Triathlons and Duathlons
Like many runners, members of Carnethy Hill Running Club will touch on many things outside of running. Sometimes climbing, sometimes swimming, maybe road cycling or MTB, or perhaps just rhythmic dance. It’s nice to dabble, after all, we’re not hillrunning robots. Not road running though, that’s a step too far. For those that occasionally cycle and maybe a little splashing round a pool, there’s a wonderful world of triathlon out there.
Triathlons can sound a little daunting, and most people fear the swim part in particular. I wouldn’t worry too much about that as the swim sections can be as short as 400m (8 lengths of the Commonwealth Pool) for the “Come and Tri” events. Obviously the cycle and then run sections are equally short (around 10km cycle, 3km run). At the other end of the spectrum there’s Iron-distance triathlons consisting of 2.4mile swim, 112mile cycle and 26.2mile run. Between these events there are many flavours of Triathlon, consisting of varying distances, along with onroad/offroad cycle, onroad/offroad run, indoor/outdoor swim. There’s even some events that are even more mental than iron-distance, but that’s for another day. For now, all you need to know is that we have a wee section dedicated to the reports from Triathlons, along with any nuggets of info that may help you on your exciting new sport!
A triathlon. On New Year’s Day. The day after Hogmanay. Who would contrive such a thing? A good idea in theory, start the year with something positive, but dragging myself out of bed to get to the start it didn’t feel positive. It felt hellish. Mike Lynch had pestered a couple of us to enter, myself included, and as I stood outside the Commy Pool at 11am, shaking and shivering, I realised that it was probably teatotallers that’d thought of this. Groan. It’s no surprise that non-drinker, Mike, rounded the corner looking sharp and ready. Thankfully he was followed by Matt Grove, who…didn’t.
Due to our late entries we had a short amount of time before the start, but we used it well. After registration Mike went poolside and got into “the zone”, and Matt spent much of the time in the toilet. As for me, I went for a dip in the diving pool – I thought that if I was sick in a pool, it’d be better in the non-race one. Three sound strategies, I’m sure you’ll agree.
The race itself seemed to breeze along without much incident. Eight lengths of the pool (each person starting every 10s at one corner and shifting over with every length completed), then onto the bike for three clockwise laps of Arthur’s Seat, before ditching the bike for a final run round one lap of Arthurs Seat. Mike’s swim was faster than his time last year, Matt’s swim was <try to think of something positive before posting to site>, and I think mine was non-spewy, which I think of as a definite result. Once onto the road I spotted Carnethy Iain Nimmo, who was trucking along well. I also spotted some Carnethy support teams of Mary Lye and Matt Jones, a hello from Adam Gamble was out getting a run, and I’m reasonably sure I heard Fiona Mac shout some encouragement at some point. Cheers all! I didn’t see Mike or Matt, but it was quite hard to see people amongst the competitors, simply because of the staggered start and multiple lap course – everyone was passing everyone all the time. Weaving around people certainly helped take my mind off the fact that I was freezing, and that I should really wear socks. Thankfully, it was all over soon enough, and we could retire to the Commy to compare notes. Results posted quickly, Ian and Ann Nimmo were both taking part, along with Mike, Matt and me. There were reports of Carnethy Juniors taking part in the junior races, and that young Charlie Burnett scored a third place! Excellent work! As for us adults, Anne Nimmo had the result of the day with a 2nd place in her category. Well done, all! Apologies if I’ve missed anyone!
By the end of the summer I have done more cycling, not that I am a fair weather cyclist. A weeks leisurely tour of Brittany, got me going.
It was the fifth time I had done the race and as I get older the numbers in my age category reduce, much to my advantage. Living beside the beach gives me an advantage in open water swimming. However with a big swell forecast I was doubtful the swim would be the full 1500m, probably reduced to one lap of 750m. Carnethies have taken on the challenge of the swim before and this year there was one other, Alan Flockhart representing Newhaven tri club. The swim was to go ahead and the sea looked invitingly choppy and 13.9C.
Two waves of swimmers, seniors in red hats, vets and women in white, it doesn’t take long before we’ve caught up with the first wave. The most turbulent time is negotiating the buoys, “after you sir” I proffered.
My head felt disembodied as I run up to transition until more than half way though the cycle. Its 10C and my wet Carnethy cycle shirt is cool outerwear. I’m glad when the sun comes out. Pacing is important, I wanted to have something left for the run, two laps mostly off road. I catch more of the first wave cyclists. Its that time of year with farm vehicles providing additional hazards, draughting opportunities. The only thing that held me up were the lights on Gullane High St.
I was quickly into my Fellraisers and a few minutes into the run, still on the road section, shaking off heavy legs, when I miss a kerb and I was full length on the rasping asphalt. Turned ankle, grazed knee and hip, I’m red faced, fortunately up and running after a couple of expletives.
It’s hard to tell where you are overall but I knew a few Vets were ahead of me in the swim or had passed me or possibly some slow swimmers who were strong on the bike. I held my own on the run although because there are some teams, their runners are fresh and a couple cruised past. I’ve saved sufficient for the run to avoid cramp etc and even manage to enjoy the views across the Forth.
The free massage in the unexpected warmth of the late morning sun was blissful. I heard my name – representing Carnethy being announced. However the massage took precedent. I was happy second V50. a repeat of last years race. My time is quicker but that’s due to a unintentionally shorter swim.
