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It's official: Plug pulled on Strathpuffer cycle challenge for second year running – 'Just because we can doesn't mean we should'


By Hector MacKenzie

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Action from a previous event. The Strathpuffer has been cancelled for the second year running. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Action from a previous event. The Strathpuffer has been cancelled for the second year running. Picture: Callum Mackay.

ORGANISERS of the popular 24-hour winter cycle challenge Strathpuffer have confirmed it's off.

It was due to have been held next month but doubts about it going ahead surfaced amid growing concern over the coronavirus crisis.

Staged on forest tracks in the Contin area, it had been cancelled last year too.

Participants signed up for the 2022 event were notifed by email.

In a public post, organisers said: "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. We've thought long and hard about this but we've come to the conclusion that the best course of action under the current pandemic situation is to cancel the Puffer.

"All competitors have been sent more details. Sorry to bring this news to you on Christmas Eve but we hope that you all have a happy and safe holidays. Roll on Puffer 2023."

While reaction has been mixed and tempered with disappoinment, it has been overwhelmingly supportive of the decision taken.

Mike Atkinson posted: "Well done for taking the decision you feel is right. Not everyone will agree, but we will all agree that you have the most difficult job. Because you can, should you? I am sure most of us support you full stop. Enjoy Christmas. We may do a tribute lap or two, shame for the training to be wasted."

Keith Forsyth observed: "Disappointing, but not unexpected! Such a shame that you guys have had to make this decision after all the planning and preparation has been done again for the second year running. Let’s all hope that the worst of this pandemic will be behind us by Jan ‘23 and we can get back to this crazy race we all love so much !!

"It’ll be worth the wait to get the true Puffer vibe again in 2023."

Ann Sant noted: "As a nurse and public health professional and vaccinator I have long held the mantra just because we can does that mean we should ? I couldn’t agree with the sentiment more despite how much we will miss it."

There were some dissenting voiced to the news on the Strathpuffer Facebook page.

"Just because you can cancel doesn't mean you should," posted Andrew Fletcher. "Just seen the carol service from Westminster Abbey from a couple of weeks ago. Packed shoulder to shoulder indoors so how can a bike race outdoors be a risk."

Ian Foley wrote: "Fit and healthy individuals at an outdoor event, cancelled. Ridiculous."

Kyle Beattie though posted: "So sorry to hear guys but 100 per cent the right decision. I love everything about the Strathpuffer and all you legends that make it happen! Thank you for putting in the amazing work. So stoked to see you in 2023! Hope you have an amazing Christmas and all the very best for 2022."

Got a story or picture from Ross-shire? Email hector.mackenzie@hnmedia.co.uk


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