A NEW outdoor adventure race that visits ten famous whisky distilleries could be Britain’s most demanding ‘pub crawl’.
The 60 mile long event, called ‘Project: Tour of 10 Malts’, is a multi-sport contest which hops between the Scottish islands of Jura and Islay via kayak, road bicycle and on-foot trekking.
Organised by UK firm Rat Race Adventure Sports it’s due to take place for the first time ever July 13-15 this year.
And runners can raise a glass to the fact that the route also happens to take-in ALL of the distilleries on Islay and Jura… provided you can overcome the tough terrain before closing time.
The adventure is part of Rat Race’s new year-long Project: Explore, a series of monthly challenges in stunning locations.
Rat Race founder Jim Mee said: “Project: Tour of 10 Malts is all about covering distance and joining the dots on the world’s most famous whisky islands.
“This exceptional package mixes trips to these historic landmarks with short trekking stages and serene sea kayaking in some of the most stunning landscapes Britain has to offer.
“Most of the distilleries are on the shores, which means seas stages are necessary to get to our destinations on these wonderful inner Hebridean islands.
“Depending on the currents, we may even inter-island ’hop’ from Islay to Jura twice.
“Of course, I would hope that these amazing outdoor activities provide the real challenge for those who sign up to Project: Tour of 10 Malts.
“But, undoubtedly, visiting the distilleries is an obvious attraction and one which may inspire people to dig deep when faced with the more physically demanding elements.
“Overall, Project: Explore is packed with incredible challenges but ones which are hugely satisfying for those who overcome them.”
Project: Tour of 10 Malts starts on Friday, July 13 when participants will gather at the hamlet of Kennacraig, to take the ferry as foot passengers-with-bikes to Port Ellen on Islay.
They will then complete an easy first stage – a short three-mile ride to the ‘big three’ distilleries in south Islay, before heading to camping accommodation by dusk.
The following day they will cycle north on coastal and moorland roads, meeting the kayaks at the town of Bowmore, home of the Bowmore Distillery, founded in 1779.
Swapping land for sea, they will use kayaks to cross Loch Indaal to Bruichladdich, and from there head through Port Charlotte, a short drop from which is Kilchoman distillery.
With Rat Race’s team on hand, participants will mount bikes and race to Port Askaig, covering around 30 miles, including trips to two distilleries.
There will still be time to switch back to kayaks to take a tea-time trip across the sound to Jura to where the bikes will be waiting.
Ten miles away lies Craighouse, which boasts a distillery, hotel and overnight camping.
On the final day, participants will cycle back to port, eventually boarding a ferry to Kennacraig, where they will be reunited with their cars or support transport.
Jim adds: “This isn’t about getting sozzled. You’ll struggle to complete the journey if you’re nursing a hangover from the night before.
“But by utilising the distillery-to-distillery format you can make your way through one of the most picturesque and challenging landscapes the UK has to offer.
“We also like to think that any good journey involves meeting new people and making new friends along the way.
“That sense of camaraderie and community is part of the entire Rat Race ethos.
“And there’s no better way to share your experiences at the end of an exhausting day than with a wee dram in your hand.”
At all times, participants are supported by the company’s expert team, who will have a vehicle and trailer on hand.
Anyone who cannot make the scheduled departure can request the adventure is made available to them bespoke as part of a group booking, with minimum of six people required.
Project: Tour of 10 Malts is priced at £449 per person.
Other Project: Explore challenges are priced between £199 and £799.
For more information, head to: http://ratrace.com/projectexplore/