Skye’s 24-hour challenge raises thousands for local Covid-19 response efforts

Hundreds took to the roads of Skye and well beyond last Saturday to clock up the miles and raise thousands in support of local efforts to support the community through the coronavirus outbreak.

Skye Camanachd had challenged players, their families, supporters and anyone who likes a challenge, to use their daily exercise time to run or walk the equivalent distance from Lands End to John O’ Groats.

The event, embraced by all ages, proved a huge success, with 440 people taking part and over £16,000 raised.

The target of 874 miles was easily surpassed, and over the course of Saturday’s 24 hours participants had covered a terrific total of 2338 miles – enough to go from Lands End to John O’ Groats and back again, before returning to Skye.

92-year-old Christine MacLeod walked a mile in Portree, shinty player Somhairle Macdonald completed a full marathon while others of all ages covered every distance in between.

Despite times of isolation and social distancing, technology allowed the runners – everywhere from California to Camuscross – to come together, utilising the fitness app Strava to record and collate all activities.

The money raised will go towards the ongoing costs associated with the efforts of Skye Community Response.

The project is striving to support the community, coordinate the provision of vital life support services and to source and deliver essential equipment throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Shinty referee John Angus Gillies clocking up a few miles on Saturday morning

Fiona Cruickshank, chair of Skye Camanachd, said: “On behalf of Skye Camanachd I would like to thank everyone who donated their mileage, their time and their pounds.

“The support shown to us as an island is absolutely phenomenal.

“It’s been a privilege to see all the updates coming in, and all the support through social media – a massive heart-felt thank you to you all!”.

The challenge was boosted by Celtic FC’s Ryan Christie who posted a video message of support and pledged to back the efforts being made.

“Event built up great momentum”, said Donnie Nicolson

Donnie Nicolson, the chair of Skye Community response, said: “What a great event, and idea.

“It was so inclusive – no matter your age, location or ability people could chip in and do a few miles. It worked really well and built up great momentum over the 24 hours.

“The amount raised was incredible. At a time of financial strain, people dug in and made a donation.

“It’s hugely important for Skye Community Response and the work it is doing to help and support our community through these testing times.

“The spectrum of people made it special –  from Ina in her 90s to children of four or five years-old, and we had people from all over the world contributing.

“We’re going through testing times but it’s events like this that make you proud of where we’re form, and makes you realise that we’re in this together and that we’ll come through it.

“To everyone who did a mile or donated, thank you so much.”