However looking at the results later the first placed SV had somehow managed to complete the two lap 10km in 23 minutes. Me thinks another stewards enquiry is due. I’ll keep you posted the outcome. As for trisuits, I used my lycra sho
1. Andrew Scott 2.10.23
12. Mark James 2.24.19 2nd V50
38. Alan Flockhart 2.33.36
138 finishers including 8 teams
Four months ago when Joel suggested, with such enthusiasm, we enter Craggy Island Triathlon, organised by Durty Events, I was tempted by the new challenge it would present. Mike, Jim and Nick were in. Helen, Willie, Graeme and I merrily took of some of the last remaining places and then didn’t give it too much thought, despite at the time never having done any open water swimming before or even owning wet suits.
Then six weeks to go, panic! Joel biked us over the Pentlands to Threipmuir a couple of times and gave us the confidence to discover what an enjoyable and invigorating experience open water swimming is.
Race weekend arrived and I wasn’t the only one feeling very nervous about the swim. Triathlon involves much faffing with all the kit that has to be taken, so it was with relief that we met up at Win’s caravan in Lochearnhead on Saturday night to chill. Willie had his reputation of being a champion swimmer to live up to, and so swim tactics were discussed. It would be a deep water start so he decided to get to the front and use his swim prowess to go hell for leather out on the swim. It paid off, first Carnethy out of the water! Joel was planning to do well too but Helen, Graeme and I just wanted to survive.
Race day : the sun was trying to shine, Carnethy mood was good. Early morning small ferries and boats took us with our bikes from Oban to the stunning island of Kererra, where we would bike and run. We registered on the island, faffed in the transition area, wriggled into our wetsuits and then took ferry back to the mainland to the swim start. The distance of the swim didn’t scare me as much as how cold the sea felt,13 degrees, brrr! Joel had told us how clear the water would be and after the initial shock of the cold water it was great to look down at the sea bottom.
Lots of thrashing and splashing as the start hooter went but I felt very calm. I really started to enjoy myself and this seemed so much easier than the dark, choppy Pentland waters Joel had put me through. Sighting also wasn’t an issue as I all I had to do was follow all the blue hats in front. It was an amazing feeling to reach the jetty on the island and run into transition. I felt a bit frustrated that I found it hard to pass slower riders on the start of the spectacular mtb course, my own fault for being a relatively slow swimmer, but then I decided to relax as I didn’t want to take risks and fall off, plus it meant I could enjoy the views, the sun and the whole experience. Perhaps my relaxed biking left me lots of energy for the last hill run leg? I certainly passed people on the run and felt good, up to the castle and then back down to the finish.
Great results from all, Nick in style coming 2nd and I was 3rd fem vet. It’s always exhilarating to go outside your comfort zone and survive. The proportions of the race course legs, swim 550m, 14km MTB, 8km run were favourable for the weaker swimmer and stronger biker and runner but maybe that is a general rule in triathlon? We are all enthused to carry on and do some more adventure triathlons. The best part is Mike mentioned getting some Carnethy trisuits for the club! Any takers?
|Posn||Team||Cat||Time||Swim||tran 1||Cycle||Trans 2||Run|
The 5am start from Edinburgh wasn’t particularly enjoyable, I must say, but I’m glad I made the effort to head up to the Aviemore Triathlon on Sunday morning. Mike Lynch had persuaded me to enter a couple of months ago, and when faced with the “Long” or “Short” options I decided to be brave and do the long course, seeing as I’ve already done a few short triathlons. The long course is 1500m in Loch Morlich, 18k technical mountain bike, and 9km trail run. The short 750m in Loch Morlich, 12km technical mountain bike, and then a 6km trail run.
Mike went for the short, seeing as he’s only recently got his armbands off. I don’t blame him, it’s a big step, effectively doubling the distances, including a dreaded open water swim, a fact that I was very well aware of and also the cause of some recent bowel problems I’ve been having. The “long” also doubled as the Scottish Cross Tri Championships, so the fast folk will be out in force, and there would be no flattering finish position if I survived. To say that I was nervous would be an understatement, and I tried to hide it from people by speaking continuously in a frantic and unintelligible way. I’m not sure how successful that was.
At the start I was racked beside Jacqui Higginbottom, my alphabetical neighbour and Carnethy clubmate, who managed to help resolve my problems with baby powder, and also politely laughed at my jokes about pee and lubricant. Her relaxed and helpful company soothed my mood, and calmed me down for the swim ahead, so I was very glad she was there. Like me, she’d taken to triathlon after doing a fair bit of swimming when injured, and it seemed like a waste to not do anything with that swim fitness. Alan Renville was also at the start, but only in a supporting role for his mate who was doing the race too.
So, the swim! I’d decided beforehand that I would try to enjoy the swim, so set off quite gently and try not to get flustered. The water in Loch Morlich was quite warm, the day bright without much wind, so the swim round two triangular laps of the loch proved to be quite pleasant. I was pleased that I could see some people behind, but looking at the results from the swim it may have been the race leaders about to lap me. Ah well! The Short triathaloners were waiting for us to finish, so they could get into the water for their start, so I got a wee cheer from Mike and Alan as I hobbled across the rocky beach.
The cycle was initially good fun, with fast forest trails interspersed with the odd bumpy bit. This was ideal for me, and I picked up lots and lots of places, despite careering past some very good route marking and backtracking a bit. However, the final section was a technical section, and it seems I’m pretty rubbish at technical sections, and promptly lost lots and lots of places. Much of the technical cycle was really just me pushing my bike, apologising to others, and occasionally getting on the bike just to fall off again. My face was grateful that the ground next to the trails was quite mossy and soft, most of my other injuries were from the bike landing on me.
