THAT WAS MORVICH, THAT WAS

20th August, 2011 - the day the GWC cavalcade migrated 75 miles south from Poolewe for the third “away day” in its 26 year history. In 1994 it was the Flowerdale Forest (not far away), in 2003 Ullapool (a bit further) and in 2011 Morvich (much, much further). Distance however certainly did not deter the army of GWC participants and marshals, and the invasion of Kintail turned out to be a resounding success, both in terms of fantastic surroundings and also the re-union of the hundreds of walkers, runners and volunteers who meet up every year for this special fundraising occasion. Over 600 turned up at the Morvich Farm event centre, this year a marquee-based HQ, from where all walks and races started and finished.

Full marks in particular this year to all marshals, helpers and committee members who worked so hard to “transport” the event to the new venue, coping magnificently despite not having the convenience of an “all-singing, all-dancing” public hall, no electricity and no water on tap. Not to mention the potentially disastrous breakdown of the giant urn in mid morning! Fortunately, thanks to local knowledge and a quick phone call, a replacement was found and the situation was rectified within the hour. Relief - thank you Ian Ruari and Inverinate Community Hall!

The organisers wish to thank the following who also played a big part in the success of the event this year: Morvich land managers Willie Fraser of NTS Kintail, Duncan Macleod of Inverinate Estate, and Donald Macmillan of Achnagart Farm, for all their advice and assistance; Williamson Group for use of refrigerated lorry over the weekend; Run4It sports shop for inflatable gantry; Kinross Road Runners for hire of timing clock, and GWC walker Bryony Malvenan for transporting it to and from Morvich; Ross Bannerman, Tain for use of gazebo at finish line; Bruce Alexander, Gairloch for provision of generator and P.A. equipment; Scottish Hydro Electric; Scottish Water; Ian Ruari Finlayson, Darren Macrae and the Portree High School Pipe Band; last but not least the vital safety net comprising Kintail Mountain Rescue, Dundonnell Mountain Rescue, St Andrews Ambulance Corps, Dr Jock Ramsay, and PDG Helicopters, Dalcross.

Next year the Challenge will revert back to Poolewe, on Saturday 18th August, when once again we look forward to meeting up with friends old and new for another foray into the familiar Fisherfield & Letterewe wilderness. Walks of 25, 13 and 7 miles and races of 25 and 13 miles will be available. Thanks again to all who made the Morvich experience a day that none of us will ever forget – a seamless transition which worked well, and that hopefully will lead to another substantial addition to the GWC fundraising total, currently sitting at £2.53 million.

New Entrants 2012 – please contact GWC secretary Pat Ross (see Home page) to book places. Entries fill up quickly for this event, so better to get names in early. New charity teams also welcome, subject to scrutiny and approval by GWC committee.