The 2015 Nairnshire Challenge takes place this Sunday (21 June). Held annually since 1997, it has become a well-established event in the Nairnshire calendar. Participants are bussed to Auchterteang on the Ferness-Carrbridge road at the south end of the County. They set off at 10am, covering the 12.3 miles on foot over the Cawdor Estates to Drynachan, where they pick up their bicycles and make their way by road over 17.7 miles to the Links in Nairn.
The first to finish is expected there just after noon and the best view for spectators will be as the cyclists come through the town, and when they finish at the Links.
Bill Robertson, the Challenge Co-ordinator, is at pains to stress that it is not a race, “It’s a personal challenge to each participant. Those who do it quickly miss out on this unique opportunity to see parts of Nairnshire not readily accessible.”
The numbers taking part this year are disappointing low. At 170, this is the least there has been in the event’s history. Bill explains that this trend is shared by many other similar events. “It’s either that it has gone out of fashion or that there are so many held each week. When we started in 1997, we were one of the few.”
The event has been organised annually by the Rotary Club of Nairn and the funds raised have allowed grants to be made to support many local voluntary groups, as well as national and international causes.
“The Challenge relies annually on the generosity of so many different organisations and people,” says Bill. “Lord Cawdor and his staff continue to be fully involved in making it possible, as have the many groups who man watering stations and steward the route. We are so grateful to them all, and I’m sure that together we will make this another memorable day.”