KB5 Road Race

Triathletes do road races?? Well apparently so as the Fantastic Four from EUTri’s elite descended onto the distant land of Kings Buildings on Saturday, where it appeared we were slightly outnumbered by some other uni club calling themselves the “Haries” (apparently they only do one sport…lol).

With the 12 o’clock start fast approaching there was only one thought on people minds (apart from Strava segments of course). Where was everyone’s (self-proclaimed) favourite triathlete Nicholas Allen? When the breaking news flooded through that he’d in fact slept in and had to make the ultimate sacrifice of not having breakfast everyone was suKB5 1itably sympathetic towards his ordeal (rumour is he was actually too busy crying over not being able to compete in his jazzy new tri suit for another week).

What followed one can only describe as brutal. To say the course was hilly would be an understatement (made only worse by the sights of Nick and Euan’s backsides as they’re slowly getting away from you). EuTri’s performance of the day undoubtedly has to go to medal winner Mary Macintosh, fighting off stiff competition from the Haries and HBT to finish a magnificent 2nd placed female and overall 44th place in 31:28 (take that Haries)!

First male triathlete was President Nicholas Allen, managing a brilliant 14th place in 27:47, closely followed in 15th place by the Monday night running machine that is Euan Cunningham with a time of 28:05. Rounding of the male triathletes was Andrew Johnstone in 18th place, crossing the line in 28:48 (and more importantly making a brief appearance in a Strava segment top ten). Despite our best efforts to claim custody of a certain rather lanky harie (Cameron Young), we were just one member short of a team.

Special mentions must go to a couple triathletes for helping to run the event. Technically the winner of the race (haters will say cycling’s faster than running), Bronagh Wishart cycled in front of the 112 strong field showing the way. Also thanks to Gregor Malcom, who rather impressively managed to sneak his way into an indoors job “looking after the laptops” (definitely not eating cake and watching the World Series Triathlon race). Huge thanks as well to the rest of the marshals and organisers for putting on such a superbly run event.

See you all there next year!

Andrew Johnstone

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Peebles Weekend Trip

image3The Peebles trip was (as expected) a total success. It involved an 18-egg Spanish omelet lovingly prepared by Pau, followed by some very serious swimming (kid armbands and floating noodles included) in a tropical-temperatured pool. Then more food and a fun fell run in the dark in pretty epic blizzard conditions (but we smashed it). And it was all worth it for the delicious pizzas waiting for us on our return. YUM. After a delightful sleep in our luxurious cabins, we set off to tackle some hills on the mountain bikes. We experienced snow, a couple of tumbles, some more snow and some epic descents. All in all a pretty wicked weekend.

Nat Scott Laz

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BUCS Duathlon

On Saturday the 19th of November, 9 members of the Performance Squad set off on their adventure south of the border to compete at the British Universities Sport Duathlon Championships. Among them, many newbies to the world of BUCS
– including myself – set off to race in what would play out to be a new learning experience for all.

The journey to our hotel ‘just off the motorway’ was long with many members (basically the boys) taking the opportunity to get 40 winks in preparation for Sundays race. A nice meal at a local Italian finished the day off nicely and after a quick team meeting, we were off to bed.

Late on Sunday morning, we arrived at Castle Combe Circuit. The race consisted of a 2mile run, 10-mile cycle and another 2 mile run to finish. The boys set off at 1.05pm and the girls at 1.45pm. I had a steady first run, coming in just behind Sarah and was quickly out on to the bike where I attempted to make up as much lost time as possible on the weaker cyclists. The cycle course was amazing – flat and no potholes (or traffic lights) to be seen. Second run was survival but happy to finish within the top 50% of the girls competing with Sarah just behind.bucs-duathlon

The boys all had a strong race with Lewis and Nicholas coming in 27th and 32nd respectively. Gregor and Rian also had strong performances also finishing the top 50. However, Paul da tank came in in an amazing 3rd place despite not knowing whereabouts he was positioned throughout the large majority of the race.

A huge congrats must also go to Tess and Sandy who have not done triathlon before joining us.

If the journey down was long, the journey back up was longer. The minibus was filled with loud music (songs of choice: Disney’s Hakuna Matata and Highland Cathedral) and the changing weather conditions made it much harder to drive. It was, however, a great weekend where a lot was learnt and I’m fairly confident to say all of the squad would be keen to do it again.

Big shout out to Coach Dechlan and Sandy (Paul’s dad) for giving up their weekend to drive us and our bikes all the way to Swindon – your help is enormously appreciated.

Eilidh Thompson

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Aberdeen Aquathlon 2016

running-baerdeenThe club had an awesome trip up to Aberdeen last weekend to compete in the Aberdeen University King’s Aquathlon. It was a great turn out with 19 members from EUTri coming along to race against St. Andrews, Sterling, and Aberdeen university triathlon clubs.

