Hebrides Triathlon 2022 Race Report (Iain)

Glasgow Triathlon Club at the Hebrides Triathlon

This was the 6th edition of the Hebrides Triathlon – the most remote triathlon in the UK. It’s as far north and west as you can go in the UK before you reach Canada.

I’ve done 5 of the races. I think it has rained at every one. This year was no exception!

It’s also the best value race in the UK as it’s only £36 to enter. £12 for each event is a bargain.

Swim

The swim course was two laps of a triangular course. Each side of the triangle was approximately 250m.

The water was warm (17C) but it was windy which caused the water to be choppy. The safety team said that they would make the sighting easier by placing people on SUPs halfway between each buoy. But I think they struggled to stay in position due to the wind as whenever I looked for one they were well off course. I ignored them and sighted on the bouys instead,

About half way round I noticed a swimmer with a bright orange wet suit. They seemed to be sighting well and were going at a similar pace. So, as they were easy to spot, I followed them to the end. It was only when I got out that I realized it was a friend of mine. Thanks Paul for the pull!

This is one of the worst pictures of me that I have ever seen. I look about 20 years older than I am!

Bike

The bike route is an out and back undulating route to the Callanish Stones. Normally a fierce wind either blows you there or back. One year it took 60 minutes to do the out but only 30 minutes to do the back.

I haven’t done much biking since Celtman due to a dose of Covid so I took my TT bike to the race. My thinking was that I might be slow but at least it won’t be the bikes fault.

I decided to use a new tactic for the race. Instead of wearing tri gear or bike gear I changed into my running gear with the thought that I’d gain the time back by jumping off my bike at the end of and just head straight out onto the run course.

The first 6 miles were straight into a strong headwind. Which thankfully eased off as I the road turned more south. It was a struggle out to the Stones. But thankfully it was easier on the way back.

At one point a man passed me on the other side of the road heading back to the start. I thought he couldn’t possibly be in the race as there was no way he’d be that far ahead of me. He was. He was super quick.

When I mentioned this to folk afterwards I discovered that everyone else had thought the same. Some people even thought he must have taken a wrong turn to get back to the start so soon.

My aim was to do it in less than 90 minutes and I managed it in 85 minutes.

Run

The run starts by going straight up a small hill. I started running and immediately felt very heavy. My first thought was I must have eaten too much whilst spending the previous week at my mum’s house eating my mum’s baking.

I’d done a lot during the week leading up to the race, which meant my running motivation/energy was very low. I aimed to run 5K and then evaluate from there how fast/slow to do the last 5k.

I’ve also had an achilles problem since before the Celtman race. Which combined with my dose of Covid meant the only run I’d done in 10 weeks was the Celtman run.

If this all sounds like excuses for a rubbish time then it is! It wasn’t because I’ve been lazy in the last month and only watched TV and drank beer. Honest.

The less said about the run the better.

Finish

As per usual the food at the end was top quality. delicious soups, sandwiches and cakes.

At the prize giving it was a surprise to discover that three members of my tri club had won a prize. The only person not to get one? Me!

Maybe next year.

Norseman ferry (Iain)

The Norseman triathlon https://nxtri.com/ took place at the weekend

I noticed the jump from the ferry has changed.

It used to be a car ferry

but its now a passenger ferry

For me one of the biggest attractions of the race was the car ferry. Seeing the door open and the athletes jump out was the reason I wanted to take part.

It doesn’t look as cool seeing people jump off a “normal” boat.

I know 99% of people wont care about it. But its funny how it was this one thing that attracted me and not the race itself.

I believe the new ferry is electric therefore it is better for the environment. But I’ll miss the fact that this scene no longer exists…

The Sound of Football: Burton Albion (Andrew)

Every fortnight we cover the best and worst football songs from every club in the UK from our book ‘The Sound Of Football: Every Club, Every Song’. You can buy it here

Burton Albion

Nickname: The Brewers

Ground: Pirelli Stadium

Stadium Capacity: 6,912

Song: Tom Hark

The town of Burton has a history of football clubs that have struggled on and off the pitch.

