All posts by Fiona Russell

WOW trio compete at Loch Lomond swim event

Three of the club’s WOW swimmers took part in the Go Swim Loch Lomond event last weekend.

Julie Calvert and Jacqueline Simpson competed in their first open water event at Loch Lomond at the weekend. Claire Lamont also completed the aquathlon.

The GTC members are participating in the six-week WOW (Woman Open Water) course being run by GTC as part of a Triathlon Scotland programme.

Julie and Jacqueline enjoyed the 750m Loch Lomond event. Julie was first female vet and Jacqueline was third female super vet.

Jacqueline said: “We were both petrified before the event, but once we started we both enjoyed it and we were pleasantly surprised with the results.

“The WOW sessions have been great, showing us the ropes and giving us plenty of tips and advice about open water swimming.”

Claire also praised the coaches for their tips and advice.

Plenty of podiums at New Cumnock triathlon 2019

GTC had a great turn out – and five podium places – at the recent New Cumnock Supersprint Triathlon and Junior Aquathon 2019.

The adult race comprised a 400m swim in the New Cumnock Open Air Pool, followed by a 15km cycle and a 3km run. Juniors, aged eight to 15, swam 50m before a 1.5km run.

Laura is third female

In the adult triathlon, Laura Henderson came home third female. Other GTC competitors included Mary Donaldson, Sarah Grant, Nicola Dawson, Martin Smith, Susan Marsh, Caroline MacFadyen and Kelly Ludwig.

Mary said: “The race was great, but the outbound leg of the cycle nearly broke me. The were a lot of  uphill into a howling gale! There was also a very civilised buffet laid on after the race.”

Nicola said: “It was a good race except the killer headwind on the cycle on the way out. The run section definitely felt longer than 3k.

“For me it was my first cycle event since my accident so it was good just to get out and see how I got on. The food afterwards was amazing with a proper spread put on.”

Four podiums for juniors

GTC youngsters took home two gold and two silvers in the junior event.

Erin Burnett was first in the Tristars 1 female race, while Cory McConville  won the Tristart race.

Finlay Laskey was second in the Tristar 1 and Ruari Laskey, also took second place in the  Tristar 2 race.

Imogen Hammond, Molly Knox and Lillian Smith also competed.

Another podium for Erin

In another recent race, the West Lothian Triathlon in early September, Erin was second Tristar 1 female.

Silver medals went to Morvern Smith in the Tristar 2 female race, Lucy Donaldson in the Tristar 3 female race and Fraser Donaldson in the Tristar 2 male race.

Ferryn Stewart was third Tristar 1 female and Brodie Burnett came home fourth Tristart male.

Other young competitors included Eilidh Dick,  Mariyah Kareem, Isla Amon and Skye Dick.

Many thanks to Kenny Girvan, Nicola Dawson and Steve Burnett for photos.

Double gold at Lochore Off Road Triathlon 2019

GTC took home two gold medals from the inaugural Lochore Off Road Triathlon 2019 event in Fife this month. There were other strong finishes by some of our junior competitors.

Win for Charlie

On the day, the races, which included a “full distance”, “relay, “short distance” and a Tristars 3, became duathlons due to water issues.

It was in the Tristar 3 race that GCT member Charlie Treharne took first place in 36:24. He finished 10 seconds ahead of the second placed competitor.

Charlie said: “I felt like I had a good race and I felt strong throughout.

“I was glad that I won, but most of my competitors were racing at the Inter Regional Championships so I can’t be too proud.

“Taking away the competitiveness, it was a fun race, which was friendly and didn’t have a swim.”

Also competing was Cameron O’Brien who was fourth male despite a nasty fall during the run. Alasdair Padmanabhan was sixth male.

Win for Lucy

Lucy Donaldson was first female in 45:04 and fifth overall. Holly Glen took third female place in 01:07:54.

In the “short distance” triathlon – which also became a duathlon – club member Jamie Glen finished fifth in his junior male category and 11th overall.

Photos from the event

Many thanks to Hilary Glen for taking a selection of pics of GTC competitors (and others!).

