Highland CrossThe Highland Cross

The Highland Cross is a  50-mile duathlon (20 miles on foot, 30 miles on bike) traversing the spectacular Scottish Highlands coast to coast, west to east from Kintail through Glen Affric and Strathglass to Beauly.


Highland Cross exists to raise money for causes that benefit the people of Highland, disadvantaged by disability, ill health or social need.


Entry to the Highland Cross is by invitation only for 265 teams of 3 (795 persons) of all athletic abilities; walkers, joggers, runners and cyclists. Teams must pledge to raise a minimum of £500 in sponsorship for the charities nominated by Highland Cross.  Charities interested in becoming beneficiaries from Highland Cross should consult the "Charities" page and fully examine the funding conditions before applying.


Highland Cross Latest News

Highland Cross 2020 - Saturday 20 June



Tuesday 7th January - there has been a slight delay to online links being sent out to registered team contacts but an email from SiEntries should be with you shortly.


Highland Cross 2020 – 20 June – electronic entry application process

We will again be using SiEntries www.sientries.co.uk for online team applications for the 2020 event.  Highland Cross will not be listed as one of their events as it is invitation only.  SiEntries will be contacting by email all priority registered team contacts on 7 January 2020 with a single use link to allow them to apply for a team.  As in the past, balloting will be carried out in order to determine who will be invited to take part.   For further information on the entry process and the timeline dates, please see the notes at the top of the FAQs section.


Highland Cross 2019


Highland Cross reaches over £5.3million with 2nd highest fundraising total in 37 years!  The figure raised in 2019 from Highland Cross participants is £286,121.


On 20 November 2019, the 5 principal charities received presentations:

  • Birchwood Highland received a cheque for £60,000 for improvements and refurbishments.

  • Cantraybridge College are purchasing a new adapted minibus.

  • New Start Highland have purchased a new vehicle.

  • Puffin Hydrotherapy Pool received a cheque for £40,000 for renewing their heating & air handling systems.

  • SNAP (Special Needs Action Project) are purchasing a new specially adapted minibus.

In addition to the primary causes, the participants’ success will also allow some smaller grants totalling approximately £56,000 to be distributed to charities across Highland over the next month.


The Organisers would once again like to thank competitors, sponsors and volunteers for their continued support of Highland Cross.



Alister Norrie


A lovely tribute in the Inverness Courier to Alister Norrie.


A long standing supporter of Highland Cross with 20 Crossings under his belt. A gentleman in every regard.


Read the full article here.





Note to Charities

The deadline for applying to become a principal benefiting charity from Highland Cross 2019, or to be a recipient of a smaller donation from any surplus arising from this year's event, has now passed.


The Independent Panel will assess all applications and you should hear in November/December as to the outcome of your application.  Please see the "Charities" section for more information.



Top Fundraising Teams 2019


Top 10   Amount Raised   Team Name   Competitor
1   £6,315.31   Lovat Lungbusters   Simon Lovat
          Jack Fraser
          Max Konig
2   £6,235.00   Friends and Family   Willie Gray
          Katie Gray
          Andrew Lilley
3   £4,033.91   Affric Rats   Jonathan Wotherspoon
          Timothy Laing
          Alex Leven
4   £3,962.05   Over The Hill 2   Steven Scott
          Alistair Douglas
          Hector MacKay
5   £3,615.00   Momentum   Rory Mackenzie
          Michael Campbell
          Donald Begg
6   £3,235.00   Optimists   Davide Taliente
          Simon Fraser
          Perdita Fraser
7   £3,025.00   Teuchters Three   Oliver Salvesen
          Neil Haddow
          Hamish Salvesen
8   £2,730.00   Cullicudden Colts   James Maclean
          Brian Philip
          Dougal Brown
9   £2,140.00   The 3 Amigos   Paul Ross
          Darren Simpson
          Wayne Grant
10   £1,977.00   Looking for Beauly   Diane Stark
          Audrey Goddard
          Yvonne Morrison



Competitor Application for Highland Cross 2020

Sorry - the list to receive application forms for competitors for Highland Cross 2020 is now closed.


From the replies received from 2019 competitors, unsuccessful applications from previous years and new applications, we are again oversubscribed.  We received a large number of e-mails requesting that their names be added to the list to receive an application form at the end of January and we already have well over 380 requests for the 265 teams available.  If everyone returns their completed forms, we will again be involved in balloting.


All applications received up to 11am on 2nd September 2019 have been added to the list.  The Organisers apologise to anyone who wished to add their name to the list but can only suggest that if they are interested in Highland Cross 2021, they mark 1st September 2021 in their diary as the date to register for an entry for 2021.



Where do I send my sponsor money?

Sponsor money should be banked by 31 July 2019 if at all possible (details below), or send cheque(s) to Highland Cross Organisers, Redwood, 19 Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4AA, with competitor number on reverse of cheque (along with sponsor sheets if applicable, to enable gift aid to be claimed).