Finally the run appeared, something that I was vaguely comfortable with. A fairly straightforward 9k mainly along forest tracks, and then popping up to the trig point at Creag a’ Ghreusaiche, and then back the way you came. The start and finish of the run were both a bit trickier than the forest trails, but were short enough not to cause anyone any problems. Mike was already at the finish having done his tri, as the race organiser had managed to stage both events simultaneously without any problems, a rare feat and one to be applauded!
Mike got round very well in the short race, finishing 22nd out of 160 (and 7th MV), I did pretty well too finishing 28th out of 100 in the long race. With hindsight, I think I would have fared better in the short race and Mike even better in the long race (his cycling is much better than mine), so maybe next year for that. Star of the show was Jacqui, competing for Perth Triathletes, who finished 1st FV40, and crowned Scottish Cross Triathlon Vet Champion 2015! Well done to her! I guess if there’s anything to learn from Jacqui, it’s that whenever you get stuck for something to do when you get injured….simply train to become the Scottish champion at another sport!
A great day out, thanks to all the marshals! Also, thanks to Mike’s wife for (unwittingly) loaning me her mountain bike for the day! Surprise! Results here, a view from the front here, and some photos here (eventually).
Monikie Country Park, near Broughty Ferry, is a great venue for hosting a triathlon (indeed the British Championships were held there a few years ago) and we were blessed with great weather. I travelled up with Neil’s wife Seona Burnett (who was competing for Pentland Triathletes) and we both agreed that the field looked strong*, relative to recent events in the Borders Series.
*Based on arbitrary factors of bike bling, representative age-group tri suits and the tall/skinny gauge so favoured by Jim Hardie when assessing athletes.
The swim was in the smaller of the two reservoirs and it was in two waves, around a looped buoy course with an added channel at the end. It felt longer than 750m, but the long-ish run in to transition through woods could have added to that, and certainly the swim times were longer than, say, the Solstice Tri. The bike leg was a road bike effort on country roads, with some tricky climbs and head winds with a lovely 5km run to finish around both reservoirs.
A great event, well organised and it did indeed prove to be a strong field. I was 71st from 139 finishers (swim: 131st (ouch!), bike: 46th and run: 11th) and Seona was 110th (swim: 117th, bike: 114th, run: 80th). Monikie Tri 2015 Overall Results
There is a limited set of pictures here (sorry if you’re not on Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1073275622701963&type=1
This year’s triathlon, organised by Pentland Triathletes, saw a revised bike course and shortened run route because of landowner concerns. If I ever own any land I’ll hope to be more accommodating. Maybe the peasants were revolting or something?
I took part along with fellow Carnethies Jim Hardie and Bob Waterhouse, as well as drinking member Peter Buchanan. Bob was struggling with an injured shoulder, which hampered his swim considerably, and Jim’s high-risk strategy of using his cyclocross bike (on what was, in parts, a very rough course) unfortunately backfired and he punctured while in a good position and pushed the bike back to transition.
On Sunday, Mike and I took to the Borders to take part in the Tweedbank Duathlon, part of the Borders Triathlon Series. This was the second duathlon we’ve raced together this year, in what’s fast becoming the most fiercely contested two-man contest in Carnethy. As ever, talk on the way down was cheery and light, and we both managed to hide our deep desires to beat each other in the race. Previous duathlons have seen me nudging ahead despite Mike’s superiority on the bike sections, but in my heart I knew that my winning streak of 1 would end fairly soon. Despite some oversubscribed triathlons in the series, there were surprisingly few people at the duathlon. In fact, it seemed to be Mike and I, along with some very serious faces with some very serious aerodynamic triathlon bikes. We were perhaps a little out of our league, but no matter, as I’m sure you’ve probably realised that in my mind there were only two people in this race.
I was sure Mike would win this time, but had two aces up my sleeve:
- I don’t wear cleated bike shoes, so my transitions are a bit faster.
- Mike’s sense of direction is notoriously, and sometimes hilariously, bad.
So to the race. About 16 starters, lining up on the Tweedbank athletics track. A group of 6 fast-lads bounced-off into the distance for the first 5k run. I struggled to catch my breath and led a small group of about 5, before being overturned by Mike in the final mile. Onto the bikes, despite about 5s lead on the run Mike was about 30s behind due to the transition (see 1, above), and at the first roundabout he managed to go full circle to find himself heading back into transition (see 2). A quick Strava analysis shows that these two factors put him two minutes behind. No matter, my clumsy bike handling meant he was always reeling me in, by small amounts on the flat and chopping great chunks off my lead on the climbs. Coming back into Tweedbank, my lead had been reduced to a few seconds, but again the transition would hopefully buy me some time….and it did. My lead increased by another 30s, and on the final 5k run I managed to hold that gap until the finish. Again, I got lucky, as Mike was definitely faster across the athletic parts of the race (by around 2mins!), my strengths were on the procedural side (transitions and…em…going the right way). We both finished around 1hr 24mins, 7th and 8th positions – Mike winning the MV40 trophy. We did get some printed results, but I left them in the house this morning, so until the results are published online you’ll have to rely on my memory: Ahead of us both was Paul Davies, winning in about 1hr 15mins despite crashing his bike at one point (ouch!), and losing his car key in the process (double ouch!!). Hayley(?) won the women’s prize and the women’s vet prize. Results here , at some point.
