All posts by Fiona Russell

GTC athlete of the month: Juliette Linford

Juliette Linford celebrates a year anniversary with GTC this month and says she is looking forward to a longer triathlon this year and also beating her time for a half-marathon.

Juliette, who is an ecologist and races in the senior women category, has enjoyed sport for as long as she can remember. She started with ball sports – tennis, badminton and cricket – as a youngster and went on to represent Surrey ladies CCC until she was 18.

At university she played tennis and enjoyed climbing and hill walking in the Peak District. Since moving to Scotland in the summer of 2015 she has played tennis for Kelvingrove LTC and bagged a total of 61 Munros.

Juliette at the Aviemore Triathlon.

Triathlon started for Juliette by chance when she was asked to do a company event. She says: “I could run a bit, bike a bit and swim a bit. So when asked to take part in the work’s triathlon at Eton Dorney, I figured I could probably get round.

“Having loved that, I was persuaded by a friend Kasia, who was already a member of the club, to take part in the Loch Lomond Beastie Triathlon. After that I joined GTC.”

Of the three triathlon sports, running is Juliette’s favourite. She says: “I really love it. It’s such a good way to de-stress and clear your thoughts.”

Like many people who join GTC, it is swimming in which Juliette has seen the greatest improvements. She says: “I never thought I’d be able to swim continuous front crawl. The swim sessions have been amazing.

“I didn’t think I was improving, but then I knocked of 3.5 minutes off my previous swim time at the Loch Lomond Beastie Triathlon, so I figured something must be going right.”

Another half-marathon for Juliette, this time in Dundee.

She has raced several triathlons, including sprint and standard distance, and enjoyed them all.

She was surprised and delighted to end up in second place in her age group and fourth overall in the 2017 Triathlon Scotland cross events rankings, which included the Loch Lomond Beastie Cross, the Aviemore Cross Long course and Craggy Island.

She says modestly: “I was actually injured at Craggy Island, although I did come fourth in my age group at the Loch Lomond Beastie Triathlon. I was really pleased to see my name up there in the rankings but maybe that was just because I entered all three events.”

In 2017, Juliette ran three half-marathons. She says: “I did Inverness, Dundee and Glasgow – and finished them all within 1hr 43mins, which is such unwanted consistency! I am looking to improve on that this summer.

“And in the future I just want to be able to keep enjoying the sport. I would also like to do some coaching one day, too.”

Juliette’s 3 tips for beginners

Don’t doubt yourself. Your mental attitude is the biggest barrier. You can do more than you might think.

Try to do a bit of each discipline, even if it’s not your favourite one. I still get the fear before swim sessions, but enjoy it once I’m there.

Make the most of all the GTC sessions. They are really fun and everyone’s very friendly. I personally enjoy the Rugged Runs.

Dates for your diary: Rugged runs and brick sessions

Here is a list of dates for the rugged runs and brick sessions organised by the club.

The rugged runs usually alternate between north and south of the city. Sean’s brick sessions are at Aulds bakery HQ, 1 Brownsfield Avenue, Renfrew PA4 9RZ.

Jan 20: Sean Brick session
Jan 27: Nick Rugged run (north side)
Feb 3: Sean Brick session
Feb 10: Iain Rugged run (southside)
Feb 18: Nick Rugged run (north side)
March 17: Sean Brick session
Feb 24: Sean Brick session
Mar 3: Iain Rugged run (southside)
Mar 11: Nick Rugged run (Deluxe). Longer run at Killin.
Mar 31: Iain Rugged run (southside)
Apr 14: Nick Rugged run (north side)
April 21: Sean Brick session
April 28: Iain Rugged run (southside)
May 12: Sean Brick session

Keep an eye on the Glasgow Triathlon Club Facebook page for further details.

New running sessions for beginners and returners

The popular Beginner/Returner running sessions return for 2018. There will be a 10-week programme on Thursdays, from 6.45pm to 7.45pm at Bellahouston Park. The first session was January 11th and weekly thereafter. (Don’t worry if you didn’t make it to the first session because you can still join in.)

The sessions are ideal for people who have never run before or are coming back from injury/illness.

The programme will gently introduce you to the drills and skills of running so that by the end of 10 weeks you’ll be ready to join the main running session either in Bellahouston or the West End.

The session will take place alongside the main GTC Bellahouston session at 6.45pm (1hr) in/around Bellahouston park.

Runners meet at 6.30pm just inside the front door of Bellahouston Leisure Centre. Each session costs £2.25 and will be available for booking via the online booking system soon. If you’re new to the club your first session is free.

