Cateran Yomp

Dundee Family Going for Gold on Army Trek

A Dundee family is embarking on a weekend walk with a difference by participating in one of Scotland’s toughest endurance challenges.

Karen (47) and Andy McDermott (48) have signed up for the Army Benevolent Fund’s Cateran Yomp, alongside daughters Kayleigh (30) and Chloe (26) McDermott, and their respective partners Gavin Byrne (33) and Bradyn Bell (31). Dressed in tartan, ‘The Tartan Warriors’ will join hundreds of soldiers, veterans and civilians from across the world by walking 22, 36 or 54 miles in 24 hours.


Karen and Andy McDermott preparing for this year’s challenge. Image supplied.

Participants will head off on the Cateran Trail in the foothills of the Cairngorm Mountains at 6am on Saturday 8 June 2024, returning to Blairgowrie in the early hours of Sunday 9 June. Supported by headline sponsor Babcock, this year’s event, which falls just two days after the 80th anniversary of D-Day, also coincides with the charity’s 80th anniversary.

The family’s challenge follows Karen and Andy’s success in reaching Silver (36 miles) in 2022, when they walked with a group of Karen’s peers from her Sports Therapy course at Perth UHI. At that time, the couple raised around £500 for the charity, motivated by Karen’s grandfather, Albert Maxfield, who was a prisoner of war in World War Two.

Prior to that, Karen, a self-employed Sports Therapist, worked at the 2021 event, providing massage therapy to participants as they trekked across some of the most rugged terrain in Perthshire.

Recalling the couple’s first Yomp, Karen said, “The Yomp is undoubtedly the toughest challenge we’ve ever taken on, and we’ve taken part in many challenges! Some people think it’s just a long walk, but it’s way more than that.  You’re walking a considerable distance over a long day and night, including sections when you’re exhausted, struggling along in the dark. In 2022, the heat was a huge factor too. We eventually called it a day at Silver, by which time we were both suffering with blisters, sunburn and sheer exhaustion.

“However, despite all that, it’s incredibly well organised and so rewarding. The atmosphere is just amazing; there’s so much support and encouragement. We’ve already started training and have lots of family walks pencilled in for the weeks and months ahead, not forgetting the ones we’ll be doing in the dark in preparation for the Yomp! For me, this year is unfinished business. You hear many stories out on the route and meet so many amazing people. We are determined to get to Gold!”

Karen McDermott 2022

Karen taking part in Cateran Yomp, 2022.

Since its launch, the Cateran Yomp has raised over £4M for the Army’s National Charity.   Last year’s event raised £300,000 for soldiers, veterans and their families, with 1200 participants travelling from across the UK and around the world. Looking to the future, the Cateran Yomp team hopes to raise £1M each year to match the growing need for support from soldiers, veterans and their families in Scotland.

As well as Babcock, this year’s event is sponsored by Arnold Clark.

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The Army Benevolent Fund

The Army Benevolent Fund is the Army’s national charity, here for soldiers, veterans and their families for life. Since 1944, the charity has been at the forefront of support for the Army family. It is one of the largest funders in the sector, reaching 70,000 people and funding 74 charities and organisations in FY 22/23. It is here to support the Army family through life’s challenges – whether that involves bereavement, injury, getting back to work, elderly care, and much more besides. Its beneficiaries ranged in age from a three-month-old baby to a 103-year-old veteran in FY22/23 – and it helped soldiers, veterans and their families in 45 countries worldwide.


Babcock is an international defence company providing a range of products and service solutions to enhance our customers’ defence capabilities and critical assets. Our business is underpinned by a deep understanding of technology integration and engineering, infrastructure management and specialist individual and collective training design and delivery. We work in close collaboration with our partners and customers, preparing their people to be mission-ready through equipment support, asset management and world-class training.