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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