We arrived at Whinlatter Forest Park on Saturday lunchtime and spent the rest of day pottering around on the some of the tops doing a bit of navigating (as Nick will be doing his final Mountain Leader’s exam this weekend) and then we tried to get some riding on the trails to try them out, but didn’t mange much as Nick had some problems with the resin setting in his tubeless tyres (I went old school, with tubes). We hunkered down in the van that night in preparation for an early start.
We kicked off at 9am with 50 solo and 11 team competitors in total. The favourite looked (and so it proved) to be GBR international XTERRA triathlon athlete James Walker. The XTERRA race series is the best-known series of off-road triathlons, and is considered by most to be the de facto world championship of the sport. Run 1 was a testing 5.5 mile run up to the summit of Grisedale Pike, along the Sleet How Ridge, before descending through forest and back to transition. Nick was lying 3rd at this point and I was 14th. All good.
The bike section had been altered from the advertised red and blue trails to both red trails (in fact the the red graded ‘Altura Trail’ of flowing, mountain singletrack) due to logging and I was crying inside at this news. However, I only lost perhaps 4 places on the bike although my cack-handed scrambling down some of the technical sections is screaming out for improvement. Again, Nick did very well and was 2nd at the end of the bike leg. http://media.wix.com/ugd/9c535f_519a31c0e63244468108c8012d9b1458.pdf
The second run was my undoing. I had been wearing a Camelbak on the bike and had taken on a couple of gels but clearly it wasn’t enough and I started to struggle climbing the summits of Seat How, Lord’s Seat and Barf and by the time I was on the last couple of miles I was swaying like a ship’s cat. I managed to grab another runner who gave me some jelly babies and an energy bar and I wolfed them down which allowed me to stagger home, although I was 41st on the second run which clearly was very poor and put me down at 26th in the overall finish places, in 3 hours 44 mins. Nick had a solid run but just shipped a place to finish 3rd overall in a great time of 2 hours 52 mins, ust a minute outside James Walker, who set a new course record.
Lessons learned for me? Work on my endurance – is Stuc less than a fortnight away? Gulp. And take food with me always. I’m still new to competitive mountain biking and it never fails to surprise me how much it takes out of you, whether it’s the intense concentration of the downs, or the hard climbing of the thousands of feet of ups. Testing.
A must do event if you want a tough duathlon in a great setting. I’ll definitely be back next year.
Results here: http://www.highterrainevents.co.uk/#!whinlatter-xtreme/c1rt1
With two weeks to the Fling, I needed something to do at the weekend that didn’t involve an excessive amount of running. On various facebook posts there was a short ultra (31 miles) that people were talking about, I ignored that obviously, but I noticed there was a duathlon as part of the same event that would fit the bill nicely – The Skidaddle Great Tartan Duathlon! Ooooh! This was perfect, as it coupled some exercise and my favourite Scottish word, “Skidaddle”. So I entered, hoping for some fun in the Trossachs.
The ultra and duathlon follow the same route, along the recently opened Great Trossachs Path, from Loch Lomond to Callander. The duathlon differs in that you pick up your bike after 5 miles at Loch Katrine, then ditch it 18miles later near Loch Venachar for the final 7mile run to Callander. With the bikes loaded onto a trailer, and the runners and riders transported to Inversnaid pier, we were ready for the off. Blistering sunshine mixed with driving snow seemed to be our weather for the day, but we had little wind and it was generally clear – a good day ahead, for sure! Only a few people on the start line, maybe 15 ultrarunners and about 10 duathletes. Pretty sure I was the only Carnethy, though I did see fellow Circonaut, Aron (Westies), there for the ultra. At the start the organiser said to be aware that there was another cycling race on at the same time, but they had agreed to use luminous pink signs instead of luminous yellow. “So, follow the Trossachs Path markers, if you see a yellow arrow then follow it, and ignore any pink arrows”. Remember this line, I’ll be referring to it later!
Starting quickly there’s a steep climb from the loch, I started well and surprisingly sat in second(!) place on the climb. Ahead, far ahead, was another lad who was chewing up the hill like it wasn’t there. Onto the flatter sections and I tried to get into a rhythm to see how things were going to go; and as far as I could tell the lad ahead was pulling away strongly, too fast for me, and the guys behind were falling back. Ah well, I guess there was nothing to do but keep running steadily until the bike section. A fastish jaunt looking over the lovely Loch Arklet, before heading towards Loch Katrine. At transition the lad ahead had already been and gone by the time I arrived, so I grabbed my bike and went out strongly to see if I had any better luck on the cycle leg which looped around the loch.
I caught the lad ahead after about 13miles of cycling, near the Loch Katrine ferry port. We chit chatted, exchanged places a few times, I tried to give him some juice as he’d left his fuel back at transition, before we left the tarmac and started the more offroad section. He seemed little less confident over the nasty stuff so I managed to get a little ahead and put some daylight between us. Of course, this meant I was in first place!!! Yasss!!! It was my moment! My moment to SHINE!! Not really, I knew there was not enough cycling to get ahead far enough to ensure he wouldn’t pass me later, and he was far too fast a runner for me to even think about finishing ahead on the run – it was his to lose, and I would just stick to holding on to second, which is far better than I could normally hope for anyway! Alas, all this didn’t matter, as no sooner had I got ahead it seems I was lost! The track came to a T-junction, with no markings whatsoever, and it was odd that they would have nothing there. Looking behind, no sign of the other guy, and he should have been close by. So I must’ve missed a sign somewhere, bah! Ah well, I took a chance on the left path, and found myself meeting somebody who pointed me down to the next marshal. I was back on track, but confused about whether I had gone wrong (I had, by 1.5 miles), and if there was anybody ahead (there was).
