The Celtman – Extreme Scottish Triathlon took place at the weekend. Many of my friends were involved in the safety cover both on the water and on the hill, as well as on the course itself. Some of them had a long and hard day.
Alarm at 0300 as I had an early start to head across Loch Shieldaig in The Seaflower to pipe the competitors off on their swim at 0500. My own feelings were high as I walked across Inverbain fileld, down to the loch and towards the Torridon Mountains I see every day. After I had played, the sound of over a hundred swimmers slicing through the water was quite eery, almost like the noise a great sea creature might make.
Once back across the loch (by car) I headed down to the shore with my family to watch the competitors come ashore. After a quick bite of breakfast I packed my tent, stove and bagpipes and headed for Beinn Eighe. Paul McGreal the creator of this event thought that the bagpipes would help the competitors on their way… By the time I had been blowing them on and off for 3 hours I think the noise would made them run away.
My friend John Moffat was on duty at Spidean Coire nan Clach and along with Celtman official ‘Andy’ we kept one another company during the quiet spells. As they arrived the strength, spirit and fitness of many competitors and their support runners was impressive.
George, a Greek TV film cameraman joined us later in proceedings to give an internationl feel to the trig point team. Hope nobody sees my piece to camera giving a translation of ‘Spidean Coire nan Clach’!
I’d packed away and was set to go when George’s Greek buddy arrived – there was no choice out they came again. He was even strong, or mad enough to do a Greek dance for us!
Local knowledge meant I was back at the road within an hour and home in time for tea.
Ryan Maclean from the rescue team completed his first ironman triathlon. Torridon Mountain Rescue team put in a long shift, not getting down until 0100. Paul McGreal and his team brought an amazing event to our villages and lets hope they return.
To see photos of Celtman competitors visit the Torridon Mountain Rescue Team gallery. Please consider making a donation by following the link below the photos. I’ve posted some photos on the nineonesix-guiding gallery and there are some short clips from the swim and the hill on the nineonesix-guiding vimeo page.
Visit www.pipedtothetop.com to find out more about Piped to The Top, our sister business.
Finally, for some stunning photos of the whole day visit Steve Carter’s Shieldaig website.
blog by Jim Sutherland