Rose McIlwhan, a GTC coach, said: “If you’ve never been to a run session because you’re worried you’re too slow, might get dropped, or you’ve never run before so don’t know what to do, then this is the session for you.

“The sessions teach people the fundamentals of good running technique. They progress from walking well, to jogging then running. They are designed so that people can work at their own pace but by the end of 10 weeks everyone should be able to run.

“In addition, for people returning from injury the sessions provide a means to get back to running safely and will help to guard against future injury by ensuring good technique.”

Warm up drills.

Lesley Mitchell joined the beginner running course last year. She said: “I was late into the series of sessions last time and I really wished I had started at the beginning. So much so, I am going to start again on Thursday.

“I would recommend for anyone who would like to enjoy running but currently finds it sore, hard and not much fun to go along to these coached session.”

The coaches request that participants wear layers of clothing so they can adjust according to temperature. Hat, gloves, scarf/buff are also strongly encouraged when it’s cold.

Rose added: “The sessions start by moving slowly so we don’t want people to get cold in the process.”

Reflective and bright clothing is also recommended. Check out the booking system to sign up, or if you are new you can turn up and enjoy the first session for free.

GTC junior awards 2017

This year’s junior awards were announced at the GTC Christmas party on Saturday. For the first time, the club organised a ceilidh party for both juniors and adults with everyone hailing it a great success.

Many thanks to all those who were part of the organising team.

Award winners.

Junior GTC awards 2017

Best Male: Fraser Donaldson

This award was sponsored by THIN CATS

Best Female: Mia Padmanabhan

This award was sponsored by HAINES WATTS ACCOUNTANTS

Achievement Trophy Male:  Callum Miller

This award was sponsored by Adamswell Business Associates

Achievement Trophy Female: Lillian Smith.

This award was sponsored by Darroch Timlin Optometrists

Congratulations to all.

GTC awards 2017

This year’s awards were announced at the GTC Christmas party on Saturday. For the first time, the club organised a ceilidh party for both juniors and adults with everyone hailing it a great success.

Many thanks to all those who were part of the organising team.

Compere Alan Anderson.

GTC awards 2017

Sean and Ray (possibly a little worse for drink?!)
Hilary and Bruce.

GTC Coach of the Year: Rose McIlwhan

This award was sponsored by Coia & Associates Dental Practice

Most Improved Athlete: Hilary Glen

This award was sponsored by Sandler Training

GTC Volunteer of the Year: Ray Loughran

This award was sponsored by Opfer Logan Architects

Race Performance of the Year: Bruce Greenhalgh

This award was sponsored by Surface Plus

On Going Commitment to the club: Sean Webster

This award was sponsored by Health Plus

GTC Best Male Athlete: Bill Rees

This award was sponsored by Keys Galore

GTC Best Female Athlete: Christine Catterson

This award was sponsored by Mark’s Deli



GTC athlete of the month: Dougie Holmes

Dougie has enjoyed his first season as a triathlete with GTC. In fact, he did his very first triathlon, an Olympic distance, in 2015 at the Strathclyde Multisport Festival before joining the club.

Dougie’s first sporting love was football, which he played as a child and into his 20s. He then took up running in his mid 30s and he has completed a few marathons.

Dougie during his first triathlon.

Dougie reckons he was “hood-winked” into taking up triathlon. He says: “I had raised some money by running in 2014 and a national charity offered me the opportunity to take part in something called a half ironman. I had never heard of this before.

“So in 2015 I got to work on the training and started with swimming. I managed four lengths before I had to stop. It took the next five months of fumbling my way through self-made training sessions before I took on my biggest ever challenge, the Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire.

Since then he has also complete Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh earlier this year.

Dougie still reckons his best discipline is running although he has found a new love for cycling. He confesses that swimming feels more like survival mode for him. However, he adds: “ “As I gain experience in swimming I do like it more and more. In particular, I like open water swimming.

“The swimming part is one of the reasons I joined GTC. I have really enjoyed the club aquathlons this year.”

Dougie and the Ironman legend Dave Scott.

Since becoming a member of GTC, Doug feels he has shown improvement in all three sports, especially cycling.

When it comes to racing, he most likes the challenge of half ironman. He says: “The first half ironman that I did in Staffordshire was up there as one of my greatest achievements. I had never done anything like that before.

“I actually crashed my bike on a descent in this race and injured my shoulder, so being able to get up again and complete the race was much a relief as a success.

