I would say the word ‘challenge’ was an understatement. From the beginning, the team had the Scottish highland nippy temperatures, the hill climbs, and an easterly winds against them.
To begin the journey, three team members started their cycle from the pier in Fort Augustus. While a 23km cycle in London is very achievable for Kate, James, and Phil, it was a slightly different terrain in Scotland; basically, hill after hill after hill mixed with some off-road trails! However, within 30 minutes, the team had already charged up their first hill and made a good dent in the first quarter of the distance. Two and a half hours later and one wrong turn, the trio arrived at their finishing point in Foyers!
Next was the six canoeists (two in each boat). Jack (our newest team member) rocked up in a small pair of rugby shorts with an optimistic view that the workout ahead would warm him up…..spot the novice! Following an explicit debrief on how to paddle and expressing the importance of ‘balancing out the weight,’ how to avoid capsizing, and warning them of the possibility of the boat nose-diving, the nervous crew were off. The teams were; Jack and Cam, Nick and JP, and Tim L and Pete.
Having driven the length of Loch Ness the day before, we all underestimated the challenge they were about to endure. One and a half hours later, the remainder of the team spotted the six canoeists on Loch Ness. They were almost a quarter of the way in! Momentum and morale (and conversation) were still intact; so far, so good. Three hours into the journey was a different story. Silent team members and the thought of still having a further two hours to wade through the choppy Loch Ness waters wasn’t motivating; it was time for a Guinness (or two)!
Five hours later, the Marchmont canoeists finally made it to the finishing line! Knees riddled with pain, arms losing feeling, and the sheer exhaustion on their faces showed what an incredible challenge this was! Nevertheless, as voted for by our generous donators, a fresh dip in the budgies was on the agenda for Tim, Cam and Nick!
Lastly, the runners! Alex, James, Phil, and Tim C had the last hurdle of the 8km run to Inverness Cathedral. Phil was a pacesetter, who championed the team, and sped along the canal towards Inverness. Keeping an eye on the map to ensure we didn’t miss our turn-off, the team steamed through last few kilometres of the challenge.
Run completed within 37 minutes!
CHALLENGE COMPLETED IN 10 HOURS!
Thank you to everyone who supported us in our journey!