Alan and Aicha Reid took part in this duathlon relay for teams of four, along with their friends John and Derek. The course consists of eight stages – four running and four cycling – which starts in Inverness and follows the Great Glen Way along the north side of Loch Ness. The Republicans finished in a very credible 110th out of 278 teams. Well done to all on what was by all accounts a very well organised and fun event. Full details available on the event website at www.firstmonster.co.uk
Republic of Leith”
Aicha said: “The First Monster Challenge is a 120km duathlon relay for teams of four which was held on Saturday September 12th. The course consists of eight stages – four running and four cycling – which starts in Inverness and follows the Great Glen Way along the north side of Loch Ness. Luckily the challenge coincided with the upward turn in the weather so the early start on Saturday was at least softened by the fine weather and notable absence of rain and wind. Alan and I took part in a team with Derek, another first time Monster and John, who did the challenge last year. The running stages are 8-15k each and the cycling stages are either 16 or 22k. The pre-race information describes each stage and rates its difficulty on a scale of 1-10 so you can choose which team member completes which stages. The stages varied between flat, hilly, rough and easy terrain.
Team members were transported between transition areas in a great feat of organisation and each transition area had food, drinks and a screen showing each team’s progress throughout the stages. Times were recorded using an electronic ‘dibber’ which was passed between team members at each transition like a relay baton.
The organisation of the day was excellent and the atmosphere of camaraderie and friendly competition was what really made it special along with the spectacular scenery and physical challenge of the route. Our team ‘The People’s Republic of Leith’ came in a respectable 110th out of 278 teams and are keen to go back next year to improve on our individual stage times as well as our overall time of 7:42:22 – the winners finished in a spritely 5:28:37. The real heroes of the day were the Iron Monsters who completed the entire 120k challenge as individuals rather than as part of a team.
Overall I would say it was a really unique event which makes you want to go back and improve on your performance but was also really good fun.”