Scotland´s newest endurance event, the STARMAN Night Triathlon took place through the night on Saturday 19 August with organisers and competitors ‘hailing it a huge success’. Set in the picturesque Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands, the middle-distance tri with a difference invited competitors to start at midnight by slipping into the black waters of Loch Morlich for a 1.2 mile swim in the dark.
This was followed by a 56-mile cycle along the silent, Speyside roads before taking on the summits of Cairn Gorm and Meall a Bhuachaille as the dawn rose. The event was managed by True Grit Events, a new management company based in Aberfeldy in the Highlands which set up the STARMAN Night Triathlon to offer something different for triathletes and outdoor addicts.
Caroline MacKechnie from True Grit Events, organiser of STARMAN said “We are absolutely overwhelmed by the success of the event, especially as it was the first one. Everyone who took part gave 100% and really seemed to enjoy themselves too, despite the huge challenge. We´d like to thank everyone that helped make it happen and most importantly everyone who participated in this crazy challenge. We hope to see you all back here next year!”
Participants could enter individually or as part of a relay team; and people came from as far afield as Bristol along with many from the across Scotland to brave the dark. The inaugural event’s overall winner was Sean McFarlane, 44, from Dollar, Scotland at 6:39:07.
Speaking about his experience, Sean said “What an utterly fabulous race! Such a memorable day and particularly night! The whole event was very, very special and the True Grit team ensured things ran brilliantly. A unique format in an iconic location, the combination worked brilliantly. The race is certainly set to go from strength to strength.”
The first female competitor to cross the line was Gillian Sangster, 46 years old from Carnoustie, Scotland with a time of 7:33:05. She said “I’ve never done anything like this before; it was such an adventure. It was crazy, surreal, brutal, magical, stunning and very special. I’m so glad I did it.”
Relay teams could also take part, with the first one to reach the finish consisting of Morven Bridges, Andrew Vickerstaff & Steven Worsley from Inverness and Gairloch with a time of 6:39:52.
Set up by Andrew Hastings and Caroline MacKechnie, True Grit Events creates, builds and delivers endurance challenge events. The company’s mission is to run unique and challenging events in spectacular settings, giving everyone the opportunity to go further, train harder and achieve more than they ever thought possible.
‘From hot tarmac to magnificent mountains’, Andrew and Caroline have over 20 years of combined experience in the endurance event industry. They have worked on some of the UK´s biggest and best known charity fundraising events and will continue this work with True Grit Events. In June 2017, they managed the Cateran Yomp for ABF The Soldiers´ Charity, an ultra-endurance challenge that saw almost 1000 people walking or running 54 miles of the Cateran Way. The event was seen as a success for the Soldiers´ Charity and is expected to raise £350,000 this year.