If you’re looking to challenge yourself in 2019, while helping some of the world’s poorest children, then the Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon could be for you. The Quad, organised by Wild Fox Events, starts on the south side of Loch Tay in Scotland on Saturday, 6 July – with funds raised from the endurance test going to Mary’s Meals and Mercy Corps.
Joe Black, 29, took part in the 2017 event and is now set to take on the 2019 Quad, which includes a 0.8-mile swim, a 15-mile walk over seven hills, a 34-mile cycle and a seven-mile kayak across Loch Tay. While the event may sound daunting, Joe encourages anyone interested to give it a go as he surprised himself two years ago.
“I think you read about the Quad and can feel intimidated by it, but as someone who has completed it, I’m telling you that you can do it. Knowing you are taking part to support the important work of Mary’s Meals also helps to keep you going,” Joe says.
He adds: “The swim was the scariest part for me because I have never swam that far before and in those conditions. When I got into the water in the morning, I remember thinking ‘I don’t know if I can do this’. But as soon as I finished the swim I knew the rest would be okay. The adrenaline really helps too, you look around and know that everyone is in it together.
“I’ll never forget the experience, getting into the water at 6am for the first part of the quad, the mist rising above Loch Tay, the pipes playing. It was incredible. It’s also a great way to take in the Scottish Highlands.”
Registration for the 2019 Quad is currently open, with places available on the bronze, silver and gold routes. And Joe has some helpful tips for anyone taking part this year. He says: “I would say that the hills are pretty tough, make sure you have experience of hill walking before. We actually had a training day on the hills that make up the Quad, so that really helped, I would recommend doing that if you are able to.
“Taking part in the Quad is an unforgettable experience.”
Michael and Cameron’s Blog - Quad 2019 - Why We Signed Up
Mercy Corps are not only one of the fantastic beneficiary charities of the Quad, but each year we try to make sure that we have staff members taking part in the challenge as participants. It helps us to remember the importance of what all our amazing quad supporters are going through in order to help us change lives around the world.
Two of our staff members have taken on the challenge this year and we are going to be joining them on their journey as they train for the Gold route. They’ll be hopping in here every month to chat about their progress (at least we hope that’s what they’ll be making) and you’ll also see them in the dedicated Quadrathlete Facebook group - so please say hi!
For now, we wanted to get to know these guys a little better, find out more about them and the reasons they signed up. So grab a snack (or a protein shake) and join us as we put Cameron Hall and Michael McKean in the hot-seat.
Q: What is your role with Mercy Corps?
Cameron: I’m the HR Director for Mercy Corps Europe. I essentially see it as my job to make sure Mercy Corps team members have the support they need to be successful in their roles ... which hopefully contributes to successful programming in the field!
Michael: I’m the Senior Director for Programmes, Funding and Operations which means I am responsible for the teams which bring in funds to Mercy Corps from a wide range of donors, and then coordinate support to our humanitarian and development programmes in 40 countries around the world.
Q: How are you feeling about taking on this challenge in 2019?
Cameron: I’m anxious. I’ve always been physically active, but it has easily been 15 years since I have done anything this demanding.
Michael: I’m really looking forward to it! I have been thinking about taking part in a major event for some time now, and this feel like the right one to kick-start my fitness journey.
Q: Have you done anything like this before?
Cameron: Not exactly. I used to be a long distance runner and endurance events have always been something I found interesting. I also spent several years in the US Army, so have some experience challenging myself out in the elements…
Michael: I have done the Quad once before, way back in 2007, when I was much younger and fitter!
Q: Which part are you most confident about?
Michael: I do quite a bit of kayaking and enjoyed that discipline the most in 2007, so I’m looking forward to doing it again! It is a well-earned seat for a few miles after the long hill trek.
Cameron: The trekking portion… if that is what you call it. I do need to get in better shape, but I am really excited to attack the trail.
Q: Which part are you most nervous about?
Michael: It’s a toss-up between the swimming and the hills - both are tough. I’m not a great swimmer so need to train a lot for this section; and one of my abiding memories from the 2007 quad is the ascent of munro 7, which is brutal after the descent from the ridge.
Cameron: The swim. I’m a strong swimmer, but don’t have experience in open water or distance swimming. This is the first leg of the route and sets the tone for the rest of the day, so I want to do it well!
Q: What are you most looking forward to?
Michael: I’m looking forward to challenging myself to complete the event, 12 years after I last did it. I really hope I can get back to an epic level of fitness and maintain that for years to come! I’m also looking forward to a fish supper on the final stage of the cycle - much needed sustenance for the final leg!
Cameron: Clearing the first peak. I have a romantic vision of this in my head… looking out over Scotland from high, full of energy and confidence. In reality, I’ll probably be sucking for air, trying my best not to get a blister or twist my ankle and will completely miss the moment.
Q: Why is taking part in the Quad important to you?
Michael: Taking part in the Quad is important for me on a number of levels - partly because I want to (once more) participate in Scotland’s toughest one day event, and partly because I strongly believe in the work of the recipient charities. As someone who has worked for Mercy Corps for 18 years in a number of overseas locations, I have seen first-hand the positive impact that our work has on families and communities across the globe, particularly those affected by conflict and natural disaster.
Cameron: I guess it is about being a part of a team. I’m new to this role and see participating in this challenge as a way to continue to learn and experience in different ways what it is to be a part of this team. And, doing so helps promote our teams in the field, which makes it all the better!
