Race report: Fiona Maurer smashes Celtman! 2019

Turing 40 prompted GTC member Fiona Maurer to look for a suitable challenge. She wanted to do a longer-distance triathlon and chose the Celtman! Extreme Scottish Triathlon 2019.

Fiona is married to another GTC member Gary and they have two young children with special needs. She shares her time between being a mum and working as a self-employed part-time personal trainer.

Finding the time to train for a long distance triathlon is tough but Fiona reports that “training is my respite and gives me personal strength and the opportunity to meet like-minded people”.

She adds: “Living with disability reminds me of how precious life can be and how grateful I am to be able to train or compete at any level.”

Fiona and husband Gary.

Lead up to the Celtman!

Fiona started focused training in December and arrived at the start line of her biggest challenge yet feeling “strong, healthy and ready to attack”.

She also had a support team to help her to in the Celtman!, which includes a 3.4km swim, 200km bike and a 42km run over two Munros, Spidean Coire nan Clach and Ruadh-stac Mor.

Before the race, Fiona said: “It’s going to be a long but exciting day. I’m glad to have Team Fit + Fabulous by my side, including my dad, Gary, Lorna Dewar and the very important support runner Craig Dewar.”

However, just two days before, Fiona and Gary had received devastating news from doctors that their young daughter, Emily, who has a tumour, will be required to start chemotherapy treatment. It was an outcome that they had hoped they would not have to face.

Fiona said: “After getting over the initial devastation, this became my driving factor to succeed at the Celtman! – for me and my family. It was just what we all needed!”

Fiona’s husband Gary offered invaluable support as part of Fiona’s team.

Fiona’s Celtman 2019

Fiona exits the swim.

The swim of 3.4km took 1hr 13min. Fiona said: “It was a little nippy in the water at 5am. After head-butting a jellyfish, I remembered I was on their turf, so I decided to go with the flow.

“I just swam and looked up now and again and enjoyed the views. I came out strong in the water.”

The bike section through wet, wind and beautiful scenery.

The 200km bike section took 8hrs 04min. Fiona reported: “Despite lots of training and lengthy cycles, the bike section was tough. The headwinds were relentless but luckily so were the views.

“There were rolling hills with some long stretches of magnificent surrounding mountains. Sunshine, wind, heavy rain, all Scottish style. I was also overtaken by some strong women.”

Fiona a support runner Craig.
Fiona is interviewed by one of the event team at the end of the race.

The 42km run took 5hrs 01min. Fiona said: “I came off the bike with knee pain. The first 10 miles I pushed through the pain. I enjoyed the hills, thinking how lucky I was to be running and not having the ass pain from the bike.

“I quickly realised however that I was not going to make the cut-off for doing he high course, over the Munros, so I decided to relax and enjoy it.

“Meeting Craig at T2A we chatted and laughed our way around Torridon, one of the most scenic landscapes in Scotland. We  picked off runners as we went and it became a game.

“Craig even picked me off the ground after a comical slowmo fall into a ditch.”

Fiona finishing third female for the lower route and 13th overall female on the course.

She said: “I smiled for 90% of the Celtman!, partly because of sheer enjoyment but also due to my support team. I could not have done it without them.

“They gave me 110% for 14hrs 29mins! I loved having them and they helped me achieve a lifetime goal.

“Not many people have a family that would bend that way.”

Read more about Fiona: Athlete of the month

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