Burton Swifts were formed in 1871. It was a founder member of The Combination League before switching to the Alliance League. These may sound like rebel groups from Star Wars, yet they were real football league names. The Swifts didn’t last long – it folded when it amalgamated with Burton Wanderers, who are notable only for looking like a misspelt version of Bolton Wanderers. The newly amalgamated club was Burton United, which was ironic, as they weren’t united, and separated in 1910 after just nine years together.

The town had no football team for 11 years. In 1921 a new club called Burton All-Saints was formed but, only for three years, when it changed to Burton Town. It managed to keep playing until the Second World War but went on an indefinite break. After the leagues resumed, the team did not. Finally, in 1950, Burton Albion was formed. The hardest task for the new club wasn’t getting entry to a league but finding a name that hadn’t already been used.

Equally, the club has struggled to find a song. For the 2013/14 season, the club asked fans to choose new goal celebration music. Among the suggestions were Bohemian Like You, High Ho Silver Lining, We Will Rock You, Chelsea Dagger, Locked Up, Chase the Sun, Just Can’t Get Enough, Born to be Wild and Free, Woo Hoo, Mr Brightside, The Boys are Back in Town and Hot Chocolate’s Everyone’s a Winner. Sadly, everyone wasn’t a winner. Only one song was chosen, and that was Tom Hark by The Piranhas, a song used by many clubs, including Arbroath and Burnley.

Buy the Sound of Football from Amazon.

Celtman Low Level Route – Support Running (Andrew)

As a supporter, it’s important to believe in your athlete and offer unwavering support. You don’t want them to waiver and doubt, you want them to remain strong and resolute. Saying that, I had no doubt that Iain TwinBikeRun would not be running the final 13 miles of Celtman and I trained accordingly as his support running. I.e. I didn’t train at all as I thought even with no training I’d still be faster than him – and I was right. But, after a 3K swim, 120 mile ride and difficult steep eight mile run to make the 13 hour cut off time, he was entitled to take it a bit easier.

Top tips for supporting

  • You can start running with your athlete from either T2 or from T2A, about 10 miles into the course. I joined at T2A and you need to be mindful of traffic on the Kinochewe to Sheildaig road. As a supporter you can only drive east to west so make sure you spot the transition as you won’t be able to turn around and drive back. This may have happened to me…
  • There is a car park to unload at T2B, about a mile and half down the road. You can stop here too. If you see it. I may have missed it too…
  • At T2A transition, to save time, you can check your bags before your competitor arrives. This is also useful if you miss something and need to quickly find a replacement. Luckily, this didn’t happen to me.
  • The first couple of miles from T2A is along the main road so watch out for traffic.
  • After two miles, you switch to the low route around Ben Eighe and towards Torridon. Wile this may be the low route, it is not an easy or flat route. It is still a serious mountain trail with a lot of climbing and technical trekking. Watch out for your footing, a couple of tricky stream crossings and plenty of scrambling left and right to find good places to walk/run. Don’t be surprised if it takes 40 minutes to walk one mile.
  • This is an exposed part of Scotland. As the 2022 race showed, the weather can be brutal with strong winds and constant rain. Make sure to follow the race kit instructions and to wear/bring more than you think you might need. Don’t just bring a waterproof running jacket, bring seal skins. Don’t just bring a hat, bring a hazmat helmet. Think diving bell, rather than summer stroll.
  • The low level route doesn’t finish along the shore, like the high level route. Instead, thankfully, it’s a straight walk through Torridon to the finish line at the village hall. I thought we still had three miles to walk around the village and I was very happy to find out it was only 500 metres.
  • Get a buffet ticket for when you arrive at the hall, the hot food is essential after many hours in the mountain.
  • Think about how you’re getting home. I have to admit I don’t know how other competitors/supporters arranged to get back if they didn’t stay in Torridon. I would share what we did – but I’m not sure it was strictly allowed…

Film Friday – The Real Mo Farah (Iain)

Film Friday is a weekly recommendation of one video to watch this weekend.

A fascinating insight into Mo Farah. Someone I previously wasn’t too bothered about due to all the rumors about his performances. But this does a great job in showing his origin story that by the end of the show I had gained a lot of respect for him.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001977f/the-real-mo-farah

Watch to find out…

Celtman 2022 – Run Kit (Iain)

The celtman has a mandatory kit list for the run. These are the items I used. The item I would definitly recommend is poles. They made a big difference when I was tired.

