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Sunshine, smiles and more podiums at ‘Gilp Triathlon

Almost 30 GTC members headed to the traditional end-of-season ’Gilp tri, the MacQueen Bros Mid Argyll Sprint Triathlon 2019, which takes place in Lochgilphead.

The group came home with a haul of medals and everyone enjoyed a great day of racing and socialising.

Celia Greig was part of the GTC contingent. She said: “The weather was beautiful and it was a perfect day for a race in a gorgeous part of Scotland.”

6 solo podiums

Jamie Glen finished first male junior despite sustaining an injury. Celia said: “Jamie somehow took off most off the skin on his left foot as he came into T2 and this meant he struggled on the run. Tom Kemlo stayed with Jamie for a good section of the return leg to get him back safely.”

Graeme Neagle was first male, senior. He was also the fastest competitor overall for the swim and the bike.

Louise Ross won the female vets category and she was second female overall. She also recorded the fastest female run. In the male vets, Paul Wallace took second place.

John Kinsella was second in the male vintage race, while Alan Duff was third in the same age category.

Craig Ross finished fourth male senior.

Team medals

Two GTC teams made it on to the podium, too. The GTC MurMac Pack was second mixed team while the GTC Retired Auld Gits team came in third in the male senior category.

Other competitors from GTC included David Hepburn, Alastair Young, Sheonagh Law, Darren Morley, Martin Smith, Hilary Glen, Jacques van der Merwe, Lizzie Hamilton, Tom and Hannah Kemlo, Christina Cox, Mike Newall, Jim Elliott, Rose McIlwhan, Julie Macnaughton, Alasdair Ireland and, of course, Celia Greig, our race reporter.

Race day romance

The race was witness to another lovely moment when (non GTC) competitor Dominic Sharkey, who finished second overall, picked up an engagement ring from his shoe in T2 and proposed to his girlfriend during the run as she came back on the return leg in her debut triathlon.

Celia said: “Thankfully, she said yes! And Dominic still ran the fastest run leg of the day.”

‘I’ll be back’

Celia said: “This was my first time at Lochgilphead and I’m so glad I joined others, who have enjoyed this event many times before. I have to say I can see why – and I definitely hope to return next year.”

Seven complete at Traighathlon

Seven GTC athletes – and supporters – headed to Arisaig, on the west coast, to compete in the Traighathlon 2019. There were two races, a sprint and standard distance.

In the sprint distance triathlon, Alastair Young finished in third place, with Billy Cameron playing catch up throughout the bike and run to come a close fourth.

Also competing were David Comerford, Maria Mott and Jenny Gibson.

In the standard distance triathlon, Kirsten Cluley took second place in the women’s race. It was her first triathlon! Mark Cohen also competed.

GTC at Traighathlon 2019.

Great scenery at Traighathlon

Base camp for the Traighathlon was beautiful Traigh Beach, sandwiched between the coastal towns of Arisaig and Morar, The views take in the Small Isles of Rhum, Eigg and Skye.

The race organiser states: “Spectacular white beaches, dramatic shorelines and the changing colours of the Atlantic Ocean are set against a backdrop of brooding majestic mountains.

“This amazing location, coupled with a great spectator friendly course, make the Traighathlon Series the ideal sports destination for the entire family.”

It was the third edition of the event and all profits go towards a project to refurbish Mallaig swimming pool.

Swim exit.

‘Brilliant club weekend’

Alastair reported that the club had “a brilliant weekend at what must be one of the most stunning locations for triathlon in the UK”.

He added: “I think you’d describe the race course as punchy.

“The sea swim was the highlight for me. The water was perfect, cool and crystal clear. They got the course measurement slightly wrong and we ended up swimming 1,100m instead of the 750m but I suspect that was to my advantage as it keeps the younger, faster folk at bay.

“The bike course is very undulating, so you can’t really settle into a rhythm because you are constantly working through the gears while trying to keep the pace up.

“And the scenery is utterly distracting, with every corner providing another picture-postcard view.”

The run was an out-and-back course toward Arisaig. Alastair said: “There was a bit of a stiff hill into the turn point. But once that was done it was a cruise back to the finish.”

Alastair and Kirsten podium.

Silver medal in Kirsten’s first tri

It was Kirsten Cluley’s first triathlon and it was made all the more special because she has fond memories of childhood holidays at the Silver Sands nearby.

She said: “I was elated to podium because my goal had been simply to make it across the finish line.

“The weather was unreal and when the sun shines in Arisaig, I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Kirsten also liked the swim. She said: “The water was clear and I felt I got into a good rhythm although the swim into shore, of the two-loop course, was very choppy.

“I ended up first lady out of the water somehow. By the second lap of the bike I’d settled a bit more comfortably as I then knew what to expect.

“Then came the run and I felt I had little left to give to tackle the same hills as the bike loop. I have never done a more hilly 10k,

“It was gruelling but I am so chuffed with the result.”

