Scottish Triathlon Association’s National Aquathlon Championships Race Report
At the Scottish Triathlon Association’s National Aquathlon Championships at Irvine on Sunday the 1st of August, Glenpark had a medal haul of three golds.
After an initial recci the week before when Danny McLaughlin, Marian Monk and recent new member Campbell Cromar went down to familiarise themselves with the course, they did a 5k warm up and swam twice the distance by mistake (Danny insisted it was two laps and not one but the Garmin doesn’t lie). When it became apparent that the swim distance was wrong Danny swam the 2nd lap calling himself an idiot, whilst Campbell, who was quite a bit ahead got out early and continued into the run. Meanwhile Marian, being the ever considerate one, waited for Danny. The real reason was to call him the numpty he already knew he was! The terrific trio continued into the run and suffered quite badly in the sweltering heat. So ended the confidence boosting course recci. On the bright side, they now knew what to do come race day!
Marian and Danny also ran hard mid-week in the Glenpark Harriers Hill Race. Campbell decided not to run the Hill Race, saving himself confessing he felt guilty to begin with, but the more he watched the race the less guilty he felt!
On race day it was a lot cooler and confidence was high. Campbell, who had no previous experience of multi-sport competitions, but a lot of experience with open water swimming, decided to swim in skins. That way he figured he wouldn’t need to get tangled up in his wetsuit at the transition. He persuaded Marian to do the same. Danny however decided (along with almost all of the other competitors) that he’d put his wetsuit on to get more buoyancy. That decision saved Marian and Campbell 30 seconds. The chances are if Campbell wore his wetsuit he’d still be down there!
Anyway, to the race itself.
There were 2 heats, male and female.
Marian was easy to spot in her Glenpark tri suit. She was well up with the leaders at the start but dropped into the following pack at the mid-way point of the 750m open water swim at Shewalton Water in Irvine. Coming out of the water looking very fresh she went through the transition in less than 30 seconds, gaining quite a bit on those in the group ahead who looked tired by comparison. Marian then proceeded to pass at least 8 on the 5k run, clocking a fabulous post-swim time of 20:50.8 and finishing 33rd out of the total 67 men and women competitors. For this she was justly rewarded with the National Aquathlon title in the 45-49 age group category.
Next came Danny and Campbell in the Men’s competition. With around 50 in the water at the start line and a lot of splashing going on, it was a good time to throw in your washing ! Campbell went with the leading group for the first leg and settled into a steady pace whilst Danny, who admits swimming isn’t his strongest event, worked very hard to minimise the gap going into the run. Coming out of the water in 11:36, Campbell was well up the field with a lot of younger athletes behind. Danny as expected stormed through the field very successfully. With a swim time of 15:50.6 and a transition of 1:04.9, Danny ran a blistering pace, passing several runners to clock 20:22.0 for the run. This was 5 seconds faster than Campbell, who although passed by a few runners further up the field, was delighted with his 5k post-swim time of 20:27.5 following a 32.9 seconds transition.
Campbell finished a meritorious 21st out of 67 competitors, whilst Danny finished 47th. Both Campbell and Danny won their age group categories too (55-59 and 60-64 respectively), making it three national gold medals for Glenpark on the day.
Throughout the event there was an excellent running commentary, video footage of each competitor finishing and a real-time results service. Marshalling was also first class.
Full results are here.