Shoes

I’ve worn Hoka’s for years. I find them very comfy and great for trail and long distance events. The down side is that they are expensive and they are not the most long lasting of shoe.

I try to by mine from sportshoe.com as I can usually get a good price for last years version of the shoes rather than the lastest version. Hence for this race instead of the £135 Speadgoat 5, i was able to get a pair of Speadgoat 4 for £80.

Hoka Speadgoat 4 – https://www.sportsshoes.com/

Walking Poles

I never use walking poles for hills but I thought in this case I’d make an exception. If it even helped a tiny bit then it would be worth having.

These carbon poles are super light and fitted in my backpack. The only negative is they are tricky to put together if you don’t read the instructions first. They were fine once I went read the instructions.

Backpack

I normally use a salomon vest but in this case I decided I needed a bit more space so I could carry more stuff. This is super lightweight and very adjustable. That meant I could easily set it up so that I could run with it on.

Jacket

My only goretext jacket was big, heavy and 10 years old. It’s great for walking but not great for running. I decided to treat myself to a new jacket. One that was designed for running. This is super light, easily pack-able and water proof.

Trousers

I’ve had these trousers for 10 years. They are lightweight and keep the rain off my legs. I didn;t bother getting new ones as my old pair are still working well.

Whistle/Compass

I bought some cheap ones on Amazon.

Head Torch

I have the older version of the Petzl 900. Its comfy and the light it produces is very bright. Battery life is excellent.

Pants

When running a long distance I like to be comfortable. These are great for wearing underneath shorts.

Hat

I normally wear a cap if the weather is bad. I like to keep the rain off my face. I thought this would meet the requirement of the race. It didn’t.. They wanted a woolen or cloth type hat instead. Luckily my brother had a spare so I showed them that instead. Although on the day I wore this. But I kept the other one in my bad so I could pass the kit check.

The Sound of Football: Burnley (Andrew)

Every fortnight we cover the best and worst football songs from every club in the UK from our book ‘The Sound Of Football: Every Club, Every Song’. You can buy it here

Burnley

Nickname: The Clarets

Ground: Turf Moor

Stadium Capacity: 21,940

Song: Tom Hark

Being a Burnley fan is special because the best-supported side in England isn’t Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea; it’s Burnley. Burnley holds the record for the highest attendance ratio of people attending a match mapped against the town population. This is either a remarkable show of dedication or a clear lack of adequate public transport at the weekend.

Burnley was one of the 12 founder members of the Football League and is one of only three English league clubs to have been champions of all four professional league divisions, along with Wolves and Preston. More infamously, Burnley’s the reason why clubs who finish bottom of the league are relegated automatically.

In 1897 clubs took part in playoff games to decide who was promoted from the second to the first division. By the time it got to the last match of the series, both Burnley and Stoke City needed a draw to ensure they would both be promoted.

Perhaps not surprisingly, both clubs were due to play each other in the last game of the season. You will also not be surprised to hear that the match ended 0 – 0 and became known as ‘The Match Without A Shot At Goal’. Both teams were promoted, and the Football League immediately withdrew the Test Match series in favour of automatic promotion and relegation.

While the Royal Family usually keeps their sporting affiliations to themselves (however, see Arsenal and Aston Villa for the Royals suspected affiliations); one family member has admitted publicly that he’s a Burnley fan. Prince Charles declared his love of the town and club at a ceremony for the British Asian Trust:

A consortium of my charities, including the British Asian Trust, has been working in Burnley. Hence, some of you asked this evening whether I support a British football club and I said ‘yes – Burnley’. And people have responded ‘Burnley? Oh yes, because Burnley has been through some very challenging times and I’m trying to find ways of helping to regenerate and raise aspirations and self-esteem in that part of the world.”

It’s only fitting that Prince Charles supports Burnley: every time Burnley scores, you’ll hear ‘Tom Hark’ by Elias and His Zig Zag Jive Flutes. The song was partly based on a 1927 melody which sang about dancing with a girl who had danced with the Prince of Wales. And the current Prince of Wales is… Prince Charles.

Buy the Sound of Football from Amazon.

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