This was a fall back event due to Craggy Island being moved to Skyline weekend. Because we are all hard-as-nails hill runners we opted for the Long event, a 1500m swim in Loch Morlich (surprisingly warm), an 18km technical mountain bike (surprisingly bad-ass gnarly in places) and a 9km run (surprisingly easy).
Now, first of all, come on guys if we are to sustain the hard-as-nails reputation we actually have to, you know, turn up? I think there were seven Carnethies entered at one point, but on the day, down by the wind swept shores of Loch Morlich there was just myself, Kathy ‘the Champ’ Henly and Graeme ‘the quiet one’ Dunbar.
Loch Morlich was being blown into a choppy frenzy. I’ve done a few triathlons in my time and it was one of the toughest swims I’ve ever done. At least the water was mild. The high wind made buoy spotting tricky, and keeping a line near impossible. I made it out of the water in 33:45, Kathy in 38:14 and Graeme in 38:35.
The bike was straight forward gritty Cairngorm trails for about 12km, with a brief detour into the BMX park. Then it turned down hill on trails that were unridable for most (think all those unmarked suicidal routes through the trees in Glentress). Lots of pushing ensued. Graeme passed me in the later stages, finishing in 1hr08, me in 1hr17 and Kathy in 1hr27.
The run turned straight into the woods. Just when I thought the run was going to be really interesting, the tussocks and bog ran out and it was wide dirt road for the whole out and back, apart from a short offload section at the turn around. Graeme’s run leg was 43:39, Kathy’s 48:48 and mine a leisurely 50:15. Finish times were 2hr59 for Kathy, 2hr47 for me and 2hr37 for Graeme.
Kathy ended up on the podium twice, as 3rd female vet, and second place female vet in the National Cross Triathlon championships. Not bad for a road runner!