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 2017 - Saturday 17 June 2017

Highland Cross is oversubscribed again this year. 

The invitation list for Highland Cross 2018 will open on 1st September 2017 and any application for inclusion should be made in writing or by e-mail on that date.

For those unsuccessful in the Highland Cross ballot this year, it may be of interest to know that the Nairnshire Challenge is scheduled to take place on Sunday 28th May – if you require further information on this see www.nairnshirechallenge.co.uk.  We believe that this event is still able to take more competitors for 2017.


Freedom of Beauly and the Glens Award

Highland Cross were delighted to be amongst the organisations supporting the award of the "Freedom of Beauly and the Glens" to the Campbell family from Beauly.  James Campbell was instrumental in arranging for the second event to switch its finish from Inverness to Beauly.

Beauly is in many ways the spiritual home of Highland Cross! James has been the Beauly Organiser for the Cross for the last 34 years and his sisters Miriam and Catriona have been key workers in organising the Beauly ladies' organisations to provide the finish meal for the participants.  As well as their work for the Cross the family has worked tirelessly for the betterment of Beauly and contributed hugely to community and business life.

Highland Cross was represented at the Freedom Ceremony by Calum Munro who was also asked to act as the Master of Ceremonies for the event.



HIGHLAND CROSS 2016 - Yet another record year for Highland Cross fundraising!

The record figure raised in 2015 from Highland Cross participants was £261,290 but this has been surpassed by Highland Cross 2016 competitors who have shattered the previous record by raising a superb total of  £277,189!


This now means that Highland Cross has raised over £4.4million over the 34 years of the event.


 On 24 November 2016 the 6 principal charities received presentations:

  • The Archie Foundation received £40,000 to fit out the High Dependency Unit at the Children’s Unit at Raigmore Hospital making a total of £80,000 given to the Children’s Unit in recent years by Highland Cross.

  • SOAR Youth Projects in Ross-shire received two specially adapted minibuses.

  • Inverness Voluntary Transport Scheme received a new vehicle.

  • Highland BlindCraft received a new vehicle for their fundraising workshop and sales division.

  • Blythswood Care received a new vehicle for their food bank operation.

  • Birchwood Highland received funding to build a sun lounge for their residential care facility.

In addition to the primary causes, the participants’ success will also allow some smaller grants 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.


Top Fundraising Teams of 2016






Team Name


Competitor Names





Surely it will be easier this year?


William Gray


Richard McGrail


Mairi Gilmour





The Midlife Crossers


Hamish Baillie


Thomas Dallmeyer


Fredric Maire





Over the Hill


Steven Scott


Ryan MacLean


Stuart Laurence





Pony Express (3 Bros)


John Dean


Sandy Dean


Allan Dean





Spooks @ Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland


Maurice Gibson


Cameron Gibson


Hugh Thomson





The Ben 3


Jacqueline Healy


Leigh-Ann Kelly


Ian McMahon





Coast to Coast Busters


Derek Dunn


Phil Prestridge 


Ruth Wolfe 





We said never again


Alexandra Reid


Adam Streeter-Smith


Norman MacDonald





Cullicudden Colts


James MacLean


Brian Philip


James Garden





Team GMF


Gavin MacDonald


Gavin Beaton


Scott Murray





Three Witches of Kintail


Elizabeth Christie


Fiona Macleod


Emily MacDonald





Star Wheels: The Forks Awaken!


Rosie Hague


Conor Doherty


Graham Wilkinson


Photography from Highland Cross 2016 is now available.  Click here to view photographs by Rob McConnell and click here to view photographs from David Stewart.


Items of Lost Property

  • Sunglasses

  • Light reflector

  • Garmin watch

  • Small tyre inflator

  • Cateye Strada cadence

  • Small Shimano spanner

  • Blue Park Tool lever TL-1

  • Money (will be donated to HX funds if not claimed)

  • Asics running shoes – grey/white/orange

  • New Balance running shoes - light grey/dark grey

  • Nike running shoes – turquoise/pink

  • Black Adidas trousers

Please contact us at info@highlandcross.co.uk or 07729 892 702 if any of these belong to you.



HIGHLAND CROSS 2017 – Saturday 17th June



From the replies received from 2016 competitors, unsuccessful applications from previous years and new applications, we are again oversubscribed.  We have this morning 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 300 requests for the 265 teams available.  If everyone returns their completed forms in February, we will again be involved in balloting.


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 2018, they mark 1st September 2017 in their diary as the date to register for an application form for 2018.




Highland Cross has sent sincere condolences to Dundonell Mountain Rescue Team on the tragic loss of their colleague Mr James Edwards. Mr Edwards died as a result of an accident in the Fisherfield Forest and despite the gallant and strenuous efforts of his colleagues from Dundonell and Torridon MRTs and the Inverness Coastguard helicopter to bring him to safety in appalling weather conditions.