Back onto some tarmac for final mile of the cycle, maybe, passing a familiar marshal, then further on some yellow arrows pointing to a road on the left. Yellow arrows, we follow those, remember? So, left, then up a very steep hill. More arrows, very yellow arrows. The road gets higher and higher, tarmac leads to landrover tracks, rockier and rockier, then bum-hurting trails. A long time was passing, but I thought that maybe it’s due to the rough terrain, yellow arrows all the way. Knackered, I check my Garmin and I’m nearly at 30miles, and the total race distance is 30 miles and I’d not even started running the final 7 miles. Something’s gone wrong. I realise I’m part of the different race, and will be about an hour off course when I finally get back. Sigh. So, I look on the bright side, laugh at my situation, and then slowly pootle back the way I came, chit chatting to any hikers on the way to find out where I was. It seems I was looking out over Glen Finglas Reservoir – very pretty! I might as well head down to where I should’ve been, and just tell the marshals that I’ll withdraw to cycle back, and enjoy the remainder of my day in the intermittent sunshine.
Back to where I’d gone wrong, there was a marshal stationed to stop folk following the left turn. I was told that the other event (Evan’s Cycles Offroad) hadn’t quite stuck to their agreement to use pink signs, used yellow instead, and so that’s where it all went awry. Ho hum. Anyway, once at the transition they say I’m not last (surprisingly), so I decide that I might as well run the rest anyway just to squeeze-out some extra Fling training. A slow jog back talking to people and enjoying the sun and the scenery, maybe even stopping for the pee that I’d promised myself 10 miles ago. At the finish I’m told the guy that’s still out there was the guy I was cycling with much earlier, it seems he had similar (if not identical) problems with the cycle route, he was ok though. A shame that it wasn’t just me that’d fallen foul of it, and that he’d missed a chance to win.
With hindsight, maybe I should’ve taken maps, or done a recce or something, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. I was out for the fun of it, to visit somewhere new, and I was rewarded with a fun route, fantastic scenery and a bit of a chuckle too. My only complaint is that we had to wait a couple of hours for the bikes to be brought back, as we not only had to wait for all the duathletes to finish the cycle, but for all the ultrarunners to pass through that checkpoint too. Not a big deal really, but a little annoying when you’re keen to get home.
So, all in all, around 4 hours of running and cycling, and 39.5miles for the price of 30! I guess that’s a good result!
Results and photos here, I think, at some point: http://www.skidaddle.org/category/results/
I entered this late, after finding out that my flight in from the Alps was early on the day, and this event kicked off at 4.30pm. Jim and I did Series 2, and it was fun, and this time they changed the format to include a road bike section on the race track, which I was looking forward to. The numbers were down on the previous two events, probably due to the time and it being Easter, so the total field was only 23, and the event was delayed by an hour because of hail/snow and the ongoing track day event.
The format was a run of 2 laps of the Knockhill Race track, followed by a large off-road bike section (on mountain bike), then into final transition for 5 laps of the track on a road bike. I had a shocking run, my legs just wouldn’t move, and I was almost 2 minutes down on the previous event, but made up places on both bike sections to finish 4th overall, and 2nd Vet. The run was my downfall and cost me a couple of places by my calculations. Still, good fun, especially road biking on the track – an excellent surface!
Results here: http://chequeredflagevents.co.uk/series-results.html
Jim Hardie and I signed up for this earlier in the year. I have previously completed 2 triathlons and Jim has managed the Solstice one a couple of times (or more?), but had never done one on a road bike and with a pool swim, so we are both still feeling our way in these things. One of of my three objectives for the day – to stay as close to Jim’s finishing time as possible – was removed with him clobbering himself during the week on some, er, pub, stairs and requiring a stapling job, resulting in him (wisely) pulling out. The thought of ripping out those staples as he removed his helmet/swim cap would make anyone wince. Which left the twin objectives of beating my Eyemouth time from last year (barring disaster, a certainty) and dipping under the 90 minute mark (more of a challenge).
Jim kindly agreed to drive us out to Tranent and we started to gather for registration and the race briefing. The ‘absolutely no nudity at transitions’ clause was a bit disappointing, but we made the best of it. There were some dazzling bikes on show and I could tell that Jim had wished he’d borrowed a van for the day. I was expecting my swim heat to be the first, given how poor I am at swimming, but there were (remarkably) worse swimmers out there than me, so I was on the second heat. Each lane had 5 swimmers in it (mostly) which makes for extra stress in terms of overtaking etc. so I was glad when the swim leg was over (in a PB of over 1.5 minutes, yay! Although I didn’t know it at the time). One advantage (and I guess there has to be one) of being a poor swimmer, and a half decent runner/cyclist is that you can overtake everyone else around you and so it proved. The bike leg was an 11.5 course and fairly flat, heading out towards Cousland and Ormiston and back in towards Tranent. Unfortunately, in addition to the one set of permanent traffic lights, the local council had decided to get started with some roadworks (despite the protests from organisers), so in theory you could have been stuck at three sets of lights throughout the duration of the bike leg (I got through one set, but was stuck at two). Times were adjusted accordingly, but it did interrupt momentum somewhat.
