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Bill finishes 10th in ETU Age Group Champs

GTC member Bill Rees competed in the ETU Kitzbühel Triathlon European Age Group Championships (standard distance) at the weekend.

Bill finished a superb 10th in his age category (M65-69) with a time of 2.53.19.

Bill races for his home country of Ireland but is a member of GTC.

Stunning Austrian scenery.

Competing at ETU champs on Austria

Bill described Kitzbuhel as a “very affluent and slightly strange town but surrounded by fantastic country”.

Although the swim was going to be non-wetsuit, at the last minute the referees changed their minds. Bill was thankful for the “indulgent referees”. A wetsuit swim is considered to be easier than non-wetsuit.

Swim start.

Bill confesses he started too quickly in the swim. He says: “I guess I was a bit overconfident and I set off too fast but I found I was soon hyper-ventilating.

“I managed to get into someone’s wake and settled down, concentrating on calming myself. Unfortunately I didn’t check the direction I was swimming and simply trusted the man in front.

“This is such a basic error as we headed back into the centre rather than towards the finish line.”

Heading out of T1.

Bill reports that the bike ride was tough but enjoyable. He says: “Although I set a slow time, so did most of my competitors. The new bike did fine but I was busted by the end and I went on to set a personal worst for the run.

Smiling on the run despite feeling exhausted.

“The better athletes didn’t know what I was talking about when I moaned about the swim and the run but there were quite a few others who had the same experience.

“However, in the end I got my top 10 target, finishing 10th in my age category. I am still a little frustrated by my performance though.”

Racing ETU champs

Bill reveals what it is like to race in an ETU or ITU age group champs. He says: “The race itself was no different to any you might do in Scotland but going to an ETU or ITU age group shindig is something else.

“It’s the the size of the occasion, the elite athletes, the team effect and the general buzz that make it something special.

“It is expensive but today I think it’s great. On Saturday, half-way around the run, I was much less convinced.

“I have also got to add thanks to my team and to GTC coaches and colleagues, all of whom have been a great help and, more, great company.”

Well done to Bill for qualifying for the ETU age group event and for travelling to Austria for the championships.

Hollie and Nial triumph in 2nd GTC aquathlon 2017

The second race in the three-part FionaOutdoors GTC aquathlon series 2017 took place at Pinkston Watersports in Glasgow last Friday.

Fourteen members competed in the swim-run race. The winners were Hollie Leonard (FS) and Nial Smith (MS).

Hollie had a fight on her hands with second placed Fiona Beck (FV) just 14 seconds behind her overall.

The top three men, Nial, Craig Armour (MS) and Gareth Treharne (MV) finished within 17 seconds of each other.

GTC compete in aquathlon

Category winners are:

Hollie Leonard (FS)

Fiona Beck (FV)

Nial Smith (MS)

Gareth Treharne (MV)

Alastair Macnaughton (MSV)

A special mention goes to Emily Bryson for the most consistent run.

Full results

Volunteers to thank include Maggie Darroch, Ray Loughran and Lochlan O’Sullivan, as well as race series organiser John Lund.

The third race in the series will take place on Friday August 4 with a post-race BBQ (if the weather is kind).

The series winners will be awarded based on the best two out of three races.

 

Athlete of the month: Peter J Gordon

Six years ago, club member Peter J Gordon tipped the scales at 18 stones. Now he is a keen ultra runner and a lot lighter and fitter.

Peter has been with the club for five years and has to plan his exercise schedule around the full-time care of his 11-year-old son Roddy, who is non-verbal autistic.

When he first joined GTC he was keen to compete in triathlons. He said: “I had managed to lose a bit of weight and get a bit fitter by walking. I then took up running.

“But I remember watching Ironman Kona on-line and I was amazed at the athleticism and fitness of the athletes across all ages and sizes of people.

“Although I could see there was a clear competitive element to the triathlons it was also evident that many different types of people do it to challenge themselves and push their own limits. This attracted me to the sport.”

Peter also enjoys cycling.

At first, Peter was determined to train for a triathlon but he found that swimming was a barrier. He explains: “At a young age I nearly drowned and I still panic about it, which frustrates me. Instead I started to focus on running and started doing 10k races. The more I ran the more I wanted to challenge myself so I moved on to doing ultra distance events.”

Peter had enjoyed running as a child. He was a sprinter from the age of 14 to 18 with Perth Strathtay Harriers.

Peter takes part in the first Dunoon Ultra Race last year.

Now he is a regular participant at the GTC running sessions and credits the coaches with helping him to develop his technique and pacing.

He said: “The coaches are very encouraging. This has been important to me and has given me confidence and some courage to go into the pain barrier.

“I also recall the drills and interval training from when I was a teenager and I have enjoyed coming back to it again.

“I am now taking minutes of my 10k PBs and hours off my ultra times.”