Dundonnell MRT has been a staunch supporter of Highland Cross over very many years and we deeply appreciate their efforts on our behalf and on behalf of the Highland Community throughout the years.


Calum Munro



Third Sector Award

Highland Cross was delighted that the Community of Highland Cross - the supporting organisations, volunteers and sponsors who actually make the day happen - was awarded the Community Initiative Award 2016 by the Highland Third Sector Interface.  The Interface is the co-ordinating body for charities and social enterprises in Highland.  The Highland Cross Organisers assembled a small representative group to go to Strathpeffer on the 25th August to collect the Award.


The photograph shows Drew Hendry MP with:  Fiona Kennedy from Athnamulloch Waterpoint, Elizabeth Christie the Administration Organiser, James Dunbar OBE the CEO of New Start Highland representing charities, James Campbell of R & F Campbell Ltd who leads our haulage fleet, Jonathan Wotherspoon representing landowners and others who support the route, Keith Pratt our Safety Net Organiser who also represented the volunteers from Scouting, Andy Beaton Leader of Dundonell MRT representing all the teams who support us, James MacKenzie from Beauly Community, Neil Gauld from PDG Helicopters and Scott Hay from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.


Graham MacLean
The sudden death of Graham MacLean after a short illness will come as a shock to many who knew him as an influential figure in the first 20 years of Highland Cross.

Graham was a member of the small Fire Brigade group that launched the Midsummer Madathon in 1983 and in becoming our treasurer until he retired in 2002.  As our “Iron Chancellor” his contribution and time given to the growing years of “the Cross” was immense, readily recognised and appreciated by his successor, John Fraser.

Graham played a key role at critical moments for the event; when it became an “open” event taking the administration into our own homes (thus saving the public purse) and later when we secured charity status as a private company. He was also instrumental in transforming nominated charities from happy recipients to being actively involved by providing essential manpower to the safety and welfare network for the event.

At every Highland Cross weekend, his was a large and bantering presence responsible for the bike loading and entrants’ buses before working his way from Morvich along the course to overseeing the finish arrangements in Beauly Square and prize giving. His wife, Sandra, was ever present at the medal presentation while son Andrew did sterling work on bike loading duties.

I will remember him as a valued colleague, a good companion on our Highland Cross journey.

Gerry Grant


Highland Cross is delighted to send its congratulations to two charities that are part of our Community for their achievements in the recently released Care Commission Annual Inspection results.

Crossroads Care Skye and Lochalsh
Crossroads Care Skye and Lochalsh have been awarded the highest inspection grades for the fifth year running! Crossroads operates as a respite care service giving vital support to individuals and families caring for loved ones in their homes.  The charity is led by a small board of local trustees and the Skye and Lochalsh community are strongly supportive of Crossroads work and fundraising initiatives. Highland Cross was delighted to part fund the outfitting of their new shop premises in Portree from the Smaller Grants Scheme. Profits from the shop help fund the charity’s vital work.

Volunteers from Crossroads, led by Service Co-ordinator Jenny Millington, have staffed the water point at Glenlicht House in previous years. “Lucky 2 be here” another Skye based charity and another previous beneficiary of the Cross covered the site this year.

Birchwood Highland
Staff and service users at local mental health charity Birchwood Highland are celebrating great results from two visits by the Care Inspectorate, to the Inverness Support Service, the Lochaber Support Service and the Easter Ross Support Service, the Care Inspectorate awarded all three services the top rating ‘Excellent’.  The services provide housing support and care at home to individuals across the region.  The same grade was awarded to Birchwood Highland’s Recovery Centre after another unannounced inspection of the 23-bedroomed facility in Inverness, where individuals are supported by a dedicated team of nurses and support workers.

Birchwood Highland are nominated as a major beneficiary from Highland Cross 2016 and volunteers from the charity were working in the Finish Area in Beauly Square on the 18th June.

The Community of the Cross – Making the day happen
These two examples show the quality of the causes that Highland Cross is honoured to support. Volunteers from twenty charities supported by Highland Cross this year or through previous fundraising were working to make the day happen and to bring in essential funds for Highland causes. They were supported by local communities across the route, individual volunteers from Highland Cross, its commercial and organisational partners. These wonderful folk create a unique community of interested people, intent on generating as much benefit as possible and pushing the £4.1m raised over the past 33 years yet further.



