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Grantown school pupils take on Highland Trail 550 from own homes

By Gavin Musgrove

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Some pupils and staff at Grantown Grammar School are riding the Highland Trail 550 this week without leaving the comfort of their own homes.

The PE department at the secondary school has been setting a Strava challenge for pupils since lockdown began but they have really stepped up the challenge now.

On Monday they threw down the gauntlet for the pupils to 'match the miles' of The Adventure Syndicate athletes.

Every year Adventure Syndicate directors, local bikers, Lee Craigie and Round the World cyclist Jenny Graham ride their bikes day and night for five days while encouraging schools, workplaces and individuals to follow their GPX tracking device and to Match the Miles they ride online via a live map.

But the pandemic has put paid to this year's challenge which was due to start on Monday.

So instead of Lee and Jenny accruing miles on their bikes and being represented mile by mile via a moving dot on an online map, they will be timing their minutes spent exercising inside instead on rollers, yoga mats and stairs.

In fact any time spent moving will be converted by the Match the Miles app into virtual miles travelled which will in turn be represented on a live tracking map.

Together, those taking part will ride The Highland Trail 550 - a 550 mile self-supported bike mountain bike race through the Highlands which usually takes place in May.

The route will be represent @adventuresynd Instagram and Twitter feeds using imagery captured in past years.

Grantown Grammar School headteacher Claire McGonigal.
Grantown Grammar School headteacher Claire McGonigal.

Headteacher Claire McGonigal said “This is a great way for staff, parents and pupils to use their additional exercise time to take part in a really worthwhile community challenge.

"Getting outside, whilst still social distancing, is a great way to clear your head and take your mind off the strange conditions we are living in.

"I wonder if we can be the first school group to complete it?”

There will also be spot prizes for individuals and families, schools and organisations.

More details can be found at http://theadventuresyndicate.com/match-the-miles

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