Event Reviews

Monster Challenge

Reviewed by Jane Pottie
Attracting the likes of Sally Gunnell and Gavin Hasting up to Loch Ness, the Monster Challenge is a team duathlon relay through the hills and forests surrounding the Loch. My run was a 12km scamper along forest roads, including stunning views then a hairy decent into Drumnadrochit! I started my cycle leg in Whitebridge so a sweaty bus journey gave us rest and a chance to hear others’ tales of the run. The pasta and shortbread fill at Whitebridge was very welcome and fueled me up for the 24km cycle run to Dores. The different legs include an off-road cycle and an even tougher long run so each team member can be matched with their strengths. The team event is a very sociable event with a fair bit of hanging about, if you prefer a bigger challenge then the whole distance can be done by yourself – the Iron Monster!

www.firstmonster.com

Bishopbriggs Triathlon

Reviewed by Jane Pottie
Run by Glasgow Triathlon Club, Bishopbriggs Triathlon is an ideal beginners’ event. With Novice and Sprint run together it has the atmosphere of a big event but despite going on my own I felt very welcome. The pool is apparently 25m but the fact it looked a lot smaller gave me a mental boost and I was very grateful of the accurate swim grouping in my lane. The cycle loop starts with a fairly significant climb but beyond this it is a beautiful flat traffic-free course, for Novice the loop is completed twice. The run course is also flat, along the canal path and back and with plenty of support around the finish to keep you going to the end. A great event which sells out quickly so get yourself signed up!

www.glasgowtriathlonclub.co.uk

Stirling Triathlon

Reviewed by Anna MacArthur

The Stirling Novice and Sprint Triathlon is held on the first Sunday in June. I competed in the Novice event in 2010 – my first ever triathlon! The event is held at Stirling University. The swim is in the University’s pool, with the transition area at the front of the building. The distance from the pool to T1 is relatively minimal – no footwear is required. The bike racks are a little bit cramped but otherwise the transition is well set up.

The cycle leg is on main roads – from the University out the Alloa road as far as Menstrie, and then back along the Hillfoots road. There are a number of roundabouts which can slow you down depending on the traffic.
The run is in the University grounds and includes a fairly steep hill at the beginning.
Overall, this is a very well organised race. It feels like a “big” event and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Novice event was full of first timers so it is definitely open to everyone.
I notice that the Sprint distance is already full for 2011 and the Novice is well on it’s way to being full so if you want to do it this year get your entry in soon!

www.stirlingtri.co.uk

Grantown Try-a-Tri

Reviewed by Danni Hamilton
Grantown was friendly and totally doable as a 1st with a wee bit of training. 15 lengths of a 20m pool. Transistion is at the back of the school. The bike is undulating with 1 long incline in the middle. The run is down thru the village and a loop of the woods and back to the start. The woods part is undulating but ok.

I found everyone friendly and helpful. No question was thought of as silly. Good sarnies after 🙂

Comment by Luan Riach
This is a very, very popular event, and there is always a waiting list.
Nice changing and shower facilities……..very friendly event with a nice t shirt as a momento! ideal 1st timer/family tri!

www.try-tri.co.uk

East Fife Sprint and Short Triathlon

Reviewed by Luan Riach
This will be the 3rd year we have competed at this event, it starts at the sports centre in Cupar (across from Bell Baxter High School)- registration starts quite early… think its between 7am and 7.30, up to 9 ish.
Entry costs are quite expensive compared to some local sprints (£27 approx), but the goody bags are great… 1st year we did it your main goody was a lovely embroidered swim towel… last year everyone got an embroidered fleece beanie hat- makes a nice change to the usual t shirts!
The swim is pool based 25m… Then the bike route has 1 significant hill (do twice if sprint)… The roads are ok… apart from the last mile back towards cupar which will rattle your teeth (and has been so bumpy it has caused speedo magnets to fall off!-you go down onto your tribars at your own risk!!!
The run is 3 laps around the playing fields beside the sports centre-so off road trainers are recommended!
There are some free refreshments at the end of the race, and plenty home bakes also for sale!
Overall, it is a well run event, which sells out pretty quick-it is also one of the first tris of the season!!

Aberfeldy Triathlon

Reviewed by Graham Jackson
I did the Aberfeldy sprint in 2007, it was my 1st tri.  Pool swim, good bike leg but a uphill run to turnabout.  T-shirt & goodie bag ok, well run very friendly got me hooked .Went back to try the middle dist (my 2nd tri ) 1900m OW swim in Loch Tay, good bike leg only one big hill and a bumpy 13 mile run.  Also well run and supported hope to go back this year.