Nina and Morvern on aquathlon podium

GTC youngsters Nina Padmanabhan and Morvern Smith were delighted to make it on to the podium in the recent Go Swim Loch Lomond Junior Aquathlon.

Although the number of entries in this race were low, everyone knows you need to be in it to win it.

The junior aquathlon comprised a 250m swim and 2km run. It was open to athletes aged 11 to 14.

Nina was second in 17:09 while Morvern was just behind in 17:34.

Nina said: “I loved the atmosphere and it was nice to be part of a big event and it was nice to race with Morvern.

“It was fun to race in open water because there are very few open water events in my age group.  The water wasn’t too cold!”

Athlete of the month: Craig Armour

Craig has been a member of GTC for four years and races in the M30-34 age group. He took part in his first triathlon in August 2015, just before joining the club. He recently qualified for ETU Malmo 2020. Craig is also one of our coaches.

A sporty background

Craig has always been keen on sports and reports that there are few that he has not tried. He says: “When I was younger my main sports were football and badminton. I moved into rugby and American football in my later teens.

“I also enjoyed swimming and running while at school, as well as some mountain biking with my friends.

“When I went to uni, I stuck with football and I continued to swim on a semi-regular basis with the swimming club, mostly for the social side of things. There was also a run here and there.”

After university, Craig moved to Aberdeen for work. He was encouraged by colleagues to take up mountain biking and before long he had bought a bike.

Then, a move back to Glasgow for a new job, saw Craig buying a road bike through the cycle-to-work scheme. Craig says: “I started commuting every day to work by bike.

“My then flat mate, John Cunningham, was quite into running and so he pushed me into running and I took to it pretty quickly.”

Swim training with friends.
Craig, centre, with tri pals.
Bike training.

Craig takes up triathlon

Craig can’t be sure what eventually led him to triathlon. He says: “I’m not really sure what came over me when I decided to try a triathlon,

“I had been cycling to work for a while and I had completed my first running event, the MoKRun 10k, a couple of months before. I just decided to put it all together and do an event, the MoK Tri (Mull of Kintyre) in Campbeltown.

“After that first triathlon, I joined GTC. I haven’t looked back.”

Craig finds it hard to pick a favourite triathlon discipline. He says: “It constantly changes but I would say on balance I enjoy the bike most. Running is my go to, however.”

He has seen improvements in all three disciplines since joining GTC, especially swimming. Craig says: “My swimming has come a long way since my first triathlon.

“My first 750m was 17 minutes and I am now consistently swimming 11:30ish for this distance as well as open water swimming, which is not something I thought I would have ever done.”

Craig’s preferred race distance is sprint although he also enjoys a standard distance event. He says: “I compare standard distance to a half-marathon run. The training doesn’t take over your life but you know you’ve worked hard at the end of it.”

Another podium, alongside GC member Alastair Young.

Wins & podiums

Craig has enjoyed some great triathlon successes and states that his favourites are his first podium at Fauldhouse Sprint 2017 and his first win at Arran 2018. “Of course, I am proud of my qualification for ETU Malmo 2020 last month, too,” he adds.

He is looking forward to representing GB and says: “A podium would be really nice at that event.” Another aspiration is to complete Ironman distance event, although he admits: “I am not sure about actually doing the distance.”

Training and friends

Craig works hard at his triathlon training and confesses that he enjoys a tough session or a race. He says: “I like to go to a dark place and I enjoy the pain. I’m a bit weird like that. My competitive side usually gets the better of me, too.

“I am also fortunate to have a great group of training buddies in Anna, Amy, Nial, Lochlan and Juliette and many others within the club, which makes it much easier to get out and do the training, as well as completing set sessions.”

Giving something back

Craig is a GTC coach and has recently completed the final weekend of his Level 2 qualification. He coaches the Sunday masters swim session and the Thursday west end run session.

He says: “I have gained so much from being part of this club and I love the mix of people and the general vibe. It really is a great club. I wanted to give something back and so I decided to become a coach.

“The best thing about coaching is seeing athletes take on board your advice and improving, I have seen some massive improvements in some of the athletes I have been coaching over the past couple of years.”

Craig with Neal Padmanabhan.

Craig’s triathlon tips

Set yourself a goal: If this is just to sign up to your first event, do it!

