Hebridean Triathalon (Iain)

“Blue-green algae occurs when specific types of photosynthetic bacteria forms blooms”

Blue-green algae can be toxic to animal and humans. Although it’s a misnomer as its not actually an algae. There’s a useful/useless fact you can tell your friends.

The Hebridean triathlon is the first ever triathlon to be held on the Isle Of Lewis. This year’s event was a test event. The organisers had never done a triathlon themselves so credit to them for putting on a successful event.

Nine hardy souls had agreed to test the course. A mixture of individuals and teams.

Swim – 30 min

The day before the event blue-green algae was found in the loch. Luckily a retest of water in the morning showed no sign of it.

The swim was two laps. The water was so full of peat it felt like swimming in a pint of Guinness. I could barely see my hand in front of my face. I forgot to start my GPS watch so I can’t check how accurate my sighting was.

I know I took a detour on the first lap as a canoeist came over and pointed me towards the correct buoy. I was swimming towards the wrong one.

The second lap was fine and I was out of the water in 30 minutes. I could have been quicker if I’d gone in the correct direction but I was happy with the time.

Bike – 1hr 26 min


The bike course was an out and back loop to the Callanish Stones. An ancient stone circle site. There was a strong north westerly wind but it never felt like it was helping on the way out or back.

The route was “lumpy” with one minor 15% climb(!). It was short but I could feel the front of my bike lifting as I tried to go up it.

On the road it was sometimes better to cycle on the pavement. This sounds dodgy but pavements on the island are just an additional bit of concrete next to the road. Some of the pavements have been laid later than the road so they are smoother to ride on.

My time was slow but it never felt like a fast course. I think most people came in slower than they expected.

Run – 57 min


This is the slowest I’ve ever run a 10k! The route was out and back through a local village. It was as “lumpy” as the bike route.

It was strange running along with so few people about. When I finally saw someone in their garden I gave them a big wave. Relief that someone else was out and about.

Thankfully the last 2km are mostly downhill. The first time in the day I felt it was easy.


Great first race on the island which should go from strength to strength. The course is good, the location is amazing and the food at the end is the best of any race I’ve done.

Just don’t expect a PB 🙂