If you wish to pay by online banking, the sponsorship account details are:

  • Account name:  Highland Cross

  • Account no:  00439605

  • Sort code:  80-91-26  (Please quote your surname and participant number in the payment reference e.g. SMITH 123)



Special Endeavour Award 2019


Ewan McCarthy recently collected his Special Endeavour Trophy from this year’s Highland Cross. 


The organisers felt it appropriate to award it to Ewan from Kingussie who had just completed his 9th Highland Cross but although in the top 5 competitors every single year, he has never won the event.  On one occasion he was 5th, on 3 occasions he was 3rd and 4 times he has been runner up.  This year he was 4th


For sheer consistency and tenacity, the organisers felt he was a worthy winner of the Special Endeavour prize for 2019.






Highland Cross 2019

Highland Cross 2019 took place on 22 June 2019.  734 competitors started the event with 729 completing the course and 5 retirements. Click here for full results.


Missing gear from the Beauly Baggage Pound

A bag bearing the participant number 264 was taken in error from the Bag Pound at Beauly.  If you have this bag, please get in touch with the Highland Cross Organisers so that it and its contents can be reunited with the owner.


Lost Property

We now have a number of items of lost property and perhaps you can get in touch with us should you be missing any of the following:

  • Leki Air Erco walking pole.

  • Rocktrail walking pole.

  • Web-tex drinking flask.

  • Adidas 32” black training trousers (with a torn knee!)

  • Asics black beanie

  • Green Aviemore Half Marathon t-shirt

  • Black Polyco Matrix Grip gloves

  • Jack Wolfskin Hokus Pokus bumbag

Please telephone us on 07729 892 702 or email us on info@highlandcross.co.uk – these items have now been transferred to Redwood, 19 Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4AA.



Photography from Highland Cross 2019 is available here:


Links to fundraising websites

Wonderful – web link to set up fundraising page for 2019 event (no fees deducted so all sponsorship goes to Highland Cross)

Justgiving - web link for setting up fundraising page for 2019 event

Virgin Money Giving donations - web link to set up fundraising page for 2019 event


Highland Cross 2019 Merchandise


The Sign Centre, 33 Harbour Road, Inverness, IV1 1UG (tel: 01463 716060) produce Highland Cross t-shirts, sweatshirts etc each year prior to the event.  An order form is available here. 



Article from the John O'Groat Journal ... Testing times a family affair

Click here to read the article on Team Sinclair taking part in Highland Cross 2019.



The following are statements from Charities benefiting from Highland Cross 2019 fundraising

Birchwood Highland
Birchwood Highland works as the leading provider of mental health recovery in the Highlands. We work with individuals to increase their capacity to live independently, regain socialisation skills and feel part of the community, thus reducing feelings of isolation in line with our mission statement of promoting  “ Independence, Inclusion and Recovery”.

Birchwood Highland Recovery Centre is a purpose built care facility with residents living in their flats and bedsits. Staff support  people to build self-confidence and adopt lifestyles that improve their overall well-being and enable them to self-manage their enduring mental health symptoms.

Maintaining a modern fit for purpose building is a key aspect to providing an environment conducive to mental health recovery. Whilst we have striven to ensure that we have met this on an ongoing basis, since the Recovery Centre opened in 2008, the building is now at the stage where further modernisation and major refurbishment would be of great benefit.

In consultation with the residents and staff, we have an ambitious refurbishment and modernisation plan which would be of huge benefit to all the people we support each day and, would we feel, impact positively on people as they engage in their mental health recovery.

A grant from the Highland Cross would enable us to begin the re-modernisation of the Recovery Centre.

Cantraybridge College
Cantraybridge is Highland’s unique further education college for young adults with additional support needs, and a crucial element in the educational and care landscape in our region. Most of our students have a learning disability and/or autism. We’re rightly ambitious that our young people fulfil their potential and become valued and engaged members of their communities.
Our minibus is essential. We use it to transport students to/from college; for educational outings and to attend health, social and leisure activities. We also use it to take young people on holidays, especially those who don’t have family.

Sadly, our current minibus is dilapidated and becoming very expensive in terms of repairs – money that could be far better spent on services for young people. We’d also like to be able to offer some new services to people who use wheelchairs, but our current minibus cannot be converted for wheelchair users. We’d also like to welcome more nursery/school groups to our 19 acre campus to enjoy our outdoor educational facilities - and learn where their food comes from! Older people’s groups come to Cantraybridge to enjoy our scenery and café, but often don’t have transport, so a reliable bus would help us to bring these groups to enjoy our campus too.

A gift of a minibus would be a prayer answered, potentially bringing immediate and sustained benefits to a range of disadvantaged people across Highland.

We are deeply grateful to the Highland Cross selection panel for considering our application.

New Start Highland
We are seeking the assistance of the Highland Cross to purchase a new sprinter van which will help to deliver essential furniture and starter packs to the most vulnerable people in the Highlands.

