The RSABI Great Glen Challenge not only put 26 teams of rural businesses through their paces last Friday, but it also stretched the waterproof properties of Goretex to the limit.

It poured ... and it poured. However, the challenge, now in its eighth year, went ahead with the usual competitive spirit and good-natured teamwork on display.

The team from AHDB took the overall team prize, winning two of the four sections outright. In second place was Landmark Systems, their first time entering the event, and in third was Begbies Traynor.

The challenge involves teams of four people competing against each other along designated stages between Fort Augustus and Fort William, covering a continuous 46km route, in what is usually stunning scenery.

The route is not for the faint hearted – there is a 46km mountain biking section, an 18km walking section, a six km kayaking route and time trial and finally there is a 17km running section.

Because of the hideous weather and the wind picking up, the kayak section was shortened to just take in the time trial, as it was likely that there would be a few floating off who knows where with the dodgy conditions.

At the end of the event, all teams gather for a well-earned feed and the presentation ceremony. Jim Drysdale, of lead sponsors Ledingham Chalmers, handed out the prizes to the winners of the individual sections.

First in the mountain biking was Ran Morgan, of Knight Frank Team 1; first in the kayaking was Tim Isaac, of AHDB; in the walking it was Paul Flanagan, from AHDB; and first in the running section, with an astonishing one hour and five minutes, was Lawrence O’Hara, from Begbies Traynor.

A special prize was on the cards for one participant that took seven stitches for RSABI in the mountain biking section, but managed to limp round the buffet table at the end, so all was well.

Maybe a prize should have been awarded for the one or two that took a dive into the freezing waters of Loch Oich when their shoogly kayaking skills were put to the test.

The point of the entire event is to raise funds for RSABI, the charity that provides emotional, practical and financial support to individuals and their families across the agricultural sector including farming, crofting and growing. The aim this year was to smash the £50,000 target, as at Friday, the total stood at more than £35,000, which is vital for the charity to continue its work.

RSABI’s Nina Clancy, who was co-ordinating the event, said: “With continued volatility and uncertainty for farmers across the country, RSABI has experienced an increase in demand for its services with around 25 new clients a month looking for practical, emotional and financial support.

The importance of this year’s Great Glen challenge cannot be underestimated, we really need everyone in Scottish agriculture to help us smash our target of £50,000 and make this the best year ever.”

The Scottish Farmer team, which has entered since the first year, had excuses in early, with claims of ageing knees and advancing years, however, we were pleased with 10th place in the overall team rankings and the team finally dried out 12 hours later.

Winning team members:

AHDB – Chris Leslie, Tim Isaac, Paul Flanagan, Emily Pope and Sarah Hunter-Argyle support driver.

Landmark Systems – Allistair Gray, John McCrae, Kate Adams, Annabel James, with George Paterson as support driver.

Begbies Traynor – Kenny Craig, Stuart Kirk, Ken Pattulio, Lawrence O’Hara.

For the final team and individual results, see

If you would like to donate to RSABI's Great Glen Challenge, fundraising continues at: