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.
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
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.”
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.”
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’s triathlon tips
Set yourself a goal: If this is just to sign up to your first event, do
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!
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.
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.)
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.”
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
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.
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.
Competitors from GTC
included Finlay Laskey, Connor Birnie, Tom Crosby and Isaac Findlay.
1st Mirren Stewart
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.
2nd Finlay Adler
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,
3rd Amiya Patel
Other competitors from GTC included Lucy Donaldson (36 seconds’ improvement), Sarah Aitken, Rowan Miller and Holly Glen.
3rd Cameron O’Brien
Other competitors from GTC
included Alfie Churches and Aiden Quinn,
1st Aurelia Tiffoney
Rachel Smith also competed.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.”
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
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.”
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.
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.