Roger Cox: Jura's dramatic scenery is good for picture perfect weddings – and gruelling multi-discipline races

To Jura the other week, for a wedding at the lovely old kirk at Craighouse, just a stone's throw from the sea. Local tradition dictates that, after hymns have been sung and vows exchanged, wedding parties should process a few hundred metres along the water's edge to the Jura Hotel for refreshments - a stunning walk with views across the Sound of Jura to Knapdale, the Mull of Kintyre and, on a clear day, the hills of Arran beyond.

By the time our friends had tied the knot, however, the weather was looking a bit iffy, with dark clouds to the south-west threatening to rain on their parade. There was a car in attendance in case of a downpour, but the bride chose to ignore it and strode on ahead, coaxing the rest of the congregation to follow along behind, and a couple of minutes later she was rewarded for her gamble when the clouds parted and the whole scene was bathed in glorious sunshine. With the bride and her flower girls suddenly illuminated and dazzling white and the minister's bright blue cassock flapping dramatically in the breeze, there was something almost cinematic about the scene - all of which made the two guys in very pro-looking running gear standing smiling politely by the side of the road seem somewhat out of place. Ditto the group wearing very pro-looking sailing gear we encountered a little further up the road.

I didn't stop to ask any of them what they were up to because, well, I was busy processing, but when I got to the hotel I asked the owner what was going on. "Oh, that'd be the Three Peaks Race," he said. "They'll have just sailed here from Mull and now they'll be off to run the Paps."

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I'd never heard of the Three Peaks Race before, so when I got back to the mainland I looked it up, and discovered what must be one of the most scenic - not to mention one of the most gruelling - multi-discipline adventure races in the country. Teams start in Oban with a short hill run, just to get them in the mood. Then they all hop into dinghies and row furiously to waiting boats (multihulls, racers and cruisers all catered for). From there, they sail to Salen on Mull, run over Ben More, sail to Craighouse on Jura and run the Paps, sail to Arran and run Goat Fell and then sail back to Troon. No wonder the runners we saw looked so happy - they must have been glad of the excuse for a quick breather.

For the last couple of months now, I've been having issues with wind. So have surfers up and down the east coast. One of the best things about living in this neck of the woods is the fact that the prevailing winds - south-westerlies - blow straight offshore, sculpting our waves into beautiful, shapely peelers. We might not get surf all that often, but when we do, we can be pretty sure that the local wind direction will be perfect. But in late April and early May, what did we get? Day after day of howling easterlies. Plenty of waves, right enough, but stormy, disorganised, and not much fun. Then, finally, the wind shifted to the south-west, but what did we get? Gales. Offshore gales aren't great for us either. Every time you try paddling for a wave you get blinded by spray blowing up in your face and some smaller swells that would ordinarily produce waves in the fun, two-to-three-foot range never make it to the beach at all because of the ferocity of the wind blowing in the opposite direction. Would whoever's in charge of the big wind machine in the sky please get things back to normal? Thank you.

And finally, spare a thought (or perhaps even a couple of quid) for Scottish snowboard pro Martin Robertson, who recently broke his neck while riding at Mammoth Mountain, California. Regular Scotsman readers might recognise Martin from our gear guide on helmets earlier this year. Anyway, because he didn't read the small print of his insurance policy (and, frankly, who does?), he now looks liable to be landed with a mammoth medical bill. He doesn't know exactly how mammoth yet, but so far he is in debt to the United States of America plc for two hospital stays, four X-rays, a 45-minute airlift and an awful lot of medication. It ain't gonna be cheap. If you'd like to donate, visit