Hard work is under way for Cairngorm to Coast challenge

Vital volunteers at Cairngorm to Coast

OVER 50 ENTRANTS are set to test their stamina in Moray’s most gruelling annual Cairngorm to Coast challenge on behalf of the RAF Benevolent Fund.

The 100k challenge is fully subscribed with all 51 entrants now well into their individual training programmes as they prepare for the test on May 20.

Co-ordinated by outdoor adventure charity Outfit Moray/Bike Revolution, the annual event has a real community feel – despite the entrants this year travelling from as far afield as Stirling.

Organising Cairngorm to Coast is Team RAFBF Lossiemouth chair Karen Cox: “One of the entrants this year has set up a Strava group, where members can share training tips and stories, wherever they are in Scotland.

“As well as that we have our Facebook group where training photos are being shared. It’s great that everyone feels such a part of the event before it’s even taken place!
“While Cairngorm to Coast is now fully subscribed, we still need volunteers to help make the event a success. Some of last year’s volunteers are helping again but, unfortunately for us, after seeing the entrants’ enjoyment last year, some decided they wanted to take part!

“We have also had volunteers sign up because they want to take part in the event next year and this is a great way of finding out about it.

“We need volunteers to help marshal at our checkpoints – it is not complicated and marshals will basically be enjoying a day of peace and quiet in our glorious countryside whist ticking numbers off as the entrants whizz past them.

“Last year, a lot of volunteers came along to the finish line when their checkpoint was closed, so they could cheer the finishers on, which added a real party atmosphere to the day. This year we have organised for the Moray Hog Roast Co to come along and sell hot dogs and burgers at the end, so it should be even more enjoyable!”

Photographer Alison Read was one of the voluntary team in 2016. She said: “I volunteered in a professional capacity, photographing the event. Not only did it directly raise the profile of my business on the day and through the photos, but Team RAFBF Lossiemouth continue to promote my work through their social media and other publicity, for which I’m very grateful.

“I also made a great business contact in the other photographer, Liam McBride, so for me, it was definitely a good investment of my time. Plus, I got to hang out in a lovely location, meet loads of great people, all with their own reasons and stories to be either supporting or taking on the challenge.

“A lovely way to spend a Saturday in May! Looking forward to being involved again this year!”

The challenge raised over £9000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund in 2016, thanks in no small way to sponsors Dallas Designs, Arnold Clark, Windswept Brewing Co and Thales UK. Organisers hope that they can do even better on May 20 and so provide an even greater boost to the RAF’s leading welfare charity.

Anyone who would like more information on volunteering for Cairngorm to Coast on May 20 is asked to contact Team RAFBF Lossiemouth through their Facebook page or visit teamrafbflossiemouth.org.uk/c2c17 to fill in an application form.