This year, more than ever, with the number of natural and man-made disasters that we have been responding to, we are so grateful to have the support of events like the quadrathlon, as the funds raised help us to respond quickly and efficiently to the needs of the communities we work with. For example, we have recently been able to help people in hard-hit areas affected by the Indonesian tsunami which happened on the 22nd December. Over 400 people have died and more than 30,000 have had to leave their homes. Mercy Corps responded almost immediately. While assessing damage we brought rice and clean water for distribution to those that needed it. We have worked in Indonesia for over 20 years and have over 120 team members there, many of whom are seasoned experts in disaster response.
If you ever need any info from us about Mercy Corps, or a little bit of motivation as to why events like these and your participation in them is life-changing please just reach out to us on 0131 662 5160.
On 6th July 2019 you can choose the Bronze, Silver or Gold route option.
Bronze is a triathlon with a 10 mile walk or run over 5 Munros, a 7 mile kayak and a 34 mile cycle.
Silver includes a 0.8 mile swim, with a 13 miles run or walk over 6 Munros.
Gold is the toughest challenge with the 0.8 mile swim, a 15 mile walk over 7 Munros, and the 7 mile kayak and 34 mile cycle round Loch Tay.
The Bronze route starts on the north side of Loch Tay, opposite Ardtalnaig. The Silver and Gold routes start at Kindrochit on the south side of Loch Tay at Ardtalnaig. All the walking routes are over the spectacular Ben Lawers mountain range, while the kayak leg starts at Milton of Morenish on the north side of Loch Tay and finishes at Ardtalnaig. The cycle route starts there and circumnavigates Loch Tay in an anti-clockwise direction.
You can register here: https://www.sientries.co.uk/event.php?event_id=4514
If you took part in the 2017 Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon, you will know that the BBC were there, capturing the action to create an Adventure Show episode featuring the Event. The BBC have confirmed the date of the programme transmission; Sunday 12thNovember at 7pm, on BBC 2 Scotland. You can catch it on the iPlayer too. Check out our Facebook page to see the trailer for the show: Facebook
Ed Smith covered the event again this year and you can now view and purchase his photos. Click here to go to Ed Smith Photography website.
You can also view and download low resolution watermarked versions at the WildFox Events Flickr page.
Mary’s Meals works with communities in some of the world’s most impoverished areas to set up and deliver school feeding programmes that provide one nutritious daily meal in a place of education for hungry children where children so often miss school because of hunger and poverty. 1,230,171 children receive Mary’s Meals around the world, as well as their teachers, families, and wider communities. Thanks to the commitment and fundraising efforts of Quad competitors Mary’s Meals is able to provide vital support to over 7,500 chronically hungry children in Malawi. It costs just £13.90 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year and we are committed to spending at least 93p of every £1 donated directly on our charitable activities.
Fatsileni from Malawi explains, “Sometimes we haven’t eaten in days, so my tummy aches and I feel weak. I couldn’t concentrate in school before and would have to go home,” Earlier this year, we were able to start serving Mary’s Meals in Fatsileni’s primary school for the first time. She tells us joyfully: “Now Mary’s Meals is at school and we can eat in the morning! It is such a big relief for my parents. They know I have had something to eat in the day.” Without a daily meal in their place of education girls like Fatsileni and all of those enrolled in schools supported by the quadrathlon are much less likely to go to school. Mary’s Meals is offering children in Malawi – and all over the world – hope for the future.
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action – helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.
The world is more fragile than ever. Food shortages have left millions of people hungry, while violent conflict has sent millions on the run. From poverty and malnutrition to natural disasters and climate change, it’s easy to see a world of insurmountable challenges. Instead, we see an opportunity to creative transformative change.
In crisis, we believe in the power of human potential. In struggle, we believe in the ability of communities to grow stronger.
Since 2005, over £1.1m has been raised from the Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon. From Ethiopia to Syria, money raised from the Quadrathlon has been directly invested into where it is needed the most. From microfinance projects, to educating marginalized girls in Nepal; funds have been invested into programmes that demonstrate innovative, bold, create solutions to complex crises.
Thank you for the effort you have put into participating in the Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon, and for supporting Mercy Corps. Together, we can empower people to survive through crisis, build better lives and transforms their communities for good.
Best of luck,
If you are anything like me, with less than two months to go until the quad, your mind will be on the impending physical challenge that we all will soon face. It is easy to forget in the midst of this challenge the reason why we signed up for The Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon – to raise money for two worthwhile charities. Along with the physical battle which we must overcome on the day we are also required to raise £450 each (in a team of two) towards Mary’s Meals and Mercy Corps. For two so-called professional fundraisers; Mary’s Meals team “Quadrophenia” has a lot to live up to!
Recently, Mary’s Meals launched our film Generation Hope online. This award-winning film tells the stories of some of the young people who received and enjoyed the benefits of Mary’s Meals as children and are now partof a new generation beginning to find its voice and build a brighter future.
We jumped at the chance to use Generation Hope to raise awareness of Mary’s Meals and our epic challenge by hosting a film night in our office. This was a fantastic opportunity to tell our colleagues some humiliating stories from our Loch Tay training sessions and show them the life changing difference that their donation can make.
To see the great work that Mary’s Meals does in 14 countries throughout the world, you can watch our film Generation Hope here.
See what your fundraising can achieve!
Last year, Quad participants raised crucial funds for our projects around the world. Watch this video and see how Mercy Corps helped transformed the lives of 30 million people in 2016, and be inspired in knowing that your fundraising will create lasting change. Set up your Virgin Giving page, encourage your friends and families to donate, and join us in empowering people to survive through crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good.