Get along to club sessions: Our coaches are great and training with others will push you harder than you can ever do on your own.

Have Fun! This is definitely the most important one. Triathlon is a great way to make friends and have a laugh with a good bunch of people.

And don’t forget about cake: It’s the only reason I do triathlon!

Rugged runs return for winter 2019

Iain Todd and Alan Kennedy will once again be leading a series of GTC Rugged Runs, starting this month. The runs are off-road (mostly) and for people across a wide range of fitness levels.

Iain, centre.

It’s important that you are capable of running the suggested distance but Iain is happy to cater for all speeds.

Keep an eye on Facebook to find out more about the runs nearer the time.

Saturday September 21: (northside) – Croy  

Saturday October 5: Gleniffer braes, Paisley.

Saturday October 19: (southside) – Eaglesham 

Saturday November 2: (northside) – Lennox Forest

Saturday November 23: Rugged run on tour, suggestion is a section of the Fife Coastal Path.

Saturday December 7: (southside) – Tinto Hill, near Biggar.

Saturday December 14: Pollok Country Park, Glasgow.

These running outings are not coached sessions, although they are led by Iain. They also offer the chance to enjoy the company of other club members and to explore new locations and routes.

Make sure that you arrive in good time and that you are prepared for a trail running outing, with the right running shoes to suit the terrain and adequate kit to stay warm and dry. (If in doubt about what to wear or take with you, just ask club members on Facebook.)

Three podiums at Aviemore Triathlon

More than a dozen GTC members took part in the Aviemore Triathlon this month, competing in either the Long Hard Durty or the Short Fast Durty.

The club came home with three first places, including 16-year-old Mia Padmanabhan as first female overall in the Short Fast Durty.

Alasdair Ireland took first Male Senior Vet place, also in the Short Fast Durty, while Sharon O’Leary was first female in the FSV in the Long Hard Durty.

Mia took first place.

Mia, who races as a junior, said: “It was a fun race and I was really pleased to be the first female. It felt like a big race so that meant I was even happier to win.

“I had a good swim and then I enjoyed the mountain bike course a lot. I was a mountain biker before starting triathlon so I enjoy off-road triathlons.

“The run was technical, especially towards the end with river crossings and all the trees, but it was also a lot of fun.”

Sharon was the FSV winner. Credit: Andy Upton
Romy Beard during the off-road run. Credit: Andy Upton
Neal Padmanabhan taking part in the Long Hard Durty. Credit: Andy Upton
Catriona Padmanabhan waves to the crowds! Credit: Andy Upton

Other GTC competitors at the races organised by Durty Events, were Nial Smith, Neal Padmanabhan, Juliet Linford, Elizabeth Adams, Romy beard and Catriona Padmanabhan.

The Long Hard Durty comprises a 1500m open water swim, an 18km technical mountain bike and a 9km trail run. The event incorporated Triathlon Scotland National Cross Triathlon Championships 2019.

The Short Fast Durty is a 750m open water swim, a 12km mountain bike and a 5km trail run.

See Aviemore Triathlon.

11 podiums for club at Allander Aquathlon

Eleven club members raced to podium finishes at the recent Glasgow Triathlon & Boclair Dentalcare Allander Aquathlon (Autumn) 2019.

The race is part of the annual Triathlon Scotland Junior Aquathlon Series and for 2019 the event incorporated an Adult Go-Tri heat.

The race is sanctioned by Triathlon Scotland and sponsored by Boclair Dental Care.

The GTC aquathlons take place in spring and autumn and continue to be popular with a wide of ages and abilities of athletes taking part. Many GTC members took part while others gave up their time to volunteer at the busy race.

As usual, the cake stall proved very popular and boosted the junior section funds by £186.45.

Race director Peter Soden said: “It was another very successful event for the organisers, volunteers and the competitors in what proves time and again to be an event attracting first timers and seasoned racers. We also had a good Go-Tri entry.

“There were some extremely close finishes. It was also a pleasure to hand out a host of ‘most improved’ prizes featuring many members of GTC, too

“Thanks also go to Paul for some great photos that captured the day.”

Some of the race volunteers.
The ever popular fundraising cake stall.

