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Big-hearted Cateran Yompers raise £300k for soldiers’ charity

Written by Fiona

June 10 2019

Participants in the 2019 Cateran Yomp have raised almost £300,000 for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. Over the weekend, more than 1000 walkers commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day by trekking up to 54 miles in less than 24 hours across the foothills of the Cairngorms.

The total funds raised so far are £299,641, which is the largest amount raised for the national charity of the British army in any year to date.

What is the Cateran Yomp?

The Cateran Yomp is Scotland’s largest mass participation walking event and takes place in remote Perthshire hills and Angus glens.

Following one of Scotland’s Great Trails, the Cateran Trail, the Yomp involves teams of soldiers and civilians walking either 22 (Bronze), 36 (Silver) or 50 (Gold) miles in less than 24 hours.

This year’s Cateran Yomp. Credit: David Cheskin

Cateran Yomp 2019

The 2019 Cateran Yomp sold out and entrants came from across the UK and further afield, including teams from Ukraine, Georgia, America and Australia, to take part.

While not billed as a race, the first person to cross the gold finishing line was Warren Young, of Inverurie, who completed the longest route in 12 hours 06 minutes.

The oldest participant to finish the Cateran Yomp in 23 hours and 53 minutes was 70-year-old Torquil MacLeod, of Blairgowrie, while the youngest participant had just turned 18.

The Yomp brings together people of all ages and backgrounds to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity every year. The grand total awarded to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity across the event’s nine years £3.8 million.

This year, the biggest individual fundraiser was Ruraidh Macdonald, who raised over £10,000, while the top corporate fundraising team was a lighthearted tussle involving Oracle and two of Scotland’s top whisky companies. “The Macallan” is on track to top the leader board with more than £40,000.

Mj Sandy Hennis supported participants in the Yomp. Credit: David Cheskin

Yomp ambassador: It’s tough

Major Sandy Hennis, one of six British soldiers who form a team of the first women to ski across Antarctica, was the 2019 Cateran Yomp ambassador.

She said: “I completely underestimated how tough this event is. 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.”

Double anniversary

As well as being the 75th anniversary of D-Day, 2019 is also the 75th anniversary of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, which was set up in 1944 to ensure soldiers returning from World War II received the welfare support they required and deserved.

Robin Bacon of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity 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 Gin Bothy pop-up gin bar.

Gin and Yomping

A wonderful addition to this year’s event and celebrating World Gin Day was Angus spirit producers Gin Bothy who opened a pop-up gin bar on the banks of Auchintaple Loch.

Kim Cameron, owner of Gin Bothy, said: “The Cateran Yomp Gin Bar was a very exclusive drinking spot, open only to Cateran Yompers.”

Cateran Yomp 2020

The date is set for the Cateran Yomp 2020. It will be June 6 to 7. Entries are now open. take place over the weekend of 6-7 June and entries are now open.” See Cateran Yomp.

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