ORGANISERS OF THE most gruelling of annual challenges in Moray and Speyside have heaped praise on participants and volunteers who braved torrential rain throughout the event on Saturday.
The Cairngorm to Coast annual challenge on behalf of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund was unfortunate to pick the only wet day so far in May – but few complained as they knuckled down to the job in hand.
As it happens pretty much the entire field completed the Hike and Cycle event from the Cairngorm Ski Centre to the gates of RAF Lossiemouth – leaving organiser Karen Cox breathless at their commitment.
Karen said: “The level of commitment from the participants, marshals, photographers, massage therapists, bakers, supporters and the OutfitMoray team was incredible.
“I need to thank them all for making it such a fantastic day – despite the horrendously wet weather conditions, everyone finished with a smile on their face – or at least those that we could see through the mud they had gathered.
“Our thanks also to the dedicated volunteer marshals who stood out there in horrible conditions all day, never wavering from their duty of cheering and supporting those taking part.”
Karen had a special mention also for those members of the public who supplied marshals near their homes or businesses with hot drinks and even scones.
“Cairngorm to Coast 2017 was a fantastic day and it felt like a real community event, with the likes of Comrades Club and 1629 in Lossiemouth supporting our pre-event pasta party and the Lossiemouth Childcare Centre allowing us to use their facilities for the finish.
“We are also very grateful to all our local sponsors, including Dallas Designs, Windswept Brewing Co, Arnold Clark and, of course, OutfitMoray/Bike Revolution, as well as one company who donated £200 at the last minute to help cover extra costs.”
Karen said that the event this year looks set to have raised over £10,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund – going a long way to supporting their work for the RAF family locally and further afield.
The first walker over the finish line at Grantown after the 9.22am start was Barbara Brown-Villedieu, who arrived at 2.15pm – twenty minutes before the first man over the line, Rox Cox who finished alongside Laura Bullas at 2.35pm.
In the Cycle stage the first over the line was David Scott with first lady finisher in Lossiemouth, Jane Gill just over two hours behind.
Karen concluded: “A special mention must go to Jillian Blackhurst and Carol Maddocks – who pressed on regardless to the end, while Catherine McDonald was another who finally completed the bike section at 8.57pm – almost 12 hours after setting out.”
Full details on the event including finishing places can be found on the C2C Facebook page.