The run was a double loop of the local housing and I came in to lie in first place, which lasted for a wee while until the fasties started to come in. I was just outside the 80 minute mark, but knowing that a downward adjustment for the bike was coming I knew I was heading for sub-80 minutes, which I was very happy with. In the end I finished in 43rd position (and 13th MV), in 1.19.33, with the winner, Graham Scobie, of West Lothian Triathlon Club finishing in 1.02.14.
I was all done and dusted before 11am, which meant Jim and I could watch the others have their fun while we sipped coffee, munched sandwiches and played with the timing machine. A grand morning out!
We received the following message from Pentland Triathletes, and thought it might be of interest:
Kids Splash and Dash
Pentland Triathletes invite you to join us for our Youth Aquathlon on Sunday 7th of June at Forrester High School in Edinburgh. This fun swim-run event is suitable for both experienced junior triathletes or those just wanting to try out a multi sport event for the first time. The event, which is part of Triathlon Scotland’s Legends Ranking Series, is for children aged 8 to 16 and all abilities are welcome. To find out more and to enter please visit www.entrycentral.com/PentlandTriKidsDuathlon.
At the start of the year, when I was scanning the landscape for events to put in the diary (pre-negotiation with Mrs L), I noticed the Winter Duathlon Series run by Aberdeenshire Council, and one in particular that was in Aboyne. My in-laws live in Aboyne, so that tied in nicely (staying with her sister and family somehow seems to make me think that my wife will buy my absence more readily. It doesn’t.), and having done the Bowhill series recently (which was fab – do it if you haven’t already) I fancied a crack at some nice trail runs/mountain bike runs in what I imagined would be lovely wooded parts of Aberdeenshire. It’s lucky then, that I looked into this in more detail a few days before departing by train to Stonehaven as it turned out to be a road bike duathlon, on roads, with the runs on roads too. Oh well. Not what I was after, but I’d done a fair amount on the road bike recently so I got going up the road anyway.
Sunday arrived to a sunny Aboyne and I made my way to registration at Aboyne Academy with bike and my transition bits and bobs. There was a choice of two races, the Long and Short (or Little and Large) which consisted of the same 2x 4.2km runs but with either a 15km bike leg, or a double loop of 30km. I scanned at the serious-looking road bikers with their carbon machines and tri bars and thought that perhaps I should have entered the shorter event to mitigate the damage they would inflict on the 30km (flat) road bike section. But it was too late for that. I would just have to make up what time I could on the runs and try to stick in on the bike.
Both races set off together (98 starters), with the idea that the timing chips would sort out the final placings for each race, so to start with I had no idea who I was actually racing against, until it all started to pan out on the bike section. The run legs were the same for both races: we were guided round the outskirts of the village, towards to River Dee and back round towards transition. By the time we came into transition the field had spread out a fair bit, and I was in 6th position, with Peter Henry of Deeside Runners a good bit ahead of the rest of us (he went on to win the shorter event). I then had my usual faff in transition before heading out on the bike onto the A93 Ballater road towards Dinnet. There was a strong head wind and as drafting wasn’t allowed, we had to be careful about how much tucking in behind the bikes in front we could do. At Dinnet we turned left and then left again onto the South Deeside Road and back in the direction we had come. The wind had dropped now and we could really get into the big cogs and hammer the speed up. Unfortunately, this is where the road cyclists came into their own and was passed by a few in their tuck positions with their machines blurring past me. All the more annoying as most of them were average runners, which gave me hope that I could claw back some places on the second run.
As we got into the second loop on the bike, I noticed that many of those who had overtaken my weren’t out of sight, so I tried to stick as close to them as possible. Coming into the transition again, I shoved on the running shoes and got going. There was the usual adjustment over the first half mile for the legs from bike to run (this was the furthest I had cycled in a competitive biking event) but I got into my stride and started to pick off runners ahead of me. It turns out that my second run was the second fastest overall and I managed to claw my way back to 8th overall and 3rd MV (in the longer race) for a very satisfying day out.
This was the third in a series of four duathlons, but worth bearing in mind for next year.
Results here: http://resultsbase.net/Results/IndividualResults.aspx?Id=2341
The final long race in the trio series of Duathlons took place on the Bowhill Estate near Selkirk with 4 Carnethies ready for the mud, puddles, tree roots, more mud, fallen trees and a lolly pop and Easter egg prize for everyone. This race started with a mountain bike course up, down and around Pernassie Hill of about 10km and 350m climbing. After transition, an out and back undulating running course up said hill of 10km and 300m ascent ensued. Both routes had some techie sections in between the quagmire sections to add to the fun and games both on bike and on foot.
The BBC Adventure Show was there to film the action so there was a lot of clean gear on show and maybe the odd bit of make-up? No, it can’t be, I should have shaved. Based on their presence at the skyline, this will be shown in about 6 months time probably! 149 set off. Adam Anderson was up for a prize, Mike Lynch was chomping at the bit for a podium place if a few V40s didn’t turn up. He made sure he was interviewed by the telly folk wearing an advert for Seona Burnett and then worried he’d made her top too muddy that the advert wouldn’t show! Steve Best turned up for a try at biking and running. We’d need a slow bike from him for any chance… I had no chance of a podium place, but hoped to do better this year for only having only done 18 miles of the Circo Edinburgh run the day before with Sparky (unlike last year when I did it all and found the race was a tad tiring).
