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NOVICE

 

Shetland Triathlon Club were up in Brae at the weekend hosting their annual Brae Novice Triathlon. As always, the event was open to anyone aged 15+ who was keen to take on the 400m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run. Although targeted at individuals who are looking to take on their first triathlon, the short event gives the more experienced athletes and club members a chance to get some race-preparation in before the summer season kicks off.

 

In the men's line up there were 5 new faces hoping to make it through the 3 disciplines and reach the finish line. Alexander Simpson put his strong swim to good use in the pool, jumping out the water in under 6 minutes. Following a couple of minutes later was Magnus Johnston and Daniel McNeill who both looked composed as they headed into transition. There was a healthy competitive element developing between Alwyn Christie and Steven Sandison who were matching each other's pace in the water, the 2 of them only separated by a handful of seconds as they went to grab their bikes.  

The gently rolling bike course, out past Voxter House to the Scatsta runway and back, gave the field a chance to settle into their rhythm and tick-off the kilometres. Simpson was out in front and posted a very respectable bike split of 22.19. Christie climbed a couple of places on his ride to bring him up to 2nd. Sandison slotted into 3rd, with Mc Neill and Johnston rounding off the Novice athletes. 

The final 2.5km run is always a tough one. The dreaded 'jelly legs' always make an appearance after pushing hard on the bike, and this event was no different. Despite Christie closing the gap by over a minute and a half with an impresive run, Simpson held on to be crowned first 'Novice' on the day. Christie and Sandison held on for 2nd and 3rd respectively, with McNeill crossing the finish line a minute later. With an hour of hard effort in the legs, Johnston rounded off his morning out with a part-grin-part-grimace painted across his face. 


 

Ranging from 15-61 years of age, the rest of the 12-strong men's field was made up of a mixed-bag of experience and ability. Young whippersnapper Cameron Read, who recently competed in the Scottish National Youth Triathlon, showed impressive strength across all 3 disciplines to post the fastest overall time on the day. Stewart Hutchison continues to show big improvements across all 3 disciplines, particularly on 2 wheels. He snuck under the 40-minute mark for his outing, followed by Scott Riise who blitzed the swim leg in just over 5 minutes. Karl Williamson, who's first triathlon was the 2022 Novice Triathlon, chopped nearly 3 minutes off this time from the previous year with a very well-paced race. The ever-present Tim Ash was clearly on a good day, his time of 45:35 is likely to be the fastest he has ever completed the event in. Visiting Shetland on holiday and borrowing a bike for the event, Chris Leaman made short work of the course, and Alistair Smith showed his winter training has been worth the effort by crossing the finish line nearly 2 and a half minutes faster than he did in last year's outing.

 

The lady's field was topped by Emma Leask who is showing promising form ahead of the coming season. Posting the fastest run split of the day she has clearly held onto some of her speed from her younger years spent on the track. Jaqueline Tulloch also chipped away time on all 3 disciplines compared with last year's race, crossing the finish line in 52 minutes. Despite admitting she is a little out of practice Alli Maitland proved she still has the legs and lungs to complete the task at hand, and Merran Nugent put in another characteristically strong swim leg to set herself up for a personal best for the event. Sisters Anne Bennet and Elizabeth Gifford were the next 2 ladies across the finish line, both breaking the hour mark once again. Nicola Johnston was towards the front of the lady's field, however a snapped chain part way through the bike leg put paid to her hopes of completing the event. Undeterred, she pulled her trainers on and completed the 2.5km run along with her husband Magnus.

 

STC would like to thank everyone who came along to support the event, and hope to see a few more new faces throughout the rest of the season. If you are keen to get involved with training and events, please check the clubs Facebook page or drop an email to info@shetlandtriclub.com.

SPRINT

Shetland Triathlon Club were back in Brae at the weekend hosting the 2023 Shetland Sprint Triathlon. 10 weeks after the Club's super-short Novice event, this time those taking part would be doubling the distances and taking on a 750m pool swim, 20km bike and a 5km run. 

As the heavy early morning rain showers passed, the still, warm air made for some quick times out on the course.

