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.
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.
‘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.”
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.