This year, Clint Betteridge and two colleagues took part in the Corrieyairack Challenge, an event billed as Scotland’s toughest duathalon. A mountain duathalon starting in Fort Augustus – 17 miles running over Scotland’s highest pass followed by a 26 mile cycle sprint to the finish in Kincraig.
As a part of the event, they helped fundraise for Speyside Trust which provides less fortunate children with the opportunity to participate in a range of outdoor activities. Brilliant effort – well done!
Clint said: “We all drove up on the Friday night and set up camp at Kincraig Fete, before loading bikes and change-over kit onto trucks for the cycle section at halfway point. After a comfortable night in the tent, the organisers put on a brilliant porridge with golden syrup for brekky. That was the lining and I also managed to poach a banana in promise of a beer at the post event festivities. Not quite the standard race prep but worked nevertheless! An entertaining bus trip to Fort Augustus via Inverness and then got the chance to load up with fast juice (glucose drink) or slow juice (water). Conditions were good for the start, if a little warm.
After giving my best attempt to run most of the up hill section there were just too many runners walking parts which didn’t help! So needless to say a few steep sections were walked briskly but did pick it up a few miles short of the summit to at least be motoring the main pass.
Great feeling getting over the pass but this soon changed when confronted with the demon zig zag downhill! Good fun mind you, but sharp focus was ultra-important as there were some very nasty looking rocks to make friends (or enemies) with. 5 miles to go with most of the hard work on the run over and my focus slipped a little (also not helped by my legs refusal to lift as high as at the start of race) and I tripped on a rock and hit the dirt. Not too bad though, a few minutes down with some strong words to myself! And then back on track. A bit sore mainly due to fall by the time I got to cycle changeover point and probably spent a little too long there resting and eating! Very hungry by end of the run but couldn’t handle another gel! 10-15 minutes later, it was back on with it – this time on the bike for which training for was pretty light. However, it did feel very good sitting down and going that much faster. I’d had a quick re-dress at the changeover and the base layer and gloves worked very well when moving at the faster speed, ironically the sun had almost disappeared by the bike stage also. A scenic ride from Garva Bridge through Laggan, Newtonmore, Kingussie and past Loch Insch to the finish line back at Kincraig Fete. Managed to pick it up very well in the last 5 miles and catch up with a few people who had left me for dust in the run. However not my team mates, they both beat me by at least half an hour and hour respectively! So did not do much good for the young’ns!
Finish line was wonderful and very quickly in line for massage afterwards. Then it was a quick trip to Aviemore for some ever-important Guinness to replenish the system followed by a shower and then great meal of stovies at the local pub. 9pm saw the start of the Ceilidh which was a great night all round, amazing what a bit of Ceilidhing can do for the legs! All in all, a great event and am looking very forward to taking part again next year (with a goal of beating at least one of my team-mates!)
My final time Total: 5:38:05 Run: 3:32:32 Cycle 2:05:33 (cycle time included the eating/sleeping time at changeover)
Winning time *Total: 3:18:38 Run: 2:04:03 Cycle: 1:14:34 *Note – did not see winner dancing at Ceilidh!”