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Highland Cross duathlon set to return with continued support of sponsors Hawco and MacKenzie Kerr

By Imogen James

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Elizabeth Christie and Rhona Wilson(centre) with the MacKenzie Kerr team.
Elizabeth Christie and Rhona Wilson(centre) with the MacKenzie Kerr team.

The Highland Cross duathlon returns for its 38th outing this month – with the continued support of its two main sponsors.

Both vehicle dealership Hawco and chartered accountant MacKenzie Kerr have provided support for the fundraising event for decades.

Funds raised from Highland Cross are used to purchase vehicles on behalf of a range of charities to help them carry out their work, from people carriers to minibuses and more.

Hawco supplies the vehicles and this year will also continue helping towards the cost of medals and trophies for participants.

A spokesperson said of why it is so keen to support the cause: “It’s a very simple reason – we do it because it’s such a good event and the charity does very good things with the vast amount of money it raises.”

Managing director John Hawco added: “We have been involved with the Highland Cross from the first very year, as a sponsor, and been happy to support ever since, and will continue to do so.

“Of course whilst financial support is important and easy to do, the real credit must go to the army of volunteers who give up their time to organise and run this unique event.”

Hawco makes no profit from the vehicles it sells to the charities utilising Highland Cross donations.

Richard Krall, James Stranraer-Mull, John Hawco and Calum Greenwood.
Richard Krall, James Stranraer-Mull, John Hawco and Calum Greenwood.

Highland Cross founder Calum Munro said: “With Hawco you’ve got the generational contribution from the brothers, but support from the staff too.

“The strands mesh together to become a seamless contribution. Without that the event could not happen.”

MacKenzie Kerr got on board initially for the first Highland Cross event only, but has never stopped supporting it since, looking after admin tasks as well as volunteering in other capacities and even taking part in the duathlon itself.

Its efforts are a year-round commitment, from processing charity applications, getting runners ready and being there on the day to ensure everyone is where they need to be.

Elizabeth Christie, who works in admin for MacKenzie Kerr, saw the first Cross when she worked in Cannich, and now gives up time outside of her job to help out.

MacKenzie Kerr director Rhona Wilson said: “It’s a Highland Cross family. You have the commitment to help, it’s something you look forward to doing.

“MK see the competitors off in Kintail and, having so much involvement throughout the year, it is a joy to drive round to Beauly to see that all the competitors arrive home safely.

“That gap at Kintail between the walkers’ registration and the runners’ registration gives the MK team time to get out the gas stove and cook up some sausages for their breakfast rolls.

“The MK team all know their individual roles each year as the Cross comes around, and their grown-up offspring are also often happy to get involved. Highland Cross Day is a day that MK colleagues enjoy, and look forward to, in order to help a great cause.”

Mr Munro said: “The thing about the Cross is the complete cross-section of the Highland community [that come together for it]. In terms of the businesses, you have got businesses from all sections. To all these organisations we are deeply grateful. To get that support is humbling but also an immense gift because you know that people are there to help.”

This year’s Cross takes place on June 18. More information on www.highlandcross.co.uk.

Charities announced to benefit from Cross

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