Thank go to professional freelance photographer Paul Chappells, who lives in Bearsden, for taking some great pics. You can contact him at 07774730898 or www.paulphoto.co.uk. All photos have strict copyright.

GTC results at Allander Aquathlon 2019

Tristar Start

Boys:

1st: Cory McConville    

3rd Benjamin Abel (and a “most improved” time of 56 seconds since the last aquathlon in March 2019).

Other competitors from GTC included Elliot Smith, Joel Adler, Brodie Burnett and Harvey Churches.

Tristar 1

Girls:

3rd Erin Burnett (time improvement of 35 seconds)

Other competitors from GTC included Skye Dick, Isla Amon (26 seconds’ improvement), Ferryn Stewart, Emily Dawson, Molly Knox, Anna Ross, Jodi Abel, Phoebe Cuthbertson, Eilidh Greenhalgh, Joanna Farrell (35 seconds’ improvement) and Imogen Hammond.

Boys:

Competitors from GTC included Finlay Laskey, Connor Birnie, Tom Crosby and Isaac Findlay.

Tristar 2

Girls:

1st Mirren Stewart

Other competitors from GTC included Islay Jackson (43 seconds’ improvement), Ellen MacRae (1:52 improvement), Gemma MacRae, MOrvern Smith, Lilian Smith, Calli Abel, Eilidh O’Henley
(39 seconds’ improvement), Ella Lockhart, Eilidh Dick and Mariyah Kareem.

Boys:

2nd Finlay Adler

Other competitors from GTC included Fraser Donladson, Angus Millar, Ruari Laskey, Joseph Freel 
(36 seconds’ improvement), Euan Lockhart, Cammy Aitken, Fraser Corfield 
(1:15 improvement) and Ted Churches,

Tristar 3

Girls:

3rd Amiya Patel

Other competitors from GTC included Lucy Donaldson (36 seconds’ improvement), Sarah Aitken, Rowan Miller and Holly Glen.

Boys:

3rd Cameron O’Brien

Other competitors from GTC included Alfie Churches and Aiden Quinn,

Youth

Girls:

1st Aurelia Tiffoney

Rachel Smith also competed.

Boys:

 1st Callum Miller

Jamie Glen also competed,

Adult Go Tri race

2nd female: Gillian Kyle

3rd male: Lawrence Gilmour

Other competitors from GTC included Nick Amon, Nicola Dawson and Julie Calvert.

See full results.

Win for Kate in STARMAN Night Triathlon

Glasgow Triathlon Club member Kate Pearson was the first female home in the recent STARMAN Night Triathlon. She completed the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile road ride and 13.1-mile mountain run in 07:45:23.

Scottish athlete Chris Watson was the overall winner, breaking his own record to win the STARMAN in 6:19:55.

Kate on the run section. Credit: Ed Smith

STARMAN Night Triathlon, which is organised by True Grit Events, takes place in the Cairngorms after dark.

The swim is in Loch Morlich, while the bike course heads through Speyside. The run starts at Cairngorm Ski Centre and takes in the summits of Cairn Gorm and Meall a Bhuachaille.

Night bike. Credit: Ed Smith

Kate, 38, of Milngavie, described the STARMAN 2019 as “absolutely epic”. She said: “Swimming under the bright moon and stars was magical despite the chop.

“The Scottish weather that followed us around the pitch-black bike and run course was strangely comforting.

“We were treated to a rainbow over Loch Morlich, which I witnessed from the summit of Meall a Bhuachaille. It more than made up for the pain of those relentless hills.”

Chris and his dad. Credit: Ed Smith

Chris, 32, of Crieff completed the middle-distance triathlon a minute faster than the year before, when he also won the race.

He said: “As far as venues go, can there be a more idyllic setting than the Cairngorm National Park for a memorable night out?

“Besides, if you’re going to push yourself to the limit, you may as well do it somewhere notable.

“The Cairngorms have always been a special place for me, and now they boast one of my favourite races.”

Now in its third year, the STARMAN sold out the 100 entries. People came from as far afield as Cornwall and County Wicklow to compete solo or in relay teams of three.

