Over 120 competitors from all parts of Scotland braved the wet and misty weather in the Highlands on Saturday (October 8) to take part in the fifth Cairngorm Charmer duathlon. The annual race proved to be highly eventful with seven new course records set in varying categories.
The absence of gale force winds or burning sunshine, conditions that have occurred at the four previous events, meant the terrain was close to ideal for hill running. The event sees teams of two complete a 12-mile lap by running and biking around the Cairngorm and Glenmore forests, with a challenging last mile hill climb back up the Allt Mor trail to the finish line.
The fastest pair overall were Ross Dixon and Donnie MacDonald who set a new record time of 2:19:13, and in the process retained their title from 2010. The quickest female team were Michelle Green and Siobhan Evans from Elgin, finishing again in a record time of 2:47:16. The mixed team title went to married couple Suzanne and Danny Lake, who, like the all-male winners, retained their title with a new course record.
In the veteran's category, the men's award went to Robert Summers and Tommy Lawrence from Dunfermline, while the ladies title was awarded to Mandy MacIver and Julie Wilson. The veteran mixed team award went to Carrbridge couple Iain and Anne MacIntosh, who finished the course in a time of 3:23:44.
Organiser Paul Corrigan was delighted with the day's proceedings and the progress of the race, commenting: "Without doubt this was the best 'Charmer' to date and the very addition of electronic race timing made a real difference to the quality and smooth flow of the event."
With each lap changeover coordinated by race officials and organisers implementing a staggered 1-minute start, Paul was quick to praise everyone involved, adding: "Once again there were numerous comments from the competitors on how supportive, helpful and encouraging the many event marshals and helpers were."
The high turnout for the event meant there was over £3000 raised for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, with the proceeds going towards providing key services and support for the charity across the region.