Distillery workers brave the elements for soldier’s charity

Paul Osborne (30), a project engineer from William Grant & Sons in Bellshill, was first across the line in the 2017 Cateran Yomp
Paul Osborne (30), a project engineer from William Grant & Sons in Bellshill, was first across the line in the 2017 Cateran Yomp
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Two Bellshill distillery workers finished first and second in this year’s Cateran Yomp after trekking 54-milles across the Perthshire countryside.

This year’s event in Blairgowrie attracted around 1150 participants as they battled tough rainy and muddy conditions in support of ABF The Soldier’s Charity.

Paul Osborne (30), a project engineer from William Grant & Sons finished in 11 hours, 59 minutes and 19 seconds.

Paul said. “I’m dead chuffed with myself, I did the event last year and came in 24th.

“I had lots of encouragement to do better this year so I thought I’m going to hit it out the park.

“My strategy for winning was ‘yomp the hills’ and run the rest but the only thing that really gets you through is your head and believing you can do it.

“My lowest point was around 36 miles when it was blowing a gale and we had to go through a field full of cows and I hate cows.”

Paul’s colleague apprentice cooper Fraser Stirling (18) crossed the line in second place less than half an hour later in a time of 12 hours, 24 minutes and nine seconds.

He said “What got me round the route was how well the organisers and volunteers treat you. I was made to feel like a superstar. That kept me going.”

William Grant & Sons are on target to raise £35,000 this year for the charity bringing their total to £100K over four years.

A total of 30 William Grant & Sons workers took part in the event with 17, including Paul and Fraser, completing the course to earn a gold medal.

Ger Burns was the first female for the team to cross the line in ninth place, the second woman overall, in a time of 14 hours, 56 minutes and 43 seconds.

Team leader Stuart Aitken, who was taking part in his fourth yomp, said: “It’s really brought the whole company together being a part of this incredible event.

“We’ve created so many lasting memories over the weekend to recount in the office for years to come.”