Perthshire’s Cateran Yomp has raised over £400,000 for ABF the Soldiers’ Charity during the event’s tenth anniversary at the weekend.
This year’s charity event saw over 500 participants take part in a 24-hour trek across the historic Cateran Trail in Perthshire.
The Cateran Yomp is Scotland’s largest mass participation walking event.
Money raised helps to support the Army’s national charity ABF the Soldiers’ Charity, which provides practical and financial assistance to soldiers, veterans and their families across the UK.
The trek began at 6am on Saturday and ended during the early hours of Sunday morning.
Soldiers and civilians taking part were challenged to walk 22, 36, or 54 miles in less than 24 hours.
Going for Gold
Eddie Towler, 53, from Bradford, took first place Gold and secured a course record after completing the full 54-mile route in just under ten hours.
The keen runner raised around £7,000 for the charity, making him the Yomp’s top fundraiser.
He said: “It was emotional but I really enjoyed it.
“The weather was fantastic, I got the course record, on the tenth anniversary, and the most sponsorship.
“There are some really nasty hills out there, ones I’d forgotten about which just go on and on, but I really enjoyed it.
“It’s a brilliant event.”
Second place was secured by Kevin Cooke, 47, from Exeter, followed by 55-year-old Fabienne Thompson from Perth.
Honeymoon at the Yomp
To celebrate their wedding day, two newlyweds from Pitlessie in Fife, Emma Adams and husband Andy, took part in the charity event as part of their honeymoon.
Emma said: “We just wanted to do something completely different and walking is something we both enjoy.
“We also wanted to raise money for ABF which is just an amazing charity.”
The pair got married in their back garden last summer and decided to celebrate at the event with Emma completing the trek in her wedding dress.
Referring to walking in a dress, Emma added: “Actually I’m really comfortable, should do this every year!
“I love the camaraderie, the banter and meetings lots of new people from all different places – it’s a very proud moment.”
Participants from across the world
One participant, 60-year-old Guy Houston, had travelled across the world from California to take part in this year’s Yomp.
Guy said: “I do a lot of hiking in California and set my heart on the Cateran Yomp after seeing it online.
“I’d been planning this trip for three years but couldn’t do it two years ago, then Covid struck and then the June Yomp was put back to September.
“It was fantastic to finally get here and walk the trail.”
Support for families
Setting off the participants was Yomp ambassador Brenda Hale who lost her husband, Captain Mark Hale, in August 2009 after he was killed serving with two Rifles in Afghanistan.
Mark and Brenda were married for 22 years and had two daughters together who the charity helped fund by paying a three-year-grant towards school fees to support the family during their loss.
Brenda said, “This was my first Yomp and the motivation, determination and enthusiasm of the participants has been truly inspiring.
“It’s also been both emotional and uplifting sharing my own story and I’d like to thank all of the fundraisers for their amazing support.”
Major General Martin Rutledge, chief executive of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity said: “After this turbulent 18 months and the postponement of both last year’s event and the June 2021 event, we were delighted to celebrate the tenth Cateran Yomp this weekend, a tough but immensely worthwhile challenge for all.
“The event’s success is down to the generosity, hard work and determination of many people whose support and funds will make a real difference to the lives of service people and their families in Scotland and across the UK, particularly during these difficult times.”