One of Scotland’s toughest endurance challenges is returning to Perthshire this summer and people are being asked if they are brave enough to take on the challenge.
The Cateran Yomp sees fundraisers take to the hills of Blairgowrie, walking 22, 36 or 54 miles in less than 24 hours.
The event raises money to support soldiers, veterans and their families through ABF, the Soldiers’ Charity.
People from across the world have signed up to take part and organisers predict participation numbers will double compared to last year.
This year’s Cateran Yomp takes place on June 4 and 5.
Pictures by Graham Niven and Ed Smith via PA Wire.
Teams will be starting at 6am and, for those walking the full distance, the challenge ends in the early hours of the next morning.
People who want to form a team and sign up to the challenge can enter online, where more details are available.
So far 180 teams of more than 1,000 people have signed up, with people travelling from Cyprus, Spain, the USA, Luxembourg and Ireland to take part this year.
Some 515 teams were involved last year.
Raising money for charity
ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity, was founded in 1944 and last year supported 60,000 people in 63 countries.
Since its launch, the Cateran Yomp has raised £4 million for the charity, more than £400,000 was raised last year alone.
Donations help fund things such as wheelchair ramps, respite care, personal recovery plans for injured soldiers.
One person taking part this year is Bob Ellis, a veteran and former chairman of Perth and Kinross Council’s countryside trust and who co-founded the Cateran Trail the event takes part on.
‘Much-needed funds for veterans’
Bob, who has completed the event seven times, said: “I was obviously really pleased about this not just because I was the co-founder of the Cateran Trail, but as an army veteran, it meant much-needed funds for those veterans and families who were in need.
“There is a huge sense of friendship when you are taking part in the yomp.
“The other thing that pleases me is the encouragement that participants give to each other.
“I have entered again but I will have to follow my own advice and, more importantly, obey my wife, Lyn. She has always been my back-up and will tell me if I am going too fast, too early.”
Two people joining from further afield are Alex Braceland and his wife Margaret, who both live in Cyprus.
Alex worked with The Soldier’s Charity after serving in the British Army for 36 years.
Margaret, who walks four or five times a week, last took part in 2020’s virtual event where she walked 10 miles while quarantined inside her apartment in Cyprus and climbed the 15 stairs in her block 200 times.
She said: “When you think what our soldiers in the British Army have to deal with each day, this is the least I can do.
“Sadly, some don’t come home to their loved ones or return with severe mental health problems, and they need our support.
“Alex is my support team and knows I love a challenge, so that’s a huge motivator, and I’m very fortunate to have his encouragement.”
Major General Tim Hyams, CEO of The Soldiers’ Charity, added, “We very much are looking forward to the 11th Cateran Yomp in June, expected to be our biggest Yomp yet.
“It should be a brilliant weekend, with everyone coming together for one common goal – to support soldiers, veterans and their families.”