Scottish Long Course Champs, Aberfeldy
August 22nd, 2013 by Fraser
1st place – 4:14:18
I learned my lesson last time. That may have been in 2007 but the weather was brutal back then too (and I needed to borrow a fleece from a volunteer!) so I was very glad of my jacket on Saturday. Summer racing in Scotland 😉
As I mentioned, it has been 6 years since I raced at Aberfeldy and that was one of my first ever half Ironmans. Every year I have hoped to be able to race but for one thing or another this was the first year back for me. I really believe it is one of the best race courses out there, but maybe I am a little biased, given it’s less than an hours drive away. So one day it would be fantastic to have an even larger event happening there, not only as recognition of the event itself but also to increase the awareness of the Scottish Triathlon race scene in general.
Monster from the deep… the water was surprisingly *warm* this year. Granted, that has a lot to do with ones perception of water temperatures and is also closely linked to your anticipation of what is coming! Previous swims in Loch Tay have been far from comfortable I must admit but this year it was dare I say a pleasant temperature. The problem was the choppy and unpredictable nature of the waves we had to contend with. At least in the sea you can usually rely on regular ‘sets’ of waves, whereas Loch Tay was a law unto itself on Saturday! It all adds to the fun I guess. Congrats to everyone who got through the swim anyway.
I was a little concerned about racing in Aberfeldy given I had ‘raced’ at Ironman UK two weeks before and also at Wiesbaden 70.3 just si days beforehand. Nonetheless I had recovered from the various aches and pains that are par for the course after a half Ironman event and was looking forward to a race in Scotland for a change. – It’s a nice feeling being able to load the bike into the back of the car and drive to the race start or a morning at least.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to ‘race’ the whole event from gun to tape because without beating around the bush, I was tired! So I had planned to tackle the swim & bike from a conservationist angle and then try to get something more from the run. There was good, healthy competition to contend with so I couldn’t rest up too much before T2. Andy Hood, fresh off the back of an impressive win at the Scottish Olympic distance Champs a couple weeks prior plus a couple speedy relay teams made the early part of the race interesting. We were caught mid bike by Peter Fenwick from Shetland who was putting together a very impressive bike split that would ultimately help earn him the 3rd spot on the podium. Andy ran very well in the early half of the 1/2 marathon to claw back all but 10secs of the minute lead I had leaving T2, but his wheels fell off a little towards the finish and he crossed the line some 90secs or so after me, which I thought was a fantastic effort in what was his first long distance race. At just 21 I see no reason as to why he can’t go on to do very well indeed on this side of the sport.
Full results and the Triathlon Scotland report can found from this link and thanks go to Imac Photograhphy for the images in this post. Lastly I want to say thank you very much to Richard Pearson and his team for all the hard work that goes into ensuring this remains one of the stand out events on the Scottish calendar each year.