I didn’t enter the Craggy Island Triathlon this year. Last years race was moved by a month at late notice and I had to carry the entry on to this year. Well that was the decision made to 2017, Fraser and Helen decided to join me. Then it turned out to be the day before the Pentland Skyline, and also the day before Cathi’s 60th Birthday Meal (and 2 days before her birthday). Well something had to go, and it was The Skyline.
After a night at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, at 6:30am, Helen, Fraser and I got into the car and headed to Oban. Three hours later we were parked in the mizzle opposite Kerrera and after unloading the car there was a quick innertube change before we cycled to the queue for the boat.
There was a bit of a wait before we got to transition to set up the bikes the cycle and running kit and get into the wetsuits, then we were back queuing to get back to the mainland. As we stood on the slip for the best part of an hour chatting in bare feet (and no glasses) we were discussing the event with Joan Wilson and Jean Bowman Lomond Hill Runners). Fraser was worried about the swim , Helen was worried about the bike and I was worried about the run. Joan was worried about her shoes and Jean was fed up waiting.
Eventually it was time to start and we discovered why the slipway is so named. Falling into the water we lined up and after a couple of minutes we were off. My plan to swim on the right to avoid my normal left deviation worked well and I managed to get to the other (aptly named) slip in 4th place. After slithering about and skating up the concrete and a bit of a run on the carpet I was in transition and ripping the velcro off the wetsuit and trying to get my socks and shoes on. I was out of transition without seeing my wee boy and Helen.
I was on my Carbon Superfly 29er (my “Elsie” Bike), perfect for this race. It was lovely weather, almost sunny and the views were stunning. I was trying hard but not eyeballs out, and I was losing places regularly. I dont think I am quite brave enough on the bike, but i managed all the descents staying on the bike. There were the odd mud baths on the way, some so deep that the bottom bracket was under water, others were just gluey gloop. I had to push some of them, getting going again was harder work. As I pushed up a grassy slope I heard the “Hi Dad” and then Fraser was past. The last 2 miles was on fast road and then the bike was dumped.
I was better than last time, but running was still hard work as we did the first bit of track. Once on the Hill i was more at home, and again the weather and views were great. The descent was grassy and fun and as we reached the coast we ran through a natural arch. The soft sheep shit was joyful underfoot and after another bit of nice grass were back on track and tarmac for 2 miles of pain to the end. I was only 3 places behind the lad. Joan was 5 minutes behind and Helen was in about 3 minutes later the Jean finished 10 minutes later.
Sitting eating burgers and Coffee in the sunshine was the perfect ending. After all the worries we all had a wonderful time and we will be back!
Another queue to get back to the mainland and a while to pack the car and by 8pm we were back to Roslin knackered but happy, happy to be missing the Pentland Skyline!
Thanks to Gus Bowman and Andy Upton for the photos and to the Craggy Island Team for all the fun. It was great to have ridden Elsie Scott’s bike again in her favourite race , we miss you Elsie.
|Position||Name||Age||Class||Time||Swim||Swim Posn.||T1||T1 Posn.||Bike||Bike Posn.||T2||T2 Posn||Run||Run Posn.|