The recent damaging welfare reforms, including the troublesome rollout of universal credit in the Highlands and the significant cuts to Highland Council’s budget means that less and less support is being given to the most crisis hit members of our communities.

To combat this New Start Highland will collect over 3,000 loads of furniture from members of the public over the next year and redistribute them to people who need them most.

By helping to purchase a new sprinter van the Highland Cross will contribute to a service which will help people avoid eviction and homelessness and provide hope of a better future to thousands of individuals and families over the years to come.
Together we are helping fellow Highlanders lead better lives and making our part of the world a better place to live, both now and into the future.

Puffin Hydrotherapy Pool
The Puffin Hydrotherapy Pool is a registered charity (No. SC133596) dedicated to the provision of specialist hydrotherapy services for people of all ages in the Highlands, particularly those who have been recommended for attention by a health professional. It is located adjacent to the Highland Rheumatology Unit in Ferry Road, Dingwall.

The categories of users include:-
1.. People with acute injuries and following surgery for whom hydrotherapy will speed rehabilitation.
2.. People with self-care needs in relation to long term conditions such as arthritis, back problems, stroke or multiple sclerosis.
3.. People with learning disabilities who can find attendance a valuable therapeutic experience.
4.. People with severe disabilities who attend with the help and support of carers.

In each case a physiotherapist will assess the individual and tailor a programme of exercises for them to perform in the specially heated pool where they are supervised by qualified staff and lifeguards.

68 sessions are held per week and approximately 32,000 users attend per annum, all of whom derive benefit and comfort from the experience.
The Puffin Hydrotherapy Pool has been operating for 20 years and some plant components require replacement and updating. They include an Air Handling Unit, Filter Pots and a Water Purification Plant, the total cost of which is £60,000. The most urgent element of those is the Filter Pots which we have already had replaced at a cost of £20,000 drawn from our company capital reserves. The Board are currently revising maintenance contracts for the plant as the new components are more sophisticated than the ones they replace.

Currently the Pool derives income from user attendance charges, small grants from NHS Highland and Highland Council, income from the Charity Shop operated by the Company, some investment income from capital reserves (now reduced as mentioned above), donations, and returns from an annual sponsored fun run and Christmas raffle. The income barely covers our running costs but the Board take pride in keeping our user charges as low as possible as many of our users are in a low personal income bracket. Each member of the Board is a volunteer and receives no remuneration for their services.

Special Needs Action Project (SNAP)
SNAP provides leisure and recreation opportunities for over 80 young people, who all have substantial special needs. We provide After School Clubs, Holiday Leisure Schemes, Saturday outings and Weekend Breaks.

SNAP aims to increase the socialisation, self-esteem and independent skills of our young people. With the help of our skilled and dedicated staff and volunteers, the young people can access activities that other people take for granted, e.g. going to the theatre, out for meals, swimming and forest walks.

The families of the young people with special needs also benefit from much needed respite from the relentless responsibilities of care.

0ur application is to replace our minibus, which was donated to us by the Highland Cross in 2012. The proposed replacement minibus would have similar capacity to our existing vehicle but would be less expensive to operate.

The minibus is an essential part of the SNAP Services and is used every day. It helps families by transporting the young people to and from home, accessing various facilities and activities within the community as well as further afield within Scotland.

Our young people have a strong sense of ownership of our minibus, naming it SNAPPIE. The benefits to each individual are considerable as it develops independence away from their family, the opportunity to try something new as well as being part of a group. SNAPPIE is more than just transportation to us, it is an important part of our young people’s SNAP experience.


John Gordon, Struy

It is with great sadness that I have to inform our Community of the death of John Gordon of Struy, Strathglass.  John died last week after a long illness.  John's wife, Lillian, was one of the first folk to volunteer to run a water stop for the initial "Midsummer Madathon" and every year the grass in front of their house has hosted a water stop for our event.  John was always there supporting the event until his illness prevented him.


He will be remembered as a Highland Gentleman in every sense of the word.  Quiet and unassuming but committed to his family and community and to the ideals of Highland Cross.  He will be sadly missed.


Calum Munro MBE
Organising Secretary and Co-Founder of Highland Cross

20 March 2019



Highland Cross on Facebook 


Highland Cross now has a Facebook page - www.facebook.com/thehighlandcross


It is full of news about the event, important dates for the 2019 event, information about the folk who make it happen and the charities we support and who support us. There are a lot of comments about the event being posted.   The comment below was left by Nigel MacGillivary one of this year’s participants – he really grasps what the Cross is all about!


"...truly is a unique community event from the coffee stall at the start to the post race buffet and everything before, in between and after."



Highland Cross have signed up with JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving to enable competitors to set up their own sponsorship page.  To make a donation or to create your own page to raise money click here to visit our JustGiving page or click here to visit our Virgin Money Giving page.