Glen Clova Duathalon (Sep 2016)

17 September 2016

Present: Amy, Dom, Berenice, Andrew, Kev, Annabel, Dave, Marc, Colin, Ed, Emma

Report by Amy

We arrived about 9:30pm to camp near the Glen Clova hotel to discover I had forgotten to pack the tent poles. Oops. Fortunately Kev had borrowed a small palace of a tent so we were able to stay in one of the wings of that. Our tent problems faded into the background however when a very cozy looking tent with a wood burning stove inside went up in flames! Staff from the hotel brought fire extinguishers pretty quickly but it had completely burnt down within minutes – it was amazing to see just how rapidly they can be destroyed.

The morning of the race dawned beautifully sunny and clear. We had to get up reasonably early to register and hand in our transition boxes before 8, but after not too much waiting around it was time for the race to start. Having been keen to register me and Dom were in the first wave of cyclists to set off (numbers 8 and 9), meaning that throughout all of the 26km cycle we were constantly being overtaken, including by Kev who was in the third or fourth wave to set off. The route started with the worst of the uphills, although none were too long, and generally it was quite a nice undulating route. Most bikes were a lot fancier than ours, to the extent that someone said I was doing well considering I was on a mountain bike (I hadn’t previously thought of my bike as a mountain bike!), but we still managed to get to the transition point in Glen Doll in under an hour.

Smiles before the start

After a good slurp of water and some energy sweets it was time to begin running. We could see Kev not too far ahead of us so Dom decided to push on to try and catch him up. I kept going at a gentler pace, getting my legs used to running rather than cycling. The way went fairly gently, but reasonably constantly, uphill along the track through the forest. I had fully expected to walk on parts of this, so was quite pleased to keep running (even if it was quite slowly) and even manage to overtake some people. Emerging from the forest Corrie Fee was quite a beautiful site in the sunshine. I managed to keep running until it started to get really steep. It was encouraging that everyone else was also walking, and so it became a question of who could walk uphill quickly – something I think hill walkers might have the edge over triathletes on!

In my memory of the route it flattened out a bit once you got to the top of the waterfall in Corrie Fee, but it turns out it keeps going fairly steeply all the way to the summit of Mayar. The ground was a bit boggier but the path was a bit wider so I did manage some bursts of running on my way to the top. As I was taking a summit selfie Andrew came running up to the top, and I then spent the way down Mayar and up Dreish following not too far behind him. After the uphill it was nice to get some downhill and to be able to run, although it seemed a shame in someways to be going so quickly when it was such a beautiful day with fantastic views!

After crossing between the summits it was time to go up steeply again to Dreish, with quite a lot of people already making their way down from the summit, including Dom. I took the opportunity while walking to have some water and a gel, both of which were very welcome. I mainly walked, with some short busts of running up to the summit, where, after a quick photo, I left Andrew chatting and started going down.

I always find it a bit scary running downhill but I tried to keep going as fast as I could (and ignore the worry of not having knees in ten years time….). The way became narrower and more eroded as we got to the Kilbo path. It was a bit wider in the forest, but a bit wetter so a lot of concentration was still needed to not fall over. I was surprised by how tough the quite lengthy and steep downhill felt on my legs, and was defiantly in need of another gel when I decided to have one. After what seemed like a very long time I finally made it to the track quite close to the transition point. At this point my calf started to cramp, but after some stretching (and concern from fellow runners) I managed to run back to the bikes.


I jumped straight on the bike and after not very long regretted this as my right leg cramped up completely. I stopped to stretch it out and then was able to push on. I could see that I should be able to make it back in under 3 and a half hours so tried to keep pushing on for the last 6km of the cycle – and made it back in 3hr 24mins! I was really happy as I’d been aiming for 4hrs and wasn’t sure if I’d be even able to make it by then before I’d started. Back at the hotel I got my medal and then cheered on as DMC members and other competitors all came through the finish. There was a really good atmosphere and it was good fun to have a reasonably large DMC group doing the race. We spent the rest of the afternoon having a well deserved rest before having a celebratory meal for Berenice’s birthday later in the evening.

  • Amy

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