It was a cold and early start at cse on Saturday morning and then we all drove up to the sports village in time register and set up transition in the rain. The longer course racers set off first swimming a distance of 800m followed by a run slightly longer than antrunningicipated of 11.6km around the sports village and finishing round the athletics track. Next was the short course racers, who swam 400m and ran 6.3km. Despite a mix up with the lap counting EUTri still had an incredibly successful day with lots of medals: for the short course Nat was the 2nd female student and Ivan was 3rd male student, while in the long SSS course Rachel was 2nd female, Paul was 1st male and Rian was 2nd male!

Following the race we all went to the Bobbin for copious amounts of delicious pub grub and then headed out into Aberdeen for a night of crazy dancing and surprise champagne deliveries. Overall a fantastic weekend congratulations to everyone who came along and competed.

By Iona Allanaberdeen

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St Andrews Duathlon 2016

st-andrewsThis being my first event and after only one week of being a Eutri member I was unsure as what to expect, however, despite the early start everyone was in good spirits for the upcoming race and the weather conditions were ideal. Although I held up the race briefing unsuccessfully attempting to change pedals on my bike the race got off to an enthusiastic start with the 5km run. The following 23km cycle was a new experience for me personally though the course was fantastic on such a sunny windless day and everyone enjoyed the gentle inclines and long fast descents.

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Edinburgh University presented a strong showing in the results with Paul Kerr finishing first in under an hour and Nicholas Allen following up in second place five minutes behind. Nat and I (the two newbies) recorded some decent times for ourselves and thoroughly enjoyed the experience getting to know the club and of course Coach Linda. Overall it was a fantastic day and a big thank you is in order for the St.Autri organisers and the volunteer marshals on the day for having organised
everything and cheered us along the way!

by Ben Luoma

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St Andrews duathlon

The clocks gave us an hour more in bed, but getting up at 5am or 6am feels the same. In the crisp morning air we swarmed towards our rendezvous point from all over Edinburgh. The bikes were loaded up in a methodical fashion by Sam and Andy, who had obviously done this before. It was my first time racing in Scotland hence the excitement fizzing inside me. I couldn’t wait to get off and properly stretch my legs, likewise, I could feel the others buzzing all around me.

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We got there to find a table, the organiser’s van and a few other competitors on a lush green lawn, next to St Andrews giant telescopes; a simple set up, but it worked. The downside was that facilities were limited… Again with mechanical efficiency Sam and Andy unloaded the bikes, we made final little adjustments, set up the transition, before lining up to start.

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The course took us on a circular run around the playing fields which was very flat indeed. Consequently Paul and Sam took off and left most of us envying their speed, from our position across the fields. This lead was maintained, and with breakneck speed on the cycle, and swift transitions, Paul dashed across the finish line in 1st place, and Sam leisurely came in in second place. I finished 11th, similarly, the others all did great times which the club can be proud of!

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Great day out, fun social racing, and obviously good company. Everybody should give racing a go!

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Nicholas

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Stirling Aquathlon

At the crack of dawn on 11th October, 10 EUTriers set out on a journey. Beyond the walls of Edinburgh to the distant land of Stirling. This course would pace us through a 750m pool swim, in Stirling’s prestigious national training pool, and on to a 5km run route around the University campus, starting with a conker of a hill. This race was to double up as Scottish Student Aquathlon Championships, so no pressure.

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Arriving hours early we preceded to transition for set up, in pure amateur form three of us forgot spare shoes, resulting and soggy socks and freezing feet for the next couple of hours, better luck next time. In awe of the kids that came up to our knees racing before our turn. This gave us a chance to psych ourselves up before we took to the pool. After Declan’s pro tips we were divided into multiple heats and we were off, with a mid-swim timing chip falling off panic, proceeded by two more EUTrier’s chips (who attaches them to paper bands anyway?!) the race continued. Out of the pool into the cool air, legging it across transition all ran smoothly and reunited with shoes. First encounter of the run, a mountain it seemed rising high but short, shall not defeat us.

Generally speaking, a good run route with many corners to discover, across marshland, road, running track, pavements, all in one! The finish line came closer, except I didn’t notice the finish directional sign so headed out on a third lap before realising …oops. All making it across the muddy red carpet of the finish line to be awarded with a medal.

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Congratulations to Hazel Donaldson was the first EUTri girl to make it across the line 55th in total, with Euan Cunningham to lead in EUTri’s mens team coming 7th in total. All exhausted, running on race adrenaline, learnt a few lessons to be prepared for next races to come.

