Turcan Connell and Tcam are pleased to have support some excellent fundraising events over the years, including activities organised by Wildfox events. One such event is the Martin Currie Rob Roy Challenge which celebrated its 10th anniversary on 20th June this year. We were pleased to enter eight keen individuals into this year's event: Sandra Dailidyte, Ben White, Seb Galastro, Ellen Crofts, Lois Madden, Kirsty McGeough, Hannah Starritt and myself – Rob Royers 2015.
The challenge is set in the Trossachs, featuring a 16 mile run or walk followed by a 39 mile cycle. The run/walk commences in Drymen, winding to Aberfoyle then Callander where we get on our bikes and pedal to Kenmore via Balquhidder and Killin. It is a fairly hilly route with some demanding climbs, so is certainly not a gentle day out.
We can all have our own reasons for entering such an event. For me, I was keen to improve on my time from 2013 and try for a top 10 finish. For others it was to get the best time they could, or to simply complete the challenge and enjoy the day. We all did share a common goal, however, which was to raise funds for the charities nominated by the Martin Currie Charitable Foundation. These very worthy charities are Barnardo's, Over The Wall and Mercy Ships, so as well as training for the event we sought the support of friends, family and colleagues in our quest. Some encouragement was provided to our work colleagues by means of a sponsored cake sale in the office which, judging by the quantity of cakes consumed, was very well received.
On the day, it is very important to have a support team to assist. They are waiting with the bikes and a change of clothes at the changeover in Callander, and also provide a welcome cheer at the checkpoints and of course at the finish line.
After many weeks of preparation, including multiple laps of Arthur's Seat, off-roading at Glentress and various cycles and runs in and around Edinburgh, we all leapt out of bed at 5am on 20th June, ready to go, the sleep falling instantly from our gleaming eyes. That's how I remember it anyway... but in any case we set off for Drymen, registered and made our way to the start line for 8am. The inclusion of midge nets and midge repellent on the kit list was a good indication of conditions at the start, as the little beasties were out in force. At this time I was very pleased to be running rather than walking, as the average flying velocity of the European Midge seems to be a little slower than that of a Rob Roy runner. It was a grey morning, but over time the clouds became thinner and a bit of sunshine started to peer through the clouds come lunchtime. Conditions were actually very good for the event, as it was quite mild and dry with very little wind. The checkpoints are very well stocked with water, energy drinks and energy laden food such as flapjacks, cake, bananas and a variety of confectionary for a bit of a boost –especially welcome during the cycle section.
Scotland is a beautiful country and the Trossachs demonstrates this well. The cycle route on the old railway line to the west of the A85 is a truly lovely place to be, and the long ascent is rewarded with a fantastic downhill section to Killin. The final section along the south side of Loch Tay is undulating to say least, and requires the final energy reserves to be pushed out through the legs. Arriving at the finish line is a satisfying moment – a great reception is provided, and we all felt duly rewarded when the event medal was provided.
We all arrived with big smiles and soon we were immersed in the evening party, featuring a well-received feast and a fantastic funky band who threw in a few classic Ceilidh dances. The fireworks provided a colourful and energetic interval, as did the award ceremony when our colleague Sandra was awarded 3rd fastest female, then it was back to the dancing... with one or two drinks to wash down a wonderful day.
For me, I was pleased I beat my 2013 time and come 5th, but for all of us we were very pleased to complete the challenge, enjoy the day and in particular to exceed our fundraising target of £2,800. A well organised, challenging, rewarding and fun event had met its objectives.
This content was generated prior to Turcan Connell Asset Management Limited operating as Tcam.