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PICTURES: Cateran Yomp charity walk raises over £425k

This year's Cateran Yomp was held on Saturday and Sunday and included in The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
This year's Cateran Yomp was held on Saturday and Sunday and included in The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

An epic 24-hour charity walk through Perthshire has raised more than £425,000 to help soldiers, veterans and their families.

Called one of Scotland’s toughest endurance challenges, 631 soldiers and civilians took part in the Cateran Yomp through the hills of Blairgowrie on the Cateran Trail.

The Cateran Yomp was held in the hills of Blairgowrie in Perthshire.
The Cateran Yomp was held in the hills of Blairgowrie in Perthshire. Graham Niven and Ed Smith/ Via PA

The event was held for the 11th time on Saturday and Sunday, during The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend and was one of the official events for the celebrations.

People came from around the world to take part, from the United States, Canada, Australia, Cyprus, Poland and the Netherlands.

Three different length walks were available.

All were raising money for ABF The Soldier’s Charity, the Army’s national charity which has been supporting soldiers, veterans and their families since 1944.

Last year the charity supported 60,000 people in 63 countries around the world.

The Queen is patron of the charity and Commander in Chief of the British Army.

The Cateran Yomp takes place in the hills of Blairgowrie in Perthshire.
The Cateran Yomp takes place in the hills of Blairgowrie in Perthshire.

The participants had an early start on Saturday, leaving at 6am and finishing in the early hours of Sunday morning.

They were set off by Lieutenant Colonel Alan Crawford, who served with the Scots Guards for 40 years and completed tours across the world.

People walked through the night to complete the challenge. Supplied by Ed Smith/ Via PA

Teams of brave souls walked 22, 36 or 54 miles in less than 24 hours.

And the weather held up, with only brief showers around the foothills of the Cairngorms.

More than £425,000 has been raised.

This year saw the first ever female solo winner, 50-year-old Bonny Smart from Plymouth who ran the gold route in 12 hours and 50 minutes, despite only taking up running last year.

Bonny, part of a team of four called Limping Lunatics, said: ““I’m a boxer and couldn’t run a mile a year ago. I’ve only ever run 30 miles in one go before this weekend but running’s definitely my thing now! It’s been a massive journey to get to this point,  in more ways than one!”

Bonny Smart, the first ever female solo winner of the 54 mile Cateran Yomp.
Bonny Smart, the first ever female solo winner of the 54 mile Cateran Yomp.

Second place went to Martin Greenaway, 52, from Essex, finishing in 13 hours and eight minutes, and third place to Alexander Seagar, 37, from Sunderland, completing in 13 hours and 30 minutes.

A total of 631 people took part in the Cateran Yomp this year.
A total of 631 people took part in the Cateran Yomp this year. Graham Niven and Ed Smith/ Via PA

Some of the participants were a bit closer to home, including Bob Ellis from Blairgowrie who founded the Cateran Trail.

Bob took part in his eighth Yomp and is the event’s oldest participant at the age of 73.

The former Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust chairman said: “There is a huge sense of friendship when you are taking part in the Yomp; you get to meet all kinds of people from around the world.

Founder of the Cateran Trail, Bob Ellis.
Founder of the Cateran Trail, Bob Ellis. Graham Niven and Ed Smith/ Via PA

“The other thing that pleases me is the encouragement that participants give to each other, and that is really good and trust me, it does help.”

Dover Fueling Solutions from Dundee, who were the t-shirt sponsor again this year, had a team of 20 taking part compared to the eight from last year. They have collectively raised over £5,000.

The 20 strong team from Dover Fueling Solutions of Dundee.
The 20 strong team from Dover Fueling Solutions of Dundee. Graham Niven and Ed Smith/ Via PA

Major General Tim Hyams OBE, chief executive of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, said: “ABF The Soldiers’ Charity was absolutely delighted to be back this weekend for the Cateran Yomp, which this year has been one of the official events of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, our patron.

“It was particularly special to come together over the Platinum Jubilee weekend itself to raise considerable funds to support our work to provide a lifetime of support to serving soldiers, former soldiers, and their immediate families when they are in need.

“An immensely tough, but also incredibly rewarding event, my heartfelt congratulations and thanks go to every participant.

“As always though, the event’s success rests on the contribution made by those who supported it so brilliantly.  And so my sincere thanks go to the support teams, caterers, event sponsors and individual sponsors.”

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