It’s Monday morning and I am still recovering from Saturday’s yomp. But recovering with all the right kinds of aches and pains. We reached our goal of 36 miles (the silver distance) and I couldn’t have asked for a better team mate to do it with. My mum and I set off at 7:30am on Saturday morning with a goal to reach the silver check point, 36 miles along the Cateran Trail… and we did it feeling very proud that we didn’t get a single blister along the way.
Eating our porridge before the start we looked around and felt a little underdressed. Our running shorts and trail shoes looked a little frail next to all the walking boots and large rucksacks; although that quickly became nothing to regret as the day went on. The yomp is certainly military orientated, which was really interesting to be around in comparison to ultra events we have been to in the past. The kit list is very different, and perhaps we missed the mark and cheated slightly by wearing such lightweight clothing and shoes; but it did mean no boot blisters!
With military comes precision and without a doubt, The Cateran Yomp is the best organised event I have ever taken part in. From podiatrists at every checkpoint, to ice cream stops and even a gin station (thank you Gin Bothy) ; we were kept entertained and feeling motivated the entire day. Not to mention the chat from other competitors along the way, many of whom were soldiers and veterans. (Check out my Instagram story highlight to watch the whole thing @ronamcmillan)
If you are looking for a new challenge or something to train for; this event is so different from anything else I have ever experienced and I would recommend it a whole range of people. The option to cover three different distances (bronze, silver or gold) is a great way to get everyone involved, and also means it appeals to people of all levels of fitness. There was a real team spirit at the yomp, and the day felt sunny despite the torrential rain we got throughout. Did I mention the amount of food we got? So much food!
My top tips for a successful yomp
- Oil your feet before you put your socks on (no blister trick)
- Twin skin socks (another secret to no blisters)
- Eat, eat and eat more (vary your snacks)
- Wear a cap under your hood (keeps the rain off your face & your hood up)
- Camel back water pack makes hydration a little easier
- Spare socks (x3)
- Trim your toenails
- Break in your shoes (I wore trail shoes that I have been running in for over a year)
- Waterproof your waterproofs
- Train – once you enter this event, the yomp team send brilliant training plans and advice via email.