Both Alastair and Kirsten enjoyed the club outing and the support. Alastair said: “There was a brilliant turnout from GTC on a glorious day.

“The event was very well run with great marshalling and great support from the community. I’d highly recommend this for the diary next year.”

The race is due to return in 2020. See Traighathlon.

GTC race at Peebles Triathlon

GTC headed to Peebles at the weekend for the final race of the Live Borders Triathlon series.

For Fiona Greenhalgh, it was an opportunity to try her first sprint triathlon. She did impressively well coming seventh senior female and 15th female overall.

She said: “I managed not to drown  and I  really enjoyed it.”

Bruce’s brother Kier Greenhalgh, also Fiona’s husband, competed in the sprint distance triathlon as well. Other GTC sprint tri competitors included Kate Pearson and Graham Cunning.

Kelly Ludwig took part in the novice distance race. She said: “I am super chuffed after completing my third triathlon in sunny Peebles. I was 20th overall in my race, seventh female and third in my age category.

“Thanks to all the great coaches at the club and to all you lovely folk for your support & encouragement.”

Trio of junior podiums

The GTC juniors came home with three medals.

In the Tristart male category, Cory Mcconville was the winner. Brodie Burnett also competed and, as ever, thoroughly enjoyed himself.

His sister, Erin Burnett, had a very close race with Katy Otterson from North Shields in the Tristar 1 females category and ended up in second place.

Erin’s result gave her a first place in the series of three races.

Skye Dick also competed in this race and Connor Birnie raced in the Tristar 1 male category.

Erin Greenhalgh enjoyed her race in the Tristar 2s, while another club member Lucy Donaldson was first in the Tristar 3 females race.

Cameron O’brien also competed in the Tristar 3 males race.

Well done to all!

Fiona is 4th lady at Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon

Fiona Mauer – does she ever stop smiling? – took on the tough Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon earlier this month and not only took a first vet medal but also came fourth female overall.

The weather made the day very tricky and organisers reduced the swim distance to 800m for safety. The run was cut by 15km, too, and this meant that competitors did to get to the summit of the UK’s highest mountain. They reached 786m elevation of the 1345m tall Ben Nevis.

In between was the bike section that Fiona described as “brutal with winds of up to 75mph”.

In addition, Fiona had mistakenly placed two left running shoes in T2.

Sunny pre-race day.

Racing for charity

Fiona, who has two children, was raising money for the charity, Buttercups House.

Fiona said: “I entered the race for Buttercups House, a small facility that offers respite care. It has been supporting us through Emily’s chemotherapy while also looking after our severely disabled son, Ethan.

“Everyone had been so generous so that helped calm my nerves in he run up to the race. Also, it was great to see GTC member Mark Cohen at the event too. It helps to be meet with others to calm pre-race nerves. He was camping all weekend in the crazy weather!”

Fiona and her children.

Calm before the storms

The day before the race was beautiful sunshine. Fiona says: “I planned to recce the race the day before and the views of Ben Nevis made me feel quite emotional.

“I was very excited and training for the event had gone okay, all things considering with my family life.”

However, organisers decided to shorten the course when the forecast was for strong winds.

A tough triathlon

Fiona reports that she enjoyed a strong swim in the swelling sea loch. She says: “My survival instincts kicked in and I kept my strokes fast and kicked hard against the tide and waves.

“The bike had a tailwind out so it felt like I was coasting at 30km/h and then I turned. The headwind was tough but I maintained my pace and came into transition strong and in second place for the ladies.”

It was then that she realised she had two left shoes. She says: “I have several pairs of the same running shoes and stupidly I didn’t check before leaving the house. It’s a mistake I won’t make again.

“I ran for 3.5km with two left shoes until I managed to get to my sister who handed me an old pair of road shoes I use for work.

“I can confirm that running in shoes on the wrong feet hurts and you loose toe nails.

“Then, ascending the steep path up Ben Nevis, I realised it’s a runners’ triathlon. The weather was brutal and the path was surprisingly busy with people on the first half.

“Visibility was poor and when I found the marshals at the turning point I was delighted to be running downhill.”

Fiona was very happy with her result. She says: “It’s an exciting and well-organised challenge race that I would recommend. I was delighted to come fourth overall lady and first in my age category v40.”

Sister love

Fiona adds: “My sister has supported me at Celtman! and Braveheart and has been inspired to enter a novice race next year herself. That has made me year.”

GTC juniors race at BTF Triathlon Festival 2019

A group of GTC youths headed to Mallory Park in Leicestershire earlier this month to take part in the prestigious British Triathlon U20s Festival. The event included the final Super Series Race in the National Championships 2019 and the Inter Regional Championships (IRCs) for Tristars 2 and 3.

The IRCs comprise a weekend of racing by regional teams from throughout the UK at the Under 20s festival (formerly known as the British Triathlon Big Weekend).  Each region takes a team of 16 athletes from TriStar 2 and TriStar 3 categories (4 male and 4 female athletes from each age group).

