Junior triathletes shine at second Arran festival

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The second Island-2-Island Triathlon Festival, held at Lamlash last weekend, attracted more than  200 entrants and proved another sparkling success.

Organised by the Arran Junior Triathlon Club, they relished the opportunity of competing on home soil and showing off the beauty of their island home to fellow athletes who regularly host them at mainland events.

Whilst fog affected the boats making their way from Ardrossan, the competitors were ready to experience the beauty and challenging nature of this triathlon.

With only a slight delay, the day got started with the middle distance triathletes.  With wetsuits ready, Ocean Breeze Rib Tours escorted all competitors to the start of their race at Holy Isle.

As the swimmers completed their first discipline, they were quick to head off on their bikes to complete a full lap of a very scenic and hilly bike course.  The race was finished off with a half marathon run in Lamlash. The winner of the day was Robert Debenham with a fantastic time of 5.17.43, Nicole Morgan was the first lady to return with an equally impressive time of 5.51.55.

Dominic Sharkey was the first competitor to complete the standard distance in 2.08.29, after carrying out a 1,500m swim, a 40km bike -taking in the loop at Kildonan – and finishing with a 10km run.  First female back was Jemma McNeill in a time of 2.15.01.

The final race of the day for the adults was the sprint distance which saw local participation from mother and son, Carole Johnson and Myles Johnson both finished with loud cheers from the local supporter’s.  The winners of this event were Craig Armour (male 1.08.24) and Suzie Drummond (female 1.12.56).

After watching and waiting all day the junior triathletes were ready to enter the sea and start their aquathlon races. With ideal swimming conditions the young triathletes were off and ready to show off their open water swimming and running skills. The final podium places for the day went to Tristar 1 Rhea Webster (female 11.03), Joseph Greening (male 11.21).  Tristar 2 Ruaridh Lindsay-Smith (male 17:34) and Abby Stewart (female 20:46).  Tristar 3 and youth Matthew Ross (male 28:11,09) and Alexandra Ross (female 28:13,85).

Feedback from the event has been fantastic with competitors saying: ‘My first Triathlon and you really made it a special day for me in fantastic scenery. Arran is beautiful’.

Club coach Craig Wood said: ‘All of this would not have been possible without the amazing support from so many businesses across the Island, the local residents and the dedicated volunteers who stayed all day to ensure that the event ran safely.

‘The club would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all supporters including the Big Co-Op Brodick, The Old Byre Showroom, Arran Outdoor Centre, Auchrannie Resort, Machrie Tearoom, The Pierhead Tavern, James of Arran, The Lagg Hotel, Velo Café and Arran Kayak Club.

‘There are so many more people to thank and we’ll be coming to see you soon with a personal thank you, only this time we might just have to leave the wetsuits, bikes and trainers as we steadily prepare for the Scottish National Junior Triathlon at Bellahouston Park on Saturday June 16.  Thank you again to all Arran residents and businesses for your continued support’.

The club is currently looking for new junior members to join their fun and free sessions.  If you would like more details of our training times and locations please contact Craig Wood at craig.wood10@yahoo.com

All photos by local photographers Liam Nelson and David Hogg

An athlete sets off on the cycling portion of the race at the transition zone. No_B23triath01

Race marshals provide swimmers with their pre-race briefing. No_B23triath02

Grangemouth Triathlon Club were well represented at the Arran event. No_B23triath03

Junior swimmers prepare to set off for their swim during their Aquathlon. No_B23triath04

Tristar 1 winner, Rhea Webster with her medal. No_B23triath05

The AJTC pose for a group picture at the Island-2-Island Triathlon. No_B23triath06

Jack Popplewell is all smiles during his run. No_B23triath07

Archie Gunaydi pictured during his run. No_B23triath08

Cara Wood makes excellent time during her run. No_B23triath09

Ben McCarthy keeps his energy levels up with a sweet treat. No_B23triath10

AJTC members during the running portion of the Island-2-Island Triathlon. No_B23triath11

Julie Hamill looked relaxed during her run. No_B23triath12

Contestants set off from Holy Isle to swim to Lamlash. No_B23triath13

Archie Gunaydi proudly shows off his medal. No_B23triath14

Jack Popplewell pictured with his medal. No_B23triath15

James McCarthy with his medal. No_B23triath16

Lamlash Heather Queen Alyssa McGarrie made an appearance to wish AJTC athletes well during their races. No_B23triath17

All part of the enjoyment of the Island-2-Island event, entrants enjoy a power boat ride to Holy Isle. No_B23triath18