Running longer and longer

Peter’s favourite events are longer distance and preferably with a good view. He says: “I find the trails more comfortable than road running although many of the races have short segments of road or firmer terrain.

“Earlier this year I was delighted to get a PB for 50km when I did the John Muir Way Ultra.

“A couple of weeks ago, I attempted the West Highland Way Challenge Race and got as far as 81 miles to Kinlochleven. It was my first race at that distance and I had issues with nutrition and feeling nauseated.

“I’ll work on those things over the coming year and I can’t wait until next year to do it again and make it to the end line at Fort William.”

“Later this year I hope to run a faster time at the Dunoon 55km Ultra, which takes place in October. The first one was held last year and it was a challenging race. It’s a trail run with amazing views. I want to improve my time and will be increasing my hill training as it’s a hilly route.”

Peter has lost a lot of weight since he tipped the scales at 18st.

When the going gets tough

Peter has a counting technique to help with tough training sessions. He says: I count from 1 to 50 over and over or sing silly songs in my head if I am struggling with a long or tough training run.

“If I do ultras and have drop bags I always put something tasty to eat like Nutella with breadsticks or something like Reese’s pieces to encourage me to get to that checkpoint.”

Despite his swimming difficulties, Peter still has an ambition to do a triathlon. He would most like to finish an Ironman distance. In the meantime, he is focusing on his running and has a lifetime ambition to finish the 95-mile WHW Race in less than 24 hours.

Peter enjoys the GTC running sessions as it helps him to train better for his ultra distance events.

Peter’s three top tips

No matter what your fitness level just get out and get moving. You need to start somewhere.

Join a tri club. GTC has given me lots of confidence and opportunities not just to improve my own skills but to learn from others and participate in marshalling events that they’ve organised.

Don’t neglect strength training. Either join a gym or do exercises at home that develop your core and physical strength. Classes like Pilates can help with flexibility and stretching so try it out, too. All these things help to reduce your risk of injury as your body becomes more supple.

Another successful Strathclyde triathlon festival weekend

Glasgow Triathlon Club partnered Durty Events to host another successful Strathclyde Park Multisport Festival at the weekend. More than 500 athletes took part in the Sprint triathlon, which comprised an open sprint event, the British Sprint Triathlon Champs and an ETU qualifier race for 2018. Another 75 people raced in the Supersprint Triathlon, while 30 […]

Read more ...Another successful Strathclyde triathlon festival weekend

Exciting first club aquathlon of 2017

The FionaOutdoors Club Aquathlon series got underway for 2017 on Wednesday evening. Some 20 members took part in the swim-run race at Pinkston Watersports in Glasgow in surprisingly warm and sunny conditions.

With neither of last year’s winners, Gregor Stewart and Vicky Begg, taking part this year, the race was open for some new faces to gain an early win in the three-part series.

Hollie Leonard took the lead straight away in the swim, with Nial Smith and Craig Armour giving chase.

Unfortunately, Nial took a few mouthfuls of water and rapidly dropped down the field. Craig who was swimming well decided that three laps wasn’t enough and set off on an unnecessary fourth lap!

Alan Mackie also revealed some class when he executed several stylish triathlon turns around each of the bouys. A spot prize was later awarded to him.

Hollie Races to first senior female position.

Hollie was first out of the water and set out on her debut aquathlon run chased by several of the men, as well as Vivienne Gough.

Stuart McIntyre followed a strong swim with an even stronger run and went into the lead.

At this point, Nial came storming through the field in an effort to make up for lost time in the swim.

Alastair shows a strong finish.

As usual, it was the mid-pack where the real action took place with a group of about five racers changing places throughout.

By the finish Nial had just managed to shake off a very tenacious Stuart, pushing him into second place. A strong finish by Dougie Holmes saw the new member taking third place.

Alastair McNaughton was in great form and came in very close behind Dougie.

Bill enjoys the event.

First lady Vivienne Gough made it look easy as she held off Hollie in the run.

The fastest dash for the line on the night was achieved by Jim “turbo” Lockhart who managed to pass both Hollie and Alan within 10m of the finish line.

Relief on Alan’s face as he crosses the finish line.

After race one, the category leaders are:

– Hollie Leonard (FS)

– Nial Smith (MS)

– Vivienne Gough (FV)

– Stuart McIntyre MV)

– Maggie Darroch (FSV)

– Alastair Macnaughton (MSV)

Full results.

President Sean Webster said: “It was a great race to watch and hopefully more members will take part in the next one.

“There is still everything to play for with the top two out of three race results counting towards the prizes for the series.”

Alan won a spot prize for his superb swim turns. There will be other spot prizes in the other races.

It’s rumoured that series organiser John Lund will be introducing a few variations to the course for the next two races, which will be held on Friday June 16 and Wednesday August 2.