I'd been aware of the TGOC from its earliest days (in 1980, when it was the Ultimate Challenge), but while I was working it always seemed that I had better ways of spending my annual leave than taking part in it. In fact I used to note the starting dates so as to avoid visiting the western bothies until the Challengers should be well past them.
Then on taking voluntary redundancy in 2008 (grabbing it with both hands, really) I no longer had an excuse, so I entered the 2009 event, out of curiosity rather than enthusiasm.
As expected, it wasn't really my sort of thing but I got on with it anyway, Dornie to Stonehaven in 12 days. The weather was largely fine, but bookended by a day or two of wind and rain. I took the odd photo, from a sense of duty more than anything.
The Loch Duich Hotel was my starting point.