If you’re the kind of mountain biker that enjoys brutal endurance events they don’t come much tougher or more rewarding than the Strathpuffer, the legendary 24 hour event held every winter near the Strathpeffer in the Scottish Highlands. Freezing temperatures. 17 hours of darkness. Miles of gruelling terrain. A brutal mix of ice, wind, hail, mud and snow. And maybe, just maybe, a glorious Scottish winter sunrise…
Now in its 12th year, the 2017 event takes place on 21-22 January and is already over-subscribed. Regarded by the likes of Red Bull and US Bike Magazine as one of the toughest mountain biking events on the planet, 900 competitors will take part in this year’s event in the following categories:
- Category 1 – Solo Male & Solo Female
- Category 2 – Male Pairs, Female Pairs & Mixed pairs
- Category 3 – Quad Male, Quad Female & Mixed Quads
- Category 4 – Eight Teams of Eight (Schools)
Everyone has the same goal – to complete as many laps as possible in 24 hours. Winners receive their own special Strathpuffer beer, brewed by local craft beer specialists at the Cromarty Brewery on the Black Isle.
The 2017 ‘Puffer looks set to be the busiest yet, with race organisers are delighted to have the support of both EventScotland and EDF for this year’s event. New for 2017 is the School Teams category, designed specifically to inspire the younger generation to get out and about and involved in mountain biking. Five secondary school teams have signed up so far – Dingwall, Invergordon, Moray, and 2 teams from Fortrose – all made up of 8 riders and can include a mix of pupils and teachers.
There are also lots of plans for promoting this year’s event via social media including Facebook Live videos presented by Duncan McCallum from the BBC’s The Adventure Show, live Twitter updates from around the course, and an Instagram feed full of the best images from the event.
It all looks great fun (well, maybe once you’ve passed the finish line ..!), delivering shed-loads of mud, sweat and gears! Follow the adventure via #strathpuffer.