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Zoom runners take title in virtual team challenge


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Zoom team members with their mascot, Honey.
Zoom team members with their mascot, Honey.

North Highland Harriers have held two virtual challenges in order to keep members connected and engaged during lockdown.

The second of these was a team challenge held over three weekends. Teams made up of four people had to complete three runs of differing distances during the weekend.

Only having three distances meant there was no pressure for everyone in the team to complete the run if, due to injury or family commitments, a team member was unable to take part.

The teams added a different dimension to the virtual challenge. Some teams were tactical on who undertook the runs, while others just let everyone decide what they felt most comfortable with completing.

However, the most hotly contested aspect of the team challenge was the team pictures, with Elsa Stockan taking first prize by drawing the members of Gingerbread Men.

Elsa Stockan drew the members of the Gingerbread Men team.
Elsa Stockan drew the members of the Gingerbread Men team.

As in the previous virtual challenge, the results were calculated using the World Association of Veteran Athletes (WAVA) scale which uses a person's run time, gender and age to calculate a score.

The first weekend had distances of 3k, 5k and 10k had to be completed, and Zoom – consisting of Jennifer Bremner, JulieAnne Leslie, Kenny Macgruer and Vicki Teven – were the first-placed team with a combined score of 203.52.

The second weekend had distances of 2k, three miles and six miles, with Lost in Pace – comprising Cameron Charlton, Sarah Hamilton, Derek Mackenzie and Amy Sutherland – coming first with a combined score of 201.12. However, Zoom still held on to the lead with an overall score of 402.45.

The final weekend had distances of 3k, 5k and 7k, with Zoom taking first place for the weekend with a score of 211.07 and the overall virtual challenge title with 613.52.

North Highland Harriers have also made two charity donations during lockdown, with a donation of £1000 each made to Caithness Klics and Home-Start Caithness.

Club secretary Donna Stewart said: "We are in a fortunate position in the club to be able to have some additional funds and we decided that we would like to make donations to local organisations who may be needing additional funding during the Covid-19 lockdown. Both of these organisations do great work and Caithness Klics provide support to some of our members' families."

The third virtual challenge starts this weekend with another team challenge, where the team has to complete an overall distance each weekend. First up is completing a half marathon.

Following careful consideration, North Highland Harriers have decided not to hold the Caithness Half Marathon this year. Although the governing body Scottish Athletics is still issuing permits for events in September, the committee felt that it was not appropriate to hold the half marathon.


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