One of the founders of True Grit Events, Caroline MacKechnie, said: “We are delighted that this year’s event was another huge success. STARMAN is fast developing a cult status among adventure triathletes.

“Everyone who took part gave 100% and really seemed to enjoy themselves, despite the huge challenge of the course and the weather.”

STARMAN Night Triathlon returns for 2020 on August 15 and 16.

Athlete of the month: Celia Greig

Celia Greig has been with the club since May 2017 and has been taking part in triathlons for six years. She is about to head into the 45-to-49 age category.

Celia has enjoyed sports for most of her life and she can remember her dad encouraging her. She says: “Dad attempted to make me into his racquet and ball sports prodigy for years, however it was skiing, snowboarding boarding, running, cycling and swimming that I most liked.

“I ran and cycled with my dad and we regularly ran 5k and 10ks together. But, when I was 20, my dad was diagnosed with PSP, which is a relatively rare degenerative neurological disease. This meant he had to give running and all the other sports he loved.

“My sister and I decided to run the Edinburgh Marathon in 2003 to raise money for PSP research. I achieved this with no real goal and limited training, but I was proud that my dad was able to see us crawl over the line.

“Sadly, he passed away that year, so five years after that, while living in London, I ran it again in aid of PSP and with a bit more effort. I joined Kent Athletics Club to try to train more effectively.”

By this point, Celia had caught the “running bug” and she went on to complete many events at 10k and half-marathon distance.

Celia also worked as a pool lifeguard and a children’s swimming teacher as a student. She says: “However, I didn’t swim competitively back then and I didn’t really achieve the skill level that I really wanted at that time.”

Celia and friends.

Discovering triathlon

Triathlon came when Celia was living in Sydney, Australia. She says: “I was suffering with quite a few minor running-related injuries so I decided to have a go at triathlon. It offered the chance to do a range of sports and not focus on just one.

“Between 2013 and 2016, I took part in six all-female Triathlon Pink events in Sydney, as well as one in Newcastle. I also did the Big Husky and Little Husky events, which are part of the Huskisson Triathlon Festival in New South Wales.”

Celia was keen, while living in Sydney, to develop her swimming skills so she could enjoy the open water swim events that living in Australia offered.

She also bought a new bike, with the aim of becoming “better and faster”.

Today, Celia’s favourite discipline is cycling. She says: “I feel that cycling is my strongest sport and I love the challenge of the range of terrain and courses in Scotland.

“However, I see the most improvement in both running and swimming, the more coaching I receive from GTC.” 

Races and goals

Celia’s race distance preference is sprint, although she has started to complete in longer distances.

She says: “Shorter distances – and the training required for them –  fit in better with being a working mum of three kids under the age of nine.

“But I enjoy longer events as well. I have competed in a standard-distance triathlon and I am doing the Knockburn Standard in September as well. I have also taken part in a middle distance triathlon.”

Celia is most proud of her two Edinburgh marathons – and taking part in a triathlon when her youngest daughter was just 12 weeks old.

Celia, right, with GTC friends.

She also took bronze in two events in 2018, the New Cumnock Supersprint and the Stirling Aquathlon, and she was first female vet in the Glenrothes Tri Festival in 2017.

She adds: “I was also pleased to be third female vet in my first standard- distance event, the Brighton and Hove 2018 triathlon, and I achieved my sub-six hour goal in the middle-distance UK Ultimate Half Triathlon thanks to the brilliant and supportive coaching of Fiona Maurer, who helped me to get over the line in 5:54:21.

“I loved the event and hope to do more in the future, especially if I can spend the weekend with fantastic GTC friends again like this year.”

Celia’s has several goals for the rest of the season. She says: “I want to improve my transition times, to do more early morning training sessions and to believe in myself more.

“Next season, I hope to entering an Ironman 70.3 and my lifetime aspirations for triathlon are to do a middle distance event in the sun somewhere; to complete a full Ironman event (maybe?!) and to continue to race with and for Glasgow Triathlon Club, for as long as possible.”

Celia’s tips for triathlon

Believe in yourself and your capabilities

Join a great club of likeminded people like GTC

Go to as many coached sessions as you can because they are fun and you can see the improvement almost immediately.