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Strathpuffer 2019: The toughest yet

Written by Fiona

January 21 2019

The legendary 24-hour mountain biking event, the Strathpuffer 24, has been declared the toughest edition since it launched 14 years ago. Following weeks of very mild weather, the 2019 race took place at the weekend amid suddenly very cold and icy conditions.

Already renowned as one of the world’s most challenging endurance mountain biking events, plummeting temperatures turned the muddy 13km course near Strathpeffer, in the Scottish Highlands, into a treacherous route of black ice and glassy rock slabs.

This was on top of 17 hours of darkness and light rain in the final few hours, which made the trail even more slippery for the weary riders.

As you might expect, on-site medics were kept busy throughout dealing with many minor injuries as the 1000 riders pushed hard to complete as many laps as possible in 24 hours.

Ice and cold tested the 1000 riders in the Strathpuffer 2019. Gary Williamson Photography

Local man wins Strathpuffer 2019

It was Marty Ross, an off-shore worker from Contin, who took the first place with a massive solo effort to push out 25 laps. It was his fourth attempt at this category and he beat reigning champion Keith Forsyth into second place.

Top three men.

Marty, who is supported by FUEL10K, took several tumbles on his final lap and claimed to have had to “empty himself like never before” to earn top spot.

The top male pairs went to team RT23. In second place in the male pairs was round-the-world record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont with ex-Puffer champion, Alex Glasgow.

Alex ended up with stitches in his leg and Mark described his first MTB race as “brutal” .

Co-founder and race organiser Steve Macdonald said: “We’ve had snow, mud, rain, and wind over the years but this year’s ice really was something else.

“Conditions were spectacularly brutal out there but that’s what the ‘Puffer is all about. If you’re looking to push your limits, see what you’re capable of and have a mega Highland adventure, then the ‘Puffer always delivers.”

Top three female.

Puffer 2019 results

Male solo

  1. Marty Ross 25 Laps
  2. Keith Forsyth 23 Laps
  3. Chris Pitblado 22 Laps

Female solo

  1. Sally Evamy 17 Laps
  2. Annie Lloyd Evans 16 Laps
  3. Eva Kupska 15 Laps

Male pairs

  1. RT23 30 Laps
  2. Stage One – Mark Beaumont and Alex Glasgow 30 Laps
  3. MBUK Magazine 29 laps

Female pairs

  1. Jacqui and Julie 21 Laps
  2. Fandangos Ultimate Duo 21 Laps
  3. The Linda Lawton Fan Club 19 Laps

Mixed pairs

  1. Team Breakpad 24 Laps
  2. ABC 24 Laps
  3. Fife Cycles – John Simpson Fan 24 Laps

Male quads

  1. ABC JMC Mountain Fuel 31 Laps
  2. Squiggly Balls 30 Laps
  3. Team Goon/Orange Fox Bikes 29 Laps

Female quads

  1. Gingym 22 Laps
  2. Boo & Crew 22 Laps
  3. 42 Engineer Regiment 19 Laps

Mixed quads

  1. BASE 27 Laps
  2. GMBC ON ICE 26 Laps
  3. 3 MEN AND A GINGER LADY 25 Laps


  1. Dingwall Academy 26 Laps
  2. Fortrose Juniors 23 Laps
  3. Fortrose Seniors 22 Laps

Achievement awards

Youth Award: Team 56 Combined Minus 1

Youngest Rider: Dougal Masterson – 11 yrs old

Oldest Rider: Ron Smith – 79 yrs young

Fastest Lap: MBUK Magazine in 39 mins 26 secs

Singlespeed: Andy Hutcheson 21 Laps

Mountain Rescue Award: Team Hellfish 2 – Aberdeen MRT 25 Laps

See full race results.

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