Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Durty Events, the Aviemore Triathlon, 11th August 2013

.....Looking back, I remember standing at the side of the loch on that Sunday morning thinking "Who the hell's crazy idea was this?" and then I realised..... it was mine!!......

It all started with a conversation at work over lunch when a few of us decided we might give the Aviemore Triathlon a go.  We are all fairly sporty in some way or another from Donna who is massively into Cross-Fit to my good friend Helen who practically has 2 wheels attached to her and proved to be somewhat of an underdog when it came to the swim.  If there was one place to do your first ever Triathlon why not travel 5 hours to beautiful Aviemore and do it properly!  Oh yes!

L-R Dan, Donna, Jenni, Helen and Angie... all set!

We road tripped it up there on Friday night and arrived at the lodge fairly late after a 5hr drive but still managed to watch ‘Dirty Dancing’ on VHS, which was a great start to the weekend in my book!

.... "Nobody puts Baby in a corner"....

Saturday morning we grabbed our wet suits and made our way to the Badaguish Outdoor Centre race venue at the foot of the Cairngorms.  Since none of us bar Jenni had ever swam properly in open water, or for that matter in a wet suit, we thought it best to dip our toes first.  For some reason I hadn’t thought about the fact that it would be so dark when I put my head in the water, I was used to the clear blue chlorinated water of swimming pools so that was a shock to the system.

The X-Men!


The bike course had been marked out and the eager beavers that we are wanted to suss it out see what we had to contend with the next day.  I’d decided to take my hardtail and hoped I had made the right choice.  Donna at heart is a roadie and was braving it on a borrowed mountain bike.  We rode the 14km course and most of it was fire-road however there was a sweet bit of technical and rooty singletrack through the woods where I hoped I would be able to make up time on my race run.

The early morning Sunday start soon came around, the weather was good and we were all raring to go. We lined our bikes up at the edge of the loch and stepped into our wetsuits, suddenly it all felt very 'real' as I looked around to see lots of uber-serious athletes, some who were obviously in it for the win! It was at this point where the old nerves started to kick in for us all and there were lots of toilet trips, which is pretty annoying when you're wearing a full wetsuit I must add!

The swim was a deep water start which meant that you had to swim out till you couldn’t touch the bottom.  The whistle went and there was a whole lot of splashing, I lost sight of Helen, Jenni and Dan, in fact I lost sight of everything whilst I fought to take my steamed-up goggles off, flapping around like a seal.  Maybe it was a bad idea to start at the very front when you can’t swim for shit!  

You can't deny the scenery.....

Half a mile through the water later my feet touched the bed of the loch, up I stood and quickly scrambled over to my bike feeling unbalanced and delirious, peeling my Speedo wetsuit off and grabbing my helmet.  I could hear Donna next to me getting changed as well but the others were long gone.  This was my only chance to pull any time back and I started to pass a good few riders.  

Photo copyright of Peter Diender

Only a 6k run left and then it was all over, yes, six more kilometers left, oh my legs!  Some how I managed to get lost with another girl near the end and lost a load of time, later it turned out that Jenni did this as well, the route obviously needed better sign posting!

C'mon Angie.......

I crossed the line, utterly spent, cheered on by my buddies at the finish!  The swim had to be the hardest but we were all buzzing and can’t wait to do another one!  The results came out and Helen ‘underdog’ Gaskell totally smashed it taking a podium with her 3rd place position! 

Well done to Helen for her first Triathlon, so happy for her!  

The results within category’s are below:

Helen 3rd out of 32
Jenni  6th out of 32
Angela  11th out of 32
Donna 21st out of 32
Dan 23rd out of 34

All over, still smiling!


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    1. So sorry that it's taken me an age to respond, I thought I had email alerts set up! Thank you for the fabulous comment, I hope you've enjoyed the other blogs since this one. All the best, Lee.