Tag Archives: Highland Cross

Come and get a fun taste of orienteering

Checking the map at last year’s mini orienteering event

As part of our fundraising drive for this year’s Highland Cross, our team #parentsontherun is again hosting a mini orienteering event suitable for all the family.

If last year is anything to go by, it is set to be a fun day of exploring in the woods, with delicious home baking also available for a donation to the cause.

The mini orienteering event will take place in School Wood at Farr, near Inverness, on Saturday, June 10, from 10am to 2pm. Come along anytime during that period and pick up a map before hunting out the checkpoints around the trees.

Maps are £3 each with all proceeds going to the five charities being supported by Highland Cross.

This year’s benefitting charities are Abbeyfield Ballachulish Society, Caberfeidh Horizons, Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team, Merkinch Community Centre in Inverness and Shopmobility Highland SCIO. For more on each of these charities see http://highlandcross.co.uk/Charity.htm

We look forward to seeing you there!

Highland Cross 2014

Snaking up the hill in the early stages of the 20-mile run

The legs are slowly recovering after completing my second Highland Cross. I knocked around seven or eight minutes off my time from last year, coming into Beauly 5 hours, 22 minutes and 12 seconds after setting off from Kintail. The coast-to-coast duathlon involves a 20-mile run including a huge climb (part of which can be seen in the photo above) then a 30-mile cycle from Glen Affric to the finish in Beauly.

Here’s my Garmin breakdown of the event – run/transition/cycle:

Highland Cross: I did it!

Streams of runners heading up to the waterfall above Glen Lichd.

Myself and Matt at the end of the Highland Cross. Picture: Jim Sweeney
I’m pleased to say I made it to the end of my first Highland Cross still in one piece but a fair bit soggier than I started! I completed the 50-mile coast to coast duathlon in 5 hours 29 minutes, half an hour faster than I had estimated.

I had a slower run than I expected, the tough climb out of Glen Lichd sapping a fair bit of my energy as well as torrential downpours adding to the challenge of the day. I ended up doing more walking than I’d hoped to do, especially on the yellow brick road, but I was able to make up some time on the bike section.

Getting onto two wheels really gave me a boost and I enjoyed the 30 miles between Glen Affric and Beauly, having changed into my cycling gear (and waterproofs) so I was warm – if not completely dry – for the ride. The hills even at Aigas didn’t give me much trouble and I was even able to stay away from using my granny gears the whole way!

My team-mates Matthew McCann and Iain Blackburn were way ahead of me – in 4.54 and 4.32 respectively. Well done guys!

Read the full review of my first Cross in Active Outdoors this week.

* You can still sponsor me on my Just Giving page. Thank you!

Team members (from left) Iain Blackburn, Matthew McCann and John Davidson before the start of the Cross.