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More than 80 students from Skye to Lochaber are set to take part in the annual ‘Leanachan Challenge’

LEANACHAN CROSS COUNTRY The winning team from Lochaber High School. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos

The annual ‘Leanachan Challenge’ is all set to take place on Tuesday 28th November, and will be held in memory of Peter English.

It is once again being hosted by the Rural Education Trust at Torlundy, with support from the Active School’s team across Lochaber.

The ‘Leanachan Challenge’ is Lochaber’s annual cross country running event for pupils from S1 through to S6. This year, it will take place at ‘An Clachan’ Rural Education Centre, Lochaber Rural Complex.

Schools have been asked to form one team consisting of two boys and two girls from each of the coupled age groups: S1 and 2, S3 and 4, and S5 and 6.

The distance run has been set at approximately 6km for the S5 and 6 group, 4km for the S3 and 4 group, and 3km for the S1 and 2 group.

Jane Bruce, High Life Highland’s Active School’s Coordinator, said: “This event has been running for over 10 years, and continues to be well anticipated in the community.

“Each year, it brings together over 80 students from as far as the Isle of Skye and Mull. For that reason, it is always fiercely contended, and we look forward to welcoming the talented young athletes back for another great race.

“The trail this year is forestry track, so it will be rough, uneven, and possibly muddy depending on weather conditions – but will not involve any navigation skills.

“My gratitude goes out to parents of pupils involved, teachers from each school who have helped bring the event together, as well as to the Rural Education Trust for their continued support.”

The schedule for the day is as follows:


Leanachan Challenge 2023 – Schedule
Arrival and registration 10:30am to 11am
Young athletes’ warm-up 11am to 11:15am
Races begin 11:15am start
Prize ceremony 1:30pm onwards


This event is part of the wider Lochaber Active Schools PE programme, with participants having the opportunity to take part in a race with the rest of Lochaber schools, as well as For William schools, next month.