The weather pleasured us with 2 degrees C, rain, snow, low cloud and a wee breeze, and did I mention the mud? Yep, there was a bit of that, but no ice this time. The race winner was Rory Downie from Edinburgh RC in a time to make everyone else seem decidedly average – finishing 6.5 mins ahead of second place. Rosemary Byde was first lady beating me for the second race in a row by <15 seconds despite changing places 8 times. 4th place was a relay team making the following results for Carnethy bods. Adam Anderson 10th (9th individual), (PB by >3 mins)
Mike Lynch 13th (12th), (PB by >13 mins)
Mark Hartree 17th (16th) (PB by>11 mins, 5.5 min improvement in last years run time on fresher legs)
Steve Best 26th (25th) (Yes everyone, get this, Mark and Mike beat Steve in a race… amazing).
The overall Series results placed Adam Anderson in 3rd, Mike Lynch 4th and me 6th MV40 out of 24 who completed the whole series. Next year, we should encourage a team prize as I think Carnethy would win that…
Thanks to the organisers and the poor marshals out in the cold, wet and mud for so long. Nice place Bowhill though and good wee café if you are in the area.
Full long race results here. Standings after series here.
Mike Lynch and I ventured north to Knockhill on Saturday to take part in a duathlon, rescheduled from early December. Mike offered to drive and take the bikes, which was very kind of him, and we had a pleasant drive over the bridge looking forward to some excellent conditions. The skies were clear, some snow dusted the hills, no too cold though, generally bright and fresh morning. Amongst the genial chitchat, we discussed family, friends, finances, childhood, and shared some anecdotes about this and that. What Mike *didn’t* say was, “You’ll get ahead on the run, but once onto the bikes I’m going to absolutely destroy you! Do you hear me!? Eh?!? Absolutely dead in the water! Comprende? Capiche??”. He didn’t say it, he didn’t need to, we could both hear it loud and clear.
He was, of course, right. A battle last year on Stava about who was the better cyclist resulted in a resounding win for Mike. The course ahead of us was: run two laps of knockhill race track, then onto the bikes for 5 laps of a cyclocross course on the side of Knock Hill itself, then into the pits and back onto the track for a final run for a lap. I’d have the edge on the run sections, but not by much as Mike and I’s 5k PBs are not that far apart, then it’s all about mitigating my losses on the cycle. A warm up on the bike section indicated that his bike choice (a mountain bike) was better than mine (a cyclocross thing) for the course. I feared the worst.
Once the race day cars had cleared, we mounted out bikes in the pit, we had a quick briefing, and then took to track start line. A nice touch was that they used the car race starting lights to set us off, and off we went round the surprisingly hilly tarmac course. An Army Triathletes guy shot ahead of everyone, Mike too, and I sat amongst a wee cluster not far behind. The start is all downhill, and once we started on the uphills I moved up into third and held that position onto the second lap. Into the pits, and I had a good transition, especially as I decided to wear the same gutties for the entire race, so I just needed to slip on a cycle helmet and grab my bike. So, pretty quick. Mike had exactly the same setup, but for some reason it took him over a minute to get his cycle helmet on. In future he might want to write “front” and “back” on it, perhaps. 🙂
Onto the bikes and the Perth Cyclists guy I spent ages trying get ahead of just breezed past, and I assumed that others would quickly follow. It was just a matter of time until Mike was going to romp past. However, I think we both underestimated a fine detail about me: I’m an idiot. I desperately tried to get round the track by risking as much damage to my bike and myself as possible. Crunching gear changes, late braking, wild gear choice, dangerous overtaking, clipping barriers – the full range of cycling stupid. The bike was a screeching, squeaking, clunking mess by the time I got back to the pit. That said, something worked, as I only lost 5s to Mike on the 25min cycle, which I was over the moon about.
Into the final run and I started to breathe a bit easier. Ahead (far, far ahead) were the same three guys that held the lead from the start of the cycle. Too far ahead to even see on the course, so it was just a matter of getting to the end without dropping places. Mike was not far behind me, having scalped a few on the cycle, and passing a Corstorphine fella on the run to secure 5th place. Two top 5 places for Carnethy was an excellent result, and despite our rivalry I think we were both happy with the placings. Well, I was, at least, don’t know about the other guy. 🙂
An excellent wee day out. Well organised event, extremely cheery marshals, and a really good venue (I think at least). Chip timing was great, a range of nibbles at the end and a free beer. Perfect! I would heartily recommend the event, it’s quite low key, and I think the organisers just really want you to have fun – which is always a great sign.
Results here: http://www.chequeredflagevents.co.uk/series-results.html
Some photos here: Chequered Flag Duathlon | Photo Gallery check out the series photographs http://www.chequeredflagevents.co.uk/series-gallery.html
And here: https://www.facebook.com/berit.inkster/media_set?set=a.10155160574010524.1073741831.785210523&type=1
155 raced and we had a great course with semi-frozen rutted tracks, tree brashings from the previous high winds, snow and glorious sunshine to make the cycle section fun. There were several fallers and although I managed to overtake Mike at one point on the bike, he got me later on a road section and everyone was suitably mud splattered by the transition.
The run was steady uphill for a while with a few people in front including Nick Williamson from Carnethy (who had a great bike leg) going the wrong way which helped with the placings of those who were close behind and followed the arrows. Not good for them unfortunately. Fast transitions helped and with Adam Anderson telling me off for running too fast downhill and then overtaking me and disappearing. A good paced run followed through a fair bit of mud, but generally drier than previous years.