Super Series finals

Mia Padmanabhan and Callum Miller raced in the Super Series. Mia was 43rd in their Youth Female race, although she had not been feeling well going into the race.

Callum Miller was 10th in his Youth Male Tier 2 race.

Scotland B team including Finlay.

IRC Tristar races

Finlay Adler and Rory Treharne raced in the Tristar 2 boys’ race, while Mirren Stewart competed for the Tristar 2 girls. These races took place on the Saturday. The trio took part in the IRC relays on the Sunday, too.

Mirren was 12th in her TS2 race. Rory Treharne was 23rd, while Finlay Adler was 30th in their TS2 race.

The Scottish team finished ninth region overall. In the relays, Scotland A team (including Mirren) finished in fifth place. Team B (including Finlay) was 30th and Team C (including Rory) was 31st.

A report from Triathlon Scotland stated: “All members of the team should be extremely proud of not only their races but also their attitude and behaviour throughout the whole trip. They are a credit to themselves, their clubs and the region.”

Finlay racing.

Finlay: ‘It was a different experience’

Finlay Adler described the experience of racing at the IRCs as “completely different to any race I have done before”.

He added: “At first, it seemed a bit daunting because it was on a different scale to any other race I had entered.

“I enjoyed staying with the team because I knew a few of the others from my club. The coaches were all extremely supportive and encouraging and I would love to be able to have the experience again.

“As far as the racing goes I thought that I had an okay race and, as ever, different parts went better than others.

“I don’t think that someone ramming into me on the bike helped very much but I was really pleased with my run. Just like at every race I learned a lot.”

More junior podiums at Balfron Aquathlon and Stirling Biathlon

Our junior members were out in force in other races this weekend, including the Fusion Balfron Junior Aquathlon on Saturday and the Stirling Modern Biathlon on Sunday.

The Modern Biathlon is part of a series of events organised by Pentathlon GB.

It was great to see two new members from the Isle of Mull, twins Gemma and Ellen MacRae, taking part in both events. Gemma was sixth Tristar 2 female at Balfron and then took second place for the U12 girls at Stirling.

Meanwhile, Ellen was not well enough to race at Balfron but took third place behind her sister at Stirling.

GTC team mates also raced both days including Amiya Patel, who was second at Balfron and second U14 girl at Stirling, and Aurelia Tiffoney, who was the only female youth competitor at Blafron and came first in the U16 girls’ race at Stirling.

Credit: John Patton
Credit: John Patton
Credit: John Patton
Credit: John Patton
Credit: John Patton
Credit: John Patton

Balfron Aquathlon results:

Tristar 3 females: Amiya Patel second and Lucy Donaldson came fourth.

Tristar 3 males race: Charlie Treharne was second.

Also competing was Cameron O’Brien (5th) and Alfie Churches (7th)

Tristar 2 females: Gemma MacRae (6th), Morvern Smith (10th) Calli Abel (11th) and Eilidh Dick (13th)

Tristar 2 males: Finlay Adler came first and Rory Treharne was second.

Tristar 1 females: Erin Burnet was third. Also competing was Emily Dawson and Molly Knox (6th equal), Isla Amon (8th), Skye Dick (9th equal) and Jodi Abel (17th).

Tristarts male: Cory McConville was first and Elliot Smith was third

In equal fifth place were Benjamin Abel, Harvey Churches and Joel Adler.

Brodie Burnett (8th) and Ruben Devlin (10th)  also competed.

6 podiums at Gala junior triathlon

GTC came home with six medals at the Border Triathletes’ Junior Triathlon in Galashiels at the weekend. Some 15 juniors took part in the event, described by club member (and dad) Neal Padmanbhan as: “A lovely race. It’s relaxed and informal and a good one to do as a first race at the end of a summer training, or as a fun event after a season of racing.”

The swim was pool-based, the bike section was off-road on gravel tracks and the run was hilly and on grass.

Three first places

Erin Burnett was the winner of the Tristar 1 female race, while Fraser Donaldson won the Tristar 2 race. Charlie Treharne was also first in the Tristar 3 race.  

3 more podiums

Other podiums included Rory Treharne who was second in the Tristar 2 race, Nina Padmanabhan who was third in the TS2 female race and Lucy Donaldson who was third in the TS3 race.

Other competitors included:

Tristarts: Brodie Burnett (4th) and Talia Padmanabhan (4th)

TS1: Eilidh Greenhalgh (7th) and Imogen Hammond (9th)

TS2: Fraser Anderson (4th), Fraser Corfield (9th) Erin Greenhalgh (4th), Eilidh Henry (7th), Mariyah Kareem (10th)

TS3: Ali Padmanabhan (9th).

Neal added: “The races were strongly contested, especially the TS2 boys where Fraser and Rory were neck-and-neck all the way.

“In TS3, Lucy and Ali probably rode an extra bike lap, which is a shame, but they all did the club proud.”

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.

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!”