Hundreds of people took part in New Year’s Day challenges, some serious, some fun, around the Highlands.
More than a hundred hardy souls braved the icy waters of Loch Ness in the annual Dores Dook.
Wetsuits banned, swimmers of all ages and abilities charged into the water in normal swim attire – and amidst much shrieking, most turned round to come straight back out.
The loch’s temperature is generally about 10 degrees and can go as low as 6 degrees in winter.
A handful of wild swimmers kept going, some venturing well out into the loch.
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More than 400 supporters thronged the shores in an event that’s become a community favourite at Dores beach.
Meanwhile, conditions were misty but fair for the 2019 Aonach Mor Uphill race at Nevis range.
The 2,000 ft hill race attracted some 80 runners from all over Scotland, racing to the top and taking the gondola back down.
The race was won by Sam Alexander in 24 minutes and 55 seconds, with snow deciding to come down and greet the runners at the finishing line.
More gentle in Inverness was the Park Run, which attracted 255 entrants for the 5k walk/run around the Bught Park.
Event founder and organiser Paul Crowe said he was delighted to learn yesterday that the Cairn Medical Practice will become the first in Inverness to prescribe the Park Run to suitable patients for its physical and health benefits.
The Park Run is one of many throughout the UK which takes place regularly on Saturday mornings.
In the Black Isle, an impromptu New Year’s Day dip is enjoying a revival in Cromarty.
The Cromarty Splash has emerged from a previous event abandoned a few years ago and is growing in size and popularity.
This year, around 50 swimmers turned up to take to the waters off Bayview Slip, many in costume.
Organiser Laura Shepherd said this year saw a doubling in numbers, with many coming from other Black Isle villages and further afield.
Ms Shepherd organised a bucket collection for local organisation, James’s Support Group, and raised £65.
She said: “It was a spontaneous collection and bearing in mind most folk going for a dip don’t have money on them I’m really delighted.”
Annual Moray run to get rid of hangovers
Almost 40 brave competitors took part in the annual Sair Heidie run in Moray, amidst what to may were surprisingly favourable conditions.
The event, held in Buckie, is meant as a way to get rid of potential hangovers from Hogmanay and also to help participants run off their festive indulgences.
The competitors kick-started their January detox in style by running 4.5 miles, beginning and finishing outside the Episcopal Hall in the town in dry conditions – though buffeted by a chilly wind.
An annual tradition for 20 years, the race always produces a good turn-out, with competitors paying a £5 entry fee and all money going towards a chosen charitable cause, which this year was Moray Food Bank.
The overall winner of 2019’s race was Andy Bentley, who completed the route in 29 minutes and 12 seconds.
Justine Blaszk was the first female to cross the finishing line, in a time of 33 minutes and 8 seconds.
One of the races organisers, Phill Thompson, was pleased to raise £342 for the Moray Food Bank.
He said: “This year we had 39 runners and five walkers who all completed the course.
“The event is run every year by Buckie folk, with mainly local runners, and we had help with donations from the Buckie Co-Op and Jamie Stewart of Run With Style who provided the prizes and use of the All Saints Episcopal Church Hall.
“Every year a local charity is chosen to receive any money raised and this year the Moray Food Bank was chosen.
“Runners often give generous donations and provide prizes for the raffle, so this year we were able to raise £342 for the Food Bank.”
Mr Thompson also revealed that they are looking for help in organising the event next year.
He said: “While the intent is to run the Sair Heedie again next year, we are currently looking for someone to help organise it, although the same core team as this year are likely to be involved.
“We want to keep up the tradition of the race being a social run that people can enter on the day, have a chat before and afterwards and raise money for a local charity.”