Great Glen Challenge
The land of lochs, haggis and whisky, the Great Glen Challenge offers the unique experience of paddling across Scotland. Literally. Competitors begin on either the western or eastern coast of the country (depending on wind) and traverse a series of rivers and lochs (“lakes”) including the world-famous Loch Ness.
Paddlers can race either non-stop (crazy) or two-day (slightly less crazy). There’s plenty of Scotch whisky and even more Scotch wind, which creates a love-hate affair with this part of the world. Finishers also get fried Mars bars and endless Glenfiddich at the after-party. That alone probably makes the toil worth it.
Special mention goes to event organiser Joanne Hamilton-Vale – herself a veteran paddler of many of the world’s toughest ultras – who’s managed to pull this event together despite being stuck on the other side of the world in Australia. Jo has run 40 events in the UK Paddle Endurance Series over the past eight years but stated this will be her last. Hopefully someone else takes the reins at the Great Glen because it’s an incredible adventure in a simply spectacular setting.