £300,000 for charity in this year’s Cateran Yomp.
Yompers took on the 24-hour endurance challenge across the foothills of the Cairngorms fundraising £299,641 for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
As well as marking the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings, this year’s Cateran Yomp also celebrated 75 years of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity which was set up in 1944 to ensure soldiers returning from the Second World War received the welfare support they needed.
The 2019 Yomp sold out with participants from across the UK and further afield, including teams from Ukraine, Georgia, America and Australia.
The first person to cross the gold finishing line was Warren Young from Inverurie in 12 hours 06 minutes and the oldest participant to complete the Yomp in 23 hours and 53 minutes was 70-year-old Torquil MacLeod from Blairgowrie.
The fastest Scottish team to cross the finishing line, completing the gold 54 mile route in 13 hours and 39 minutes, were former Dundee High pupils, Dominic Wedderburn and George Lorimer, Pete Grewar.
The trio, who are all part of Dundee High Old Boys Club, raised £4,575 for charity.
George said: “The Yomp is such a meaningful and magnificent event. We are leaving on such a high having helped contribute to the £300,000 fundraising target.
“After food and a massage at the event hub, we feel great – our legs are a bit funny but tomorrow they’ll be back to normal, which isn’t the case for many of the veterans out on the course walking on prosthetic limbs.”
The biggest individual fundraiser was Ruraidh Macdonald from Bridge of Allan who raised over £10,000 while The Macallan whisky company raised over £40,000.
Major Sandy Hennis, the 2019 Cateran Yomp Ambassador who was one of the first women to ski across Antarctica, said she had underestimated how tough the event is.
Major Hennis said: “The Yomp truly is one of Scotland’s toughest endurance events and I applaud every single person who took part.
“Taking the first step across the Cateran Yomp start line requires commitment, self-belief and fitness, with the changeable weather adding a whole new level of endurance to this year’s event.”
Robin Bacon, of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, explained how the money raised would continue to help veterans in the charity’s milestone year.
Mr Bacon said: “ABF The Soldiers’ Charity’s central purpose has not changed in its 75 years of existence.
“We exist to ensure that all soldiers, veterans and their immediate families can live a life of independence and dignity.
“In the past year, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity has provided support to 92 charities in 68 countries supporting 70,000 British Army soldiers, veterans and their families.”
The Cateran Yomp brings thousands of visitors to Perthshire and Angus every summer with plans are already in place for the tenth year.
Mr Bacon said: “We’re already planning how to make the 2020 Cateran Yomp extra special.
“It will take place over the weekend of 6-7 June and entries are now open.”