“I managed to raise over £4000 for the charity and not completing wasn’t an option. The injury kept me out of triathlon for the whole of 2016 unfortunately.”

Dougie on day 100 of 110 days of 10k running.

Dougie’s charity focus

In recent years, Dougie has raised a lot of money for charity. As well as his half ironman in 2015, the previous year he collected more than £5000 for the University of Glasgow Brain Tumour Research Fund by completing 110 10k runs in 110 days.

He says: “I came up with the challenge to create some longevity to the a fund-raising goal. I knew it would push me to the limits physically and it would be a mental test as well.

“I also like to help others and I regularly volunteer at JogScotland to help others achieve their goals. I have been trying to talk some of them into taking up triathlon.

“Another thing that I feel proud of is volunteering as part of the JAPES team, which helped four disabled pilots complete the Stirling Marathon this year.”

On the red carpet of Dougie’s half ironman event.

Goals for the future

Dougie has a few goals for 2018 although because he is getting married he is choosing his events wisely. He says: “I am still trying to decide which triathlons to enter next year.

“I would also like to try to run a sub 3:15 marathon, which will allow me to qualify for a ‘good for age place’ for the London Marathon. I currently have a PB of 3:31, which I achieved at London this year so it’s a big target.

“Looking further ahead I would like to qualify as an age group athlete for a major event like the European Championships. I am about to head into the veterans’ category so it could be a good goal but I am not sure if I will be able to achieve something like this. I would also hope to complete a full Ironman at some stage.

“Looking at the bigger picture, I am keen to create an event that will inspire others to take part.”

Dougie on the finish line of Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh this year.

Dougie’s tips for triathlon novices

Don’t hesitate to tri it (see what I did there?!). You will meet some amazing people who will go out their way to help you.

Just be the best YOU can be.

Go for a swim, ride your bike, go for a run. It’s that simple


Juniors win Triathlon Scotland Legends Ranking Series

The younger members of Glasgow Triathlon Club Youth Section have triumphed in the Best Small Club in the Triathlon Scotland Legends Ranking Series 2017.

The Legends Ranking Series rewards consistent participation in a series of events. In the youth Legends Series, whihc is new for 2017, there were seven triathlons and 11 aquathlons for juniors that took place across Scotland and throughout the season.

Participants gain points for every event they compete in and depending on where they come in each race. As well as individual rankings, the total scores from club members give an overall club placing.

Glasgow Triathlon Club (GTC) youth section was launched in August 2013 and now has 70 members, including youngsters from Bearsden and Milngavie.

As well as winning Best Small Club overall, some of the youths also won individual awards.

Aquathlon Legends results

Tristar 1 Female: Aine Doherty 8th

Tristar 1 Male: Fraser Donaldson 1st, Rory Treharne 2nd

Tristar 2 Female: Amiya Patel 3rd, Lucy Donaldson 6th

Tristar 2 Male: Charlie Treharne 4th, Cameron O’Brien 6th

Tristar 3 Female: Mia Padmanabhan 5th, Orla Doherty 6th, Rachel Smith 8th

Tristar 3 Male: Callum Miller 8th, Jamie Glen 10th

Triathlon Tristar 1 Female: Nina Padmanabhan 4th

Amiya is proud of her placing.
Mia said: “I worked hard for this award.”

Triathlon Legends results

Tristar 1 Male: Fraser Donaldson 1st, Rory Treharne 3rd

Tristar 2 Female: Lucy Donaldson 4th, Amiya Patel 8th, Sarah Aitken 9th

Tristar 2 Male: Charlie Treharne 6th, Cameron O’Brien 7th, Alasdair Padmanabhan 10th

Tristar 3 Female: Mia Padmanabhan 2nd

Tristar 3 Male: Jamie Glen 10th

Rory with his trophy.
Fraser takes a double win.

Fraser Donaldson, of Bearsden, who took first place in both the aquathlon rankings and the triathlon rankings in his age group, said:  “I enjoy racing because it’s fun and I feel thrilled to win. I’m so happy to be in the best club and hope that it continues to keep on succeeding.”

Mia Padmanabhan, also of Bearsden, who was second overall in the triathlon rankings in the age group 13 to 14, said : “I’m really pleased with my place as I worked hard all year for that. I’m really proud that GTC juniors won the club rankings. It was a real team effort.”

Youth head coach Wendy Gorman is delighted by the club’s success. She said: “It’s great to see how the GTC youths are progressing and it is good to see their results recognised.”

Congratulations to an amazing youth section of GTC. See news about the new junior coach.