Over the past 4 years my passion has been triathlon. Sadly due to a chronic ankle issue leading to aches and pains elsewhere Ive been advised not to run again (more later).
This means I’ve been concentrating mainly on cycling. Although I did take part in the ‘International Thrilled to be Chilled’ swim festival at Bardowie Loch in February 2018, not as the medic but as a ‘swimmer’ (!!).
I have my daughter, Lorna, to thank for that! She is studying Psychology and is interested in the mental health aspect of cold-water swimming and endurance events in general and asked me to take her along to watch the dafties, sorry swimmers at Pilmuir in November. So in I got…. Those of you who know me know that I struggle in Loch Lomond on a summer day so I was well out of my comfort zone. I thoroughly enjoyed the winter swimming thanks to the Vigour events team. I have particularly fond memories of a Sunday morning at Pilmuir with a water temperature of less than 4 C and air Temperature of -6 C and the clothes stuck to the cold ground…..
This year my main focus is on cycling and raising money for ‘beating bowel cancer’ in memory of my mother in law who sadly died 2 years ago from this terrible and all too common illness. One of my closest friends has also required extensive surgery but should be all clear from bowel cancer.
The main target is Ride London which is a 100 mile cycle around London at the end of July ( oh and as part of the London Classics ( London marathon, Ride London and swim serpentine) I’ve also signed up for the 2 mile swim in the serpentine at the end of Septembe.. So I’d better get back in that water asap….
So I've lined up a few cycling challenges culminating in Ride London at the end of July.
Ride It- a 54 mile cycle through the Trossachs including 2 ascents of Dukes Pass.
Etape Loch Ness- a 66 mile around Loch Ness- 29/4/18 (Happy Birthday to me ; ))
The Tayside challenge- an 81 mile cycle around rural Perthershire. 5/5/18
The Fred Whitton Challenge- a 113 mile, 12500 of climbing cycling in the Lake district. Said to be the toughest cycle in the UK. 13/6/18.
The Brewin Ochils 100. A 100 mile cycle through Perthshire, the Ochils. 3/06/18.
Ride London. A 100 mile cycle around London on 29/7/18.
So an eventful year ahead and all for a good cause ‘beating bowel cancer’.
At the time of writing I’ve completed the Ride it Sportive, The Etape Loch Ness and the Tayside challenge. They were all enjoyable in their own way. The Etape was glorious as it was a beautiful day and the scenery was stunning. The Tayside challenge was a lot tougher than expected with a cold damp day and a stinker of a climb just after Kenmore. We did it and didn’t have to walk any of the hill although might have been quicker!
So waiting for us (with John Clark) this weekend is the Fred Whitton challenge. This is widely thought of as the toughest cycle in the UK as it includes the toughest climbs in the Lakes including Kirkstone pass, Newlands Pass, Whinlatter, Hardknott, Wrynose and Blea Tarn with lots of ‘smaller’ climbs in between.
The training has been going well and you get to see this amazing country we live in. From cycling up and over the Rest and be thankful, dukes pass to Loch Katrine, Cycling down to Dunoon. Some glorious cycles mainly in the company of John Clark.
After ‘The Fred” it will be time to get back in the water at Pilmuir and Bardowie and would hope to take part in at least one of Vigour events challenges although Bardowie Swim Festival will be too soon….
Sunday Swim Sessions
There is a Sailing Regatta on at Bardowie Loch on Sunday 13th May so no swimming. Instead, we hope you can join us on Saturday 12th at Loch Venachar at 12 noon. We'll meet at the first car park.
Total Immersion Swim Session Swim Session back on as normal this week, Hamilton College at 10am.