Founders of Highland Cross honoured

Everyone who is associated with Highland Cross in any way will have been pleased to hear the news that in Saturday’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Gerry Grant and Calum Munro were awarded MBEs.  As many of you will know, Gerry and Calum were co-founders of Highland Cross back in 1983 and both have been involved over the 34 years of running the event.  In recent years, Calum has been principal co-ordinator while Gerry is one of the three independent panellists who choose the charities to be supported each year.


Each has given tens of thousands of hours of their time voluntarily over the period.  Many charities, competitors and volunteers have benefited from their input and are proud to be associated with the event.  Highland Cross would not be in existence without these two gentlemen coming up with the idea and we congratulate them on receiving their deserved awards.





Highland Children's Unit about to go operational

Calum Munro represented Highland Cross at the preview of the new Highland Children's Unit on 25th April. The Unit officially receives patients on 9th May and a large group of funders and supporters of the project gathered to be shown round.

The facilities are extremely impressive and look nothing like a standard NHS facility. Great effort has gone into making them as child and young person friendly as possible with enhanced facilities for parents/carers to be with seriously ill children.

The £40,000 of Highland Cross funding from the 2012 event will be combined with the funds raised this year to pay for the fitting out of the High Dependency Unit (HDU) a key area of the new Unit. The attached photograph shows the Nurse's Station in the HDU and gives a taste of the decoration and quality of finish in the whole unit.  Another wonderful example of what the wonderful folk of the Community of Highland Cross have achieved for the wider Highland Community!



Highland Cross congratulates Calman Trust on their latest venture

Over the years Highland Cross has been proud to support Calman Trust in their work with Highland young people. Your fund raising has purchased machines for their work wear enterprise and a refrigerated vehicle for their outside catering business and they are our caterers of choice for our annual celebration and gift evening. The attached link takes you to an article about their latest venture, running the staff canteen for SSE's HQ in Inverness.  Yet another high quality organisation that forms part of the Community of Highland Cross!




Angus MacKenzie OBE, CA
It is with great sadness that I must inform the Community of Highland Cross of the sudden death of Angus MacKenzie.
Angus came into the Community of Highland Cross through his involvement with Highland Riding for the Disabled - only one of many charities that benefitted from his commitment and acumen.  With him he brought his colleagues and staff from his accountancy firm MacKenzie Kerr and beyond his retirement Angus was a loyal supporter of the Cross and his colleagues became the very backbone of the administration and financial aspects of the Cross which they have remained through the intervening decades.  Angus's nephew John Fraser, our current treasurer, has strengthened the link to the Cross.  Angus was a keen shooter and for many years combined his duties at the Start Registration tables with discharging his 12 bore to start folk on their way.  Angus's funeral was a testament to a life of service to his community and marked the passing of a man who was the very epitome of a Highland Gentleman.
Calum Munro, Co Founder and Organising Secretary, Highland Cross



Alex Brett

It is with deep sadness that Highland Cross has to inform its community of the tragic death of one of our stalwart participants – Alex Brett from Dingwall.  Alex had completed 28 Crosses and took part as a member of the “The Three Amigos” team. A trio that had regularly won team prizes over the years.   A true Highland gentleman and committed outdoorsman he died after a fall on Liathach in the Torridon area.



Calum receives a deserved award
Everyone associated with Highland Cross was very pleased to hear that at the Highland Third Sector Awards 2015 held recently, our Co-founder and Organising Secretary of Highland Cross, Calum Munro was given an Outstanding Achievement Award.  This award was in recognition of his outstanding achievements within the Third Sector in Highland and the positive contribution that he has made to our community.  Among other achievements, this reflects his huge contribution to Highland Cross over 33 years and how his hard work, his organisation and his enthusiasm has benefited so many different charitable organisations within the Highland community.
Calum received a lovely plaque and scroll which were handed over by Mr John Finnie, MSP. 



Making it happen
Highland Cross happens because a huge selection of individuals, charities and supporting organisations come together to create the community that delivers the event.  The Organisers are often asked about our challenges in delivering the event. There are lots, but we have a superb team who make it happen for the participants.


As an example one of the biggest logistical exercises is moving all the 700+ bikes to Affric! The transport is led by Murray Campbell with his team of drivers from R&F Campbell Ltd. Tractor units from Murray's firm haul 40' container trailers from R&F Campbell Ltd, MacCallum Haulage Ltd, Muir of Ord and TOM Vehicle Rental, Nairn. The access road to Affric is a real challenge and requires huge skill to negotiate it with such large vehicles.


Without this generous donation of equipment and skill Highland Cross could not happen.  As participants prepare for their day, we ask them to remember the remarkable Community whose  generosity makes it possible. They make it happen so that the participants challenge and  experience can generate funds for great Highland causes - we ask them to honour the efforts of the  supporting community by maximising their fund raising!


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.