A strong relay team won, so ignoring them, Adam also nipped Mike on the run for 3rd MV, coming 7th and 8th overall respectively. I got 15th and Nick a bit lower, but just in front of a team that has stolen my name! If I missed any other Carnethies there – sorry, but register with the club name. Team and cake after the prizes at Bob Johnson’s place made for a nice day out.
Mike and I need some MVs to ‘miss’ the next race for a chance of an overall placing after 3 races… Adam is in a good position already.
Results here. Standings after 2 races here
A small contingent of Carnethies at the New Years Day Triathlon. This event has been running for about 25 years, with a hiatus a few years ago for the refurbishment of the Commonwealth Pool. It’s a popular event, often one of the biggest triathlons in Scotland of the year with 400+ starters, and usually for about a third of competitors it’s their first triathlon. I think it was Mike Lynch’s second. I’ve done more triathlons than hill races, but I’d not competed in the NYD Tri since 2005. The race is a 400m swim in the Commie, followed by three laps of Arthur’s Seat on bike, then a final (on road) lap on foot.
As anyone who was about on the 1st will have noticed, the weather was less than ideal. But that’s part of the challenge of doing an event invented in sunny California in the middle of a Scottish winter. Fortunately the temperature was fairly mild, but the strong winds caused lots of problems on the bike where staying upright had to take priority over putting the hammer down. It was really very wet.
Mike finished in 1:21:23. I finished in 1:26:07, only about 4 minutes slower than ten years ago which I think is good going. Mike would make a pretty good triathlete if he could learn to swim and sorted his transitions out. He certainly is overachieving at getting his excuses in early. Mr “I’ve got a calf problem” Lynch still smoked me on the run and I’ve got no injuries at all at the moment! Mind you (and I’ll get this in before the Presidential Ego demands it) one Willie Gibson did a 1:14 back in 2001. I think that was a shorter course.
Meanwhile, Charlie and Anna Burnett were performing well in the kids bike/run duathlon with Charlie getting 3rd place. Neil and kids did a great job of cheering me on as a waited for my start. Seona Burnett finished the triathlon in 1:28:16 for Pentland Triathletes.
The 13th Bowhill Duathlon Series kicked off with the Short event, at the Bowhill Estate in perfect conditions. When I say perfect, it was still a total mudfest, but the organisers didn’t have to cope with the snow and howling winds of previous years.
The Short is an eyeballs out effort with (unusually) the run first, followed by the bike. Carnethy was represented by myself, Nick Williamson (competing in his first duathlon), Adam Anderson, Mark Hartree, Kate Crowe (along with hubby Des, representing Dundee Hawkhill) and Alan Renville. Roy and Jesse Dahl were nowhere to be seen, and have probably grown tired of winning the relay. 😉
The run was a muddy 4km-ish of everything: rough trackless and variable forest tracks, paths and twin track, with occasional branches, brashings and fallen trees. Transition was in the stables area and thereafter the (very muddy) bike route (a combination of red, blue and green trails) encompassed good forest road, grassy/trackless areas, a singletrack path with exposed roots and a slippery bridge and several sharp bends and off-camber sections, ending in a tarmac climb into the estate road of about 6.5km.
Nick Williamson had a tremendous race to finish 2nd overall and 1st in his category (in his first duathlon – don’t you just hate some people?), with Adam Anderson just holding me off for second Carnethy, followed by Alan Renville, Mark Hartree and Kate Crowe.
As usual, a great day out and I think a few spaces may be left for the Medium and Long – sign up if you know what’s good for you! Results
So the forecast for Sunday’s last Bowhill Series was pants again. Here’s to winter races. The short and the medium race had been wet, but the wind and rain woke me up at 0100 this morning and then a few times more so the final long race (10km cycle, 10km run) looked like it would be really wet and involve some log jumping. And, the forecast for the midday race start was looking even worse, but forecasts are never right and it didn’t end up too wet from the sky, but the course was a mud bath-cum-torrent-puddle-fest. The bike route included a much more technical section than previously which really improved the bike section and made for a great route.
Five Carnethy’s were there. Mike Lynch turned up for a try voicing concerns about the age and state of his bike. Roy and Jessie Dahl were going for their third win in the relay, and Adam Anderson was there to show how to run and cycle faster than most. Andrew Patience also started but maybe didn’t finish. Having complete the 32.5 miles on Circo of Edinburgh yesterday I felt I had maybe overdone my preparation but I felt it unlikely to get a prize unless the usual MV40 sharks that always beat me by about 5 mins on previous races didn’t turn up or had got crushed somehow. As it was, they were there, so the weariness didn’t matter.
The results for Carnethy: Jessie and Roy Dahl came second in the relay but won first prize over the 3 race series. Adam Anderson came 6th overall and was first MV40. Mike Lynch came in 30th and I improved my position from last years 42th to get 27th in the long race and got 4th MV over the series and managed a consolation bottle of beer and an extra creme egg. Results
The medium length race of the Bowhill Duathalon took place yesterday in somewhat wet conditions after a morning of heavy rain and snow. Thankfully, the estate had been out clearing fallen trees to make the route fully rideable and runnable, even if most of the tracks were flooded and more like streams.
132 braved the mornings murky start and top marks go to Roy and Jessie Dahl in the relay team again who came first again and are heading for a hatrick of firsts. Jessie ran in the Devil’s Burden yesterday and at the transit area, managed to not lose time while swapping a bike for two small children. I managed to improve my time again and upped my placing to 25th and sitting 5th in the MV over the two races. Next time, I am not going to waste 90 secs in transition (4 places) changing shoes, especially now I realise that transition time counts!!