Proud sisters take part in “The Puffer”

Lucia Entwistle leads a group through a snow-covered forest
Lucia Entwistle leads a group through a snow-covered forest

Two Deeside sisters were among the youngest to take part in a 24-hour mountain bike endurance race in the Highlands.

Katie and Lucia Entwistle, from Torphins, were competing in the Strathpuffer 24 in January - a mid-winter event regarded as one of the world’s hardest mountain biking tests.

Katie, 13 and Lucia, 11, will be featured in BBC2 Scotland’s Adventure Show on Sunday (March 11), which will focus on the race.

Held annually, the Strathpuffer 24 takes place in freezing temperatures, 17 hours of darkness, miles of gruelling terrain and a brutal mix of ice, wind, hail mud and snow.

The Torphins sisters begged their father, Dr Jon Entwistle, to allow them to take part.

The cycling consultant says in the programme: “I just facilitated.

“The girls like to go on adventures. And this is a big adventure. And if they go back to school and tell all their friends about it, maybe their friends will be inspired and we might get a chain reaction.”

Organised by keen cyclist Steve Macdonald, a former owner of Square Bikes Strathpeffer, the event is in its 13th year and has grown to attract 1,000 participants, many from overseas.

Steve said: “It’s all thanks to the Adventure Show that there is a Strathpuffer at all.

“They were commissioned to film an endurance event in Scotland in winter.

“We’d had a conversation about a summer event about 20 years ago, and decided a 24-hour winter mountain bike race would be much more extreme.

“So I was tasked with organising the first Strathpuffer24 in January, 2006. We thought we might stop at 10, but there is so much support and demand from our participants it has

continued beyond my wildest dreams.”

The programme will be broadcast on Sunday at 7pm on BBC2 Scotland.