The pre-race nerves were painted across a few faces as the transition zone filled with bikes and race kit, and a few audible deep breaths were taken once the competitors were called onto poolside to get things underway.

46 lenghts may seem like an arduous undertaking in itself, but everyone taking part had no problems in cruising through the water. Holiday-maker Lewis Strachan, an accomplished triathlete who is spending a week on the isles, set a blistering pace in the pool to exit first in a time of 10:05. Less than a minute later Birthday Girl Lynsey Henderson was the first of the ladies to run out into transition. A year older maybe, but certainly no slower. 16 year old Cameron Read was out sharpish, followed soon after by Stewart Hutchison and University of Sheffield Tri Club representative Jack Brayshaw.

The rest of the 14 strong filed, including 3 teams, were all out the water in under 16 minutes, setting the race up nicely for the bike and run.

Once rolling on 2 wheels, the bike course out the Northmavine road to Punds Water and back gave everyone a chance to settle into their rhythm and put some power through the pedals. The fastest bike split on the day, and the only one to go sub-30 minutes, came from Andrew Grant who was taking part as a team with spedy swimmer Aida Eshaness. In the individual races Henderson was cruising her ride and pulling out a healthy advantage over rivals Nicola Johnston and Stephanie Bain. In the men's, Strachan was holding his lead despite Hutchison and Read eating into his advantage. Brayshaw was sitting pretty in 4th, and a gap was opening up between himself and the chasers. Tim Ash was going very well on the day, followed a few minutes later by first-time triathlete Roderick Read. Magnus Johnston replaced the mountain bike he used in the Novice event with a speedy road bike this time round, and was zippnig through the miles. And Daniel Mc Neill, who also took on the Novice event in May rounded off the men's field with a very respectable sub-50min bike split.

As bikes were dropped back off in the transition zone the competitors emerged in various states of freshness as they set off out the road to Voxter House for the final 5km run. Brayshaw was the pick of the bunch, posting a rapid sub-19 run to the finish line. But it was only enough to secure him the 3rd spot on the podium. Out front Strachan was cruising to a comfortable win, crossing the finish line in a total time of 1:06:29. Cameron Read was a few minutes behind, but is already showing great promise for his future in the sport. Hutchison continutes to take chunks off his race times, and only missed a podium spot by 2 minutes. Ash smashed the 1h30min barrier in what is surely one of his best races... of which there have been many. While not quite as nippy as his son, Roderick Read clicked his heels as he sprung across the finish line, understandably chuffed at competeng his first tri. Manus Johnston and Daniel Macneil showed true grit to complete their first Sprint distance event. 

In the ladies race Henderson earned herself an extra slicce of birthday cake by taking the win in 1:13:34. Nicola Johnston "had deamons to banish" after a snapped bike chain in the Novice event back in May had spelled the end of her race. After a well paced swim, a questionable T1 (perhaps spent carrying out some extra bike checks), she cruised through the bike leg without incident. Pipping her husband Magnus' 5km time by 10 seconds was surely the cherry on top of a very fruitful morning. Stephanie Bain crossed the line a few minutes later to take 3rd. A real confidence boost ahead of an upcoming race off-island this coming weekend.

In the team event Dougald Gunn showed good form on the swim and bike legs, but a niggling injury forced him to rope in teammate Adrian Taylor to take on the final 5km run. They finished 2nd behind the aforementioned duo of Aida Eshaness and Andrew Grant. North Mainland Leisure Centre had also assembled a crack team of SRT employees for the event. Megan Perry showed she has maintained her swimming fitness beofre tagging Graham Farmer who would tackle the bike leg. Their runner Tom Nicolson was on hand to smash the last 5km run leg. Their morning out will hopefully be enought to inspire them to take on a full tri sometime in the future. 

STC chairman Andy Aitken said "I love seeing exhausted people lie around on pavements at the finish line. They question what they have just put themselves through, and then 2 minutes later it's all smiles as the feeling of accomplishment sets in. It was clear to see everyone had given it everything, what more can you ask for? ".

2023 Novice Tri Splits.jpg
2023 Sprint Splits.png
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