Torridon is a place of extremes; beauty, weather, terrain and scenery. No wonder it was also chosen to be the setting for the Celtman, a very extreme Triathlon. Now in it’s third year the race includes a 3km swim in the very cold water of Loch Torridon, a 202km road cycle around the coast and a 42km run, crossing through the Coulin pass, climbing both Munros on Beinn eighe before running down the road to finish in Torridon village.
This year I was lucky enough to get a place in the race after missing out in the ballot last year. Being based in Switzerland over the winter meant that I could make the most of the warmer weather to get swimming outside early, and hit the alpine cols on the bike for a really good base of fitness before coming back to Scotland in June.
On race day the atmosphere was amazing, and the Torridon area was absolutely at its best, the mountains and the people welcoming a huge number of travelling athletes for the event.
The swim went well, with the Jellyfish the only real problem and I was pleased to be in the top third of the field, the bike was always where I was going to lose time, I know ‘it is not about the bike’ as the saying goes, but my £500 basic bike against the £5000 carbon rocket ships that the serious racers had is never going to be a fair race! Still I only lost a few places with a reasonable time. Knowing that it should be my strong event, and with local knowledge on my side I was hoping to take a few places on the run, but was amazed to find that I was overtaking a lot of teams before we got to the mountain. Once on the ridge I was in my element, taking a lot more places to finish a very unexpected 16th.