Turiff Sprint and Short Triathlon

Reviewed by Luan Riach
Turriff is usually the first event of the MPH series run by Aberdeenshire council.  Registration is at the leisure centre (where T1 is), the swim is pool based across the road, it is a 20m pool.  Once exiting the pool competitors need to have suitable footwear to run from the pool to the leisure centre.  The cycle is very hilly, and i seem to remember someone saying that the first 5 miles are all uphill!!  It is quite a challenging route, especially as the short and the sprint routes are exactly the same distance!
The run is on the pavement/road and heads out towards Huntly for 1.5km (short) and 2.5km (sprint),there are marshalls at the turning points, and you head back to the sports centre.
It is chip timing, so you get all your time breakdowns when you hand back your chip.
T-shirts and refreshments for everyone who finishes.
Very well run event!

www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/triathlon/

Wick Mini Triathlon

Reviewed by Luan Riach
Wick Triathlon Club are one of the friendliest tri clubs that i have ever met and their first tri of the season is ideal for newbies.
400m pool swim, followed by a fast, relatively flat road cycle (out and back), followed by 3 short laps around the town for the run.
The hospitality at these events are 2nd to none… heaps of food!!!
Everyone gets a t shirt and a medal, and there is always a nice group photo taken at the end of all competitors.
Brilliant, well organised and friendly event!!

www.wicktriclub.blogspot.com

Wick Sprint Triathlon

Reviewed by Luan Riach
You won’t be disappointed with this event- Wick Tri Club, are one of the friendliest and generous clubs.
Their annual sprint race is held at the wick 25m pool, followed by an out and back fast, flattish road cycle (can be quite gusty on exposed parts of the cycle!)
The run is 3 laps of a circuit behind the pool and along the neighbouring streets-undulating would best describe it!!
Everyone gets a t shirt and a medal for finishers, as well as the absolutely lovely spread of food that is available!!!
Highly recommended event, and well worth the journey!!!

www.wicktriclub.blogspot.com

Mid Argyll Sprint Triathlon

Reviewed by Luan Riach
Have done this tri once and if it wasn’t for it being so far away, we would have attended again!

This race is also very popular and sells out really quick!

Start is at the pool in Lochgilphead, 25m pool swim, heats are very well organised.

T1 is outside the pool in the car park- the cycle is a large loop (crossing the canal which has lock gates which can unfortunately slow you down if the gates are shut just as you approach!-you are made aware of this at the briefing!) It is a generally fast, flat bike (unless its wet and windy-as it was when we did it!!)
The run is 7km and is from the car park, along the pavement and across the road and along the tow path and back (it seems to go on for miles until you get to the turning point!!)
There was a photographer at this event who took your pic while you came over the canal bridge,as well as on the run.(His pics were available to view on the Mid Argyll club web page)
The shower/changing facilities were a bit cramped for the amount of competitors (I laid my run cap down, put my clothes in a cubicle and someone had stolen my cap!! -never did get it back! :()
Everyone does get a lovely breathable sponsored running t shirt, as well as a goody bag with nibbles etc… and a raffle ticket.
The prize giving is something else, once the prizes have been given, there is a raffle draw and to say that nearly everyone won something would be an understatement!! There are quite a few sponsors, but I have never seen so many raffles… ranging from buffs to massive boxes of whole smoked salmon!!!
An excellent event which is well worth the traveling!!!:)

www.midargyllcycleclub.co.uk

Peebles Sprint Triathlon

Reviewed by Luan Riach
Part of the BSLT (Borders Sports Leisure Trust) series- we have competed twice at this event-it starts at the swimming pool in Peebles.
This is an extremely popular event, and very well attended.
Pool based swim in a 25m pool – t1 is very crowded, and the racks are made of plastic-making them quite flimsy at times. Some of the competitors competing in the novice tri didn’t even get racks for their bikes, as there wasn’t enough room!  It is a short run from the pool to transition, and competitors are advised to wear trainers to run from the pool to t1 as despite having some mats down, there were issues with broken glass from Saturday night littering areas (as this is a public park).
You are not allowed to mount your bike until you leave the park and run a short distance up the cobbled road and join the main road. Once you join the road it is an undulating cycle on mostly rural roads-you reach the turning point and return.
The run follows the river and includes the 3 bridges on the route-once round for shorts and twice for sprint-plenty of encouragement from locals as well as a drinks station.
It is a lovely, well run, friendly event for all abilities-our only complaint would be… no memento or t shirt of your achievement-you got a free packed lunch tho- I did inquire about the lack of mementos, and was advised that you got a t-shirt if you competed at the last race of the season.
And the Italian restaurant next to the pool is lovely!!!

Highland Warrior Half-Iron Triathlon

Reviewed by Mike Bond
This event is run by No Fuss events in Fort William
This is a 1900m Loch swim in crystal clear water followed by a 90km cycle around very scenic course and to finish a 21km off/on road run.
This is a great well run low key event as all the No Fuss events are.

www.nofussevents.co.uk

Knockburn Standard Distance Triathlon

Reviewed by Ewan Gordon
Knockburn Standard (Olympic) Distance Triathlon is an open water swim held in a private loch which is was purpose built for swimming which means it is not very deep, ideal for people looking to try open water triathlon swimming for the first time.
The race is 2 1/2 laps of the loch (1500m) then a very short run into T1 then out onto the bike, a short blast along a single track (quiet) road then it is 3 laps of a quite lumpy course the uphills are more gradual, the downhills are great for getting a bit of speed up,then turn off the circuit and back along single track and back into T2. The run is one big circuit which is basically 3 miles of gradual climbing , there is a loop at the top of the run in a forest then it is 3 miles downhill (quite fast) back to the finish.
It is a great event, well run, plenty parking and you never know Scott Neyedli (ironman UK winner) might be there. This year (2011) they are putting a sprint event on the same day starting 1 hr behind the standard event.

www.fleet-feet.com