Tilly Dyson

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Ayr 3 Castles Duathlon – Scottish Student Sport Duathlon Champs

On the 19th of April 4 EUTri members headed to Ayr for the ‘3 Castles Duathlon’. It was an early start for me, Sophie and driver Paul, setting off from the CSE at 6:30am. Upon arrival in Ayr, signing in at Paul’s old primary school, we checked out the route plans and set our bikes up in transition. Rachel arrived, having come down the night before from Aberdeen, followed shortly after by Bronagh who stays in Ayr. Before we knew it the race briefing was over and we were gathered behind the start line. A marshal shouted ‘GO!’ and we were off for the first 5k. Once out of the built up area we were running along the beautiful coast along a dirt road, taking us past the first castle. Once we reached the furthest point out we ran back along the road to complete the first 5k. Next up, the 27k bike. Again, another stunning route along the coast with views of the Ailsa Craig and all 3 castles. The views combined with the blue sky and only a light wind made me forget about the burn I was beginning to feel in my legs. After what must have been about 20k, Bronagh overtook me and we spurred each other on for one final push. After trading places a few more times we reached transition for the last time pretty much neck-and-neck. Then it was on to the final 5k. The same route out and back but this time my legs felt like they were going to give up underneath me. Bronagh got off to a great start and managed to open up a gap between us. Determined not to lose sight of her I kept pushing, telling myself “It will all be over soon”, and after a final 100m dash to the finish it was. Desperate for some water and a good stretch we were all very happy with our efforts. After stuffing our faces with the great selection of sandwiches and cakes on offer it was time for the prize giving. Since it was incorporating the Scottish Students Duathlon, we managed to take home 2nd and 3rd female (Sophie and Bronagh) and 3rd male (myself). This was a great bonus from my point of view as I wasn’t expecting to do so well! And that was it. Time to head back and stop putting off uni work! Looking forward to next year already!Kenny Girvan's photo. Ross McKendrick

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Tranent Interviews

After this year’s Tranent Sprint Triathlon, we took the opportunity to interview one of our Alumni, Dechlan Wilson, as well as world champion Alison Patrick and her guides (http://britishtriathlonmedia.org/profiles/detail/alison-patrick), both of whom took part this year.  Here’s what they had to say!

Dechlan:

How did you get into Triathlon?

-I was a swimmer in my younger days. A family friend, Kyle, lent me his bike and entered me into East Fife Triathlon in 2004. I loved it and never looked back!

What would you say is your best discipline?

-Swimming definitely, as cycling can be boring and running is just hard!

And your inspiration?

-Rocky Balboa, he was a true heroic athlete and showed me what training and competing hard is like.

What about your greatest achievement so far?

-Winning Scottish Schools Triathlon in 2006 in front of a capacity crowd and against the fiercest competition.

Do you have a favourite race?

-Peebles Triathlon because it is set in the most beautiful area in the world, it is home, and there is always a tip top athlete who wins it. But seriously, it is a great race to do as it generally has great weather, it is relatively flat and is easy to get to.

Any top tips for the rest of us?

-Train hard and practice at racing speed / effort. Being good at medium paced effort is no good for racing!

Do you have any race day rituals?

– I always pray to God that I will use the talents I have to the best of my ability and race well and fast, and that nerves don’t get the better of me!

– I always make sure I have a can of Irn-Bru ready as my post race treat!

Alison Patrick:

How long have you been doing triathlon for?

-Over the last three years, only the last year I did any sort of elite racing, previously I just did local races.

How did you get into triathlon?

-I was a runner, I was an international runner but I got injured and missed out on the qualifying time for Beijing so I kind of lost motivation and someone said, ‘Why don’t you try triathlon?’ and I was just doing it purely for fun and so that I could enjoy sport again.

What’s your favourite discipline?

-Well the run was my strength but to be honest I’m loving the bike at the moment because you can just go so fast!

Is there anyone in particular who inspires you?

-No, just the people around me, seeing people training hard in your group is inspiring really.

What do you think your greatest achievement is so far?

-Well, winning world champs after only a year was pretty good!

So what’s your favourite race?

-I really enjoyed Canada because the swim was in a chlorinated lake so it was just like swimming in a swimming pool but open water. It was really good and the bike course was tough, it was quite hilly; a lot of our races have flat courses because of the wheelchair athletes whereas this had quite a good hill on it and it was good going downhill, a very technical downhill which was quite fun.

Is there any top tips you could give for the big race day?

-Just don’t let any distraction affect you and remember you can only control how you are feeling and what you can do. Ignore all the external stuff.

What are your plans for the next year or so?

-This year from July onwards is all about getting qualifications for Rio but this year we’ve got Europeans, a test event in Rio and the world champs again, so in theory I want to be in a position to defend my title, and I’m getting much more excited because guides are getting a lot more supported everywhere compared to previously.  Last year I only met up with my guide who raced with me a couple of times over the year, whereas Hazel (Alison’s guide) is based in Edinburgh so I’ll be seeing her quite a lot so it’ll be much better.

