Mary’s Meals staff joined by sports stars at UK’s toughest one day endurance event

Mary’s Meals Programme Officers Kirsty Norris and Elfreda Whitty have conquered the 15th annual Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon, along with four of Britain’s top sportspeople and more than 300 other competitors.

The Quadrathlon is pitched as the UK’s toughest one day endurance event and takes place every year on the banks of Loch Tay in the Scottish Highlands. The established route comprises an open water swim across Loch Tay (0.8 miles); a 15 mile hike over seven Munros; a seven mile tandem kayak across the loch; and a 34 mile cycle to finish. Each team raises funds for both Mary’s Meals and Mercy Corps, which is a prerequisite to taking part. 

This year, rugby aces Mike Tindall MBE and Rory Lawson teamed up to brave the challenge, while Alpine skier Chemmy Alcott partnered with her husband and downhill ski champion Dougie Crawford.

On crossing the finish line, each team must cleave a watermelon with a sword to signal they have completed the challenge. 

Mike Tindall was congratulated at the finish line by his wife Zara Phillips and young daughter Mia. Mike said: "It's probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I knew it was going to be hard, but it was way harder than expected. 

“It has been a thoroughly enjoyable challenge. Both Mary’s Meals and Mercy Corps are incredible organisations, and if a little bit of pain is what it takes to help out with that, it is all worth it".

The quickest team completed the course in just eight hours and 37 minutes. The average time for completion by teams is closer to 13 hours and Kirsty and Elfreda crossed the line at around the 15 hour mark.

Kirsty Norris of Mary’s Meals team, “The Tubs”, said: “The Quad was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and I don’t think any amount of training could really have prepared us for how tough it would be on the day. 

“The support from fellow contestants, volunteers, family and friends on the day kept us going and knowing how much people had supported us through fundraising was a huge factor driving us on. I would definitely advise anyone to give it a go, although don’t ignore that intense training is required!”

The 2015 event expects to raise at least £250,000 to help Mercy Corps and Mary’s Meals make a difference to communities living in poverty around the world.  

Registration for 2016 opens next week on the Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon website.

Find out more about Mary's Meals.