A GRUELLING CHALLENGE that saw participants take on a 33-mile trek down from the Cairngorm Mountains followed by a 33-mile cycle from Ballindalloch Castle to Lossiemouth has raised £5146 for the RAF Benevolent Fund in Moray.
Planned and supported by Team RAFBF Lossiemouth and local outdoor activities group Outfit Moray, the challenge in May lived up to billing that this would be a tough task, with only one team – RAF Lossiemouth pair Rebecca Scott and Emma Zweig – completing the entire challenge on the day.
The ultimate aim was to raise as much as possible for the RAF charity – and that mission was accomplished with the magnificent total brought in through sponsorships from all participants.
Melanie Newbould from Lossiemouth-based Outfit Moray said: “Just one team finished the event on the day and they were the only team that we believe did the proper training for it, so it might be that a number of those taking part did not realise the depth of the challenge they were facing.
“I think many learned that walking 33 miles down a mountain was challenge enough – but we think there will be another event next year when we expect people will be much better prepared for this gruelling challenge.”
Sophie Evans, also from Outfit Moray, added: “This was fairly big but then logistical planning of events like this is what we do along with First Aid cover which we provided for this event.
“Cairngorm to Coast did become more complicated than expected, it became much more challenging for both competitors and those planning the event. I think it fair to say we did not get things completely right but it was the first event of its kind we have done with Team RAFBF Lossiemouth – we learned a great deal from this and hopefully it will be the first of many.”
Transport on the day for support staff came from local hire firm Arnold Clark, with their spokeswoman Carol Cruickshank saying: “Our company is very tuned in to our local communities and we are certainly pleased to have been able to assist that RAF Benevolent Fund effort here in Moray.”
Also helping the cause were local firm Dallas Designs, for whom Amy Dodsworth said: “Family connections within our company and the RAF meant that we know the importance of the RAFBF to people throughout the country and here in Moray, so we were more than happy to take part in this worthy event.”
Also sponsoring the event was ex-serviceman Al Reid who led the Windswept Brewers team on the challenge: “This was a really challenging and exciting event to support and be a part of.
“As a participant the stretch from Grantown to Ballindalloch was a real challenge in itself – but more so having just hiked down from the mountain. I was one of those who could not finish because of an old recurring injury but will I take it on again? Definitely.”
Chair of Team RAFBF Lossiemouth, Karen Cox, said: “We are delighted that Cairngorm to Coast raised over £5000 and for that we have to thank all of those who dedicated their skills and time in helping us achieve this magnificent total.
“This was a first for us and we knew that it was an exacting challenge. We were all delighted when Rebecca and Emma from XV Squadron completed the course and we look forward to many more doing so in future.”