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.
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!
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.
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.
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.