So do you train together all the time?

-At the moment we have been once a week but now Hazel has funding she’ll be going part time from work. So we can get a bit more of a plan together, because it helps on the bike just training to get used to each other because you don’t have as much communication. You know each other’s style, you know your changing gears and all that sort of stuff.

(To Guides) As guides, what’s your history of athleticism? How did you get into triathlon and being a guide?

-Well we’re in the same club so we swim together in the same lane, although now Alison’s a lot faster we’re not in the same lane. It’s just a case of realising that Alison needs that support to be able to get somewhere.

-Alison: when I first started off in West Lothian Triathlon Club it was just if any of the guys said “yeah we’ll try go on your tandem, we’ll take you swimming if you like”. They all just helped out loads, I wouldn’t have got through last year without them!

Hazel, how did you get into being a guide; have you been doing it for a long time?

-Well no, it’s all new to me. Got a phone call one day and it was the head of Scottish Triathlon saying “We’ve got this person wanting to go to Madrid, do you want to be her guide for the very last Series race. And I just said “yeah, sure I’ll go out.” Then that didn’t happen because of work commitments and stuff.

-Alison: I had a panic thinking, “really? I don’t want to race with a new guide?!”

-Hazel: and then British Triathlon went out and asked for potential guides to apply so they had a load of people applying and they picked ten of the top applications and we went down to Loughborough to get tested and then they chose the top 4 out of those. It’s not purely done on strength, it’s also done on your lifestyle as well, being the sort of person who can be selfless. I suppose it was just for Alison to get the best quality guide she could get.

(To Hazel): Did you ever consider going pro yourself?

-Yeah I was at that point where I was either going to take the next step and I’ve still got plans this year to do a few elite races. But the opportunity to support someone going for an Olympic medal, it was a no brainer really.

-Alison: yes it was very selfless.

-Hazel: It’s great, I’ve got a wonderful relationship with this one here!

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BUCS Duathlon

On the 15th November some of the Performance squad, along with drivers, headed down to the BUCS duathlon. Paul turned up with his bike bag, and must have been disappointed to find out that we weren’t heading somewhere more exotic than Bath. After a long journey down, with only one detour to take in the sights of Blackburn, we arrived in Swindon. After taking in the tourist attractions of Swindon, we got an early night.

Race day came and everyone’s enthusiasm was apparent as we packed the van again, none more so than Conor who was telling everyone who would listen how confident he was… We arrived at Castle Combe racing circuit and it was clear that a lot of athletes followed Sam’s philosophy of buying performance! The race consisted of a 2 mile run around the perimeter of the racing circuit, a 10 mile cycle on the circuit and then the same run again. Fortunately it was a dry start to the day, however despite being 400 miles south, the promised warm weather didn’t materialise and it was freezing! The first men’s race started at 1:30, with Sam, Paul and Andy in this one. Paul and Sam had very strong first runs, me, not so much! The cycle was around a racecourse, so I had a great time pretending to be a racing car although I’m sure Paul and Sam were more focused on racing given their times! After a good cycle and a very slick transition, Sam was the first of the Edinburgh boys onto the run. Unfortunately, London boy Sam was not dressed for the occasion and was visibly suffering from the cold conditions. Despite this, he held his second run together to finish a good 30th in a very strong field. Meanwhile Paul, from Orkney, was enjoying the positively tropical conditions (compared to what he’s used to!) and had an excellent second run to finish 26th! I jogged home in 59th managing to keep my dignity intact by keeping the St Andrews boys behind me.

Then was the women’s race, with another tough field, including the current U23 World Champion! Sophie had a superb first run putting her in a good position. Sarah and Yvonne also ran well before putting their newly learned transition skills to good use! After a good ride Sophie had a brilliant second run, running through a lot of the field to finish 23rd. Sarah also had a strong second run to come 91st and Yvonne posted a great bike time and came 130th.

James and Conor were in the 2nd men’s race. James had a great race finishing in 3rd after leading the race for most of the bike (106th overall). Despite his bleak outlook on the race Connor put together a solid performance, with a strong second run to finish 152nd overall.

Our men’s team came 11th overall, and the women’s team was 23rd. At 4pm, once all the bikes and Paul’s bike bag were loaded up, we hit the road for the long journey up. It was here that my navigational skills came undone. Several wrong turns and a few litres of coke later we were back on track. In a high of hyperactivity the journey flew by, especially with James in charge of the tunes. We arrived back to Edinburgh at 1am after a good weekends racing. Now to recover before the next one!

Andy Christie

 

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