EMEA Feature

Taking on the Mighty Cateran Yomp

July 25, 2017

It’s only once in a while that you get to do something amazing and meaningful. Last month a few members of Adobe’s Public Sector team got to do just that: They took on the fearsome Cateran Yomp in Scotland, a major endurance race ran by the Soldiers Charity, an organization that raises funds to support British Army veterans and their families.

Now in its seventh year, the Yomp has become the stuff of legend among endurance fanatics. This no ordinary endurance event – it’s a massive physical and mental challenge that pushes participants across 54 miles of some of the most difficult terrain in Europe in just 24 hours – all for an amazing cause.

Over 1000 participants (or ‘Yompers’, as they are affectionately known) took part in the challenge this year, raising a record £500,000 for the Soldier’s Charity. Yompers are a fun and eclectic crowd – ranging from endurance enthusiasts and daredevils to amateur athletes, TV celebrities, military men and women, and an army of volunteers who join the race to support less able participants or raise money for veteran causes. The Yomp brings them all together in the ultimate endurance challenge.

Adobe is proud to have sponsored the Allied Forces Foundation charity, who brought 50 Wounded, Ill and Injured veterans from the US, the UK and Denmark to take part in the event, many of them suffering disabilities sustained in military service. Our three Adobe volunteers – Damien Trower, Malcolm Gardner and Ben Warner – joined the veterans to support them through the Yomp, provide logistical and moral support, and help each other through to the finish line.

On the morning of, our Yompers set off at the crack of dawn from the town of Blairgowrie in Eastern Scotland and over the next day took on the mighty Cateran Trail in the Scottish highlands. They braved a terrain that varies from the high mountains of the famous Cairngorms National Park to the rolling farmland, river valleys, and riding tracks of the beautiful Angus Glens region to the east of Glasgow. Along the way they withstood over a dozen types of rainfall (you can only say that in the UK!), and at times climbed high enough to trek through clouds. They battled lack of sleep, biting cold, and some nasty leg cramps and foot blisters – all the while treated to some of the most stunning scenery in Europe. They suffered a few injuries along the way, but all of our yompers beat their personal goals.  Many made it all the way to the “gold” finish at 54 miles – A huge accomplishment!

Getting through the Yomp finish-line takes much more than mere physical prowess – it requires extraordinary tenacity, resilience, and mental strength. The veterans we supported are some of the toughest people you’ll find anywhere – many of them ex- Special Forces or Marines who have tackled some of the most difficult environments in the world. Many of them faced enormous physical challenges to get through the race: For them the Yomp was about proving to themselves that despite traumatic injury or serious illness they could rise to the challenge and achieve their goal. For all involved the event provided an amazing opportunity to share experiences with other veterans,  re-establish self belief and develop renewed positivity about the future.

The Yomp is also one massive team effort. Half-way through the trek, when the going really starts getting tough and exhaustion sets in, any differences between yompers—abled-bodied or not, younger or older, athletic pro or amateur—start to fall away. Everyone’s in it together, and it’s the support of your fellow yompers that gets you through the finish line. Our veterans understood this implicitly from their own experience, and for our volunteers it was incredibly uplifting and a real privilege to partake in this wonderful spirit.

A huge thanks to the Soldier’s Charity, which has been running the Cateran Yomp for the past four years, raising money that provides lifelong support to soldiers and veterans. It’s an incredible cause, and since its inception in 1944 the charity has funded 92 charities and raised £2.4 million to deliver help to veterans and their families.

Come make an impact with our teams and apply today!