Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon - the CAT
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The organisers acknowledge the invaluable support of Rothiemurchus Estate, Glenmore Forest Park and Pityoulish Estate in helping us ensure that as well being competitive and enjoyable that the CAT is also environmentally sustainable.
CAT 2016 by Bruce Cranston
CAT 2016 by Bruce Cranston
CAT 2016 by Bruce Cranston
CAT 2016 by Bruce Cranston
photos copyright G & Bri Photography
Race Report 2016
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Many thanks to Dawn Cranston for this year's report.

What an amazing day, perfect conditions, the best so far and made our 10th anniversary race all the more special. The 223 competitors in last Saturday’s “CAT” Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon had their skills tested on a slightly longer canoe section, due to the wind free calm loch. Only 2 competitors had an unexpected “swim” but aided by the team at Loch Morlich Watersports were able to get back in their canoes and complete the canoe, bike and run challenge.

The “CAT” continues to be a very popular event in the local sporting calendar with increasing numbers of locals joining people from across the country to take up the challenge. Proceeds go towards helping talented local young athletes achieve their ambitions and last year we supported 3 young people in a wide variety of sports. This year we are choosing to be a little different and support a local inspirational man David Andrew Smith who has battled tumours throughout his impressive career, but never gives up, claiming Paralympic gold in London 2012. He was due to represent us again in Rio but fell foul to his continued battle. Our donation to his rehabilitation will help get him on the road to Tokyo 2020 and for him to continue to inspire the youth of the Strath through his visits to our schools and projects to aim high, take up the challenge and never give in.

Tim Pott, Chairperson of the CAT Organising Committee, commented:

“With such perfect conditions there were some some very impressive times, Banchory Boys, Roger Finlay and Andrew Ramsay, were the fastest male team in 3.42.32. Local Ladies Gill and Jen the flower pot women, Jenny Aungir and Gillian Council secured the female team win in an impressive 4.18. Siobhan Evans and Campbell Scott were the first mixed team in 4.05.39. Siobhan was also first female, holding onto her record in 1.57.11 and first male was Rory Stephen 1.48.21. The event is not all about the winners though it was most encouraging to see people of all ages and abilities completing their personal and team challenge whilst raising funds for a variety of worthwhile causes. Great to see the Creating Energy teams back again with valiant efforts from all. Full results are available here.

The CAT couldn’t happen without the enthusiastic support from Keith Taylor and team at Loch Morlich Watersports who provide the canoes, safety boat cover and excellent barbeque. We are delighted to support local specialist activity first aid providers Avium who covered the event. Numerous local businesses and organizations help with equipment and prizes and the fantastic team of marshalls help to keep everyone motivated. We expect CAT 2017 to take place at an as yet unconfirmed date in September with entries opening in May.

Thanks You to everyone taking part, helpers and supporters, it was a brilliant day, no serious injuries and we didn’t lose anyone either, the best atmosphere yet and the perfect day to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Three competitors who have competed in all 10 events, Brian MacDonald, Roger Findlay and Brian Strachan, were rewarded for their efforts with a special prize of a bottle of whisky, very well done and may there be many more. Keith Taylor from Loch Morlich Water Sports and Sheena Wilson enduring marshal have also supported the event for 10 years and also received a fine malt for their efforts, here’s to the next ten.

A few words from the 10 timers ...

The CAT is my favourite event of the year, in fact of all time!  It's well organised by Tim and his team which beautifully combines the scenery of he National park with a competitive  but fun multi sport event for all ages and abilities.

2016 was my 10th CAT and each and every one has had something different: Punctures, wind, rain, sunburn, friends, tears, cramp, smiles & terrible canoeing. I aim to take part next year and every year provided I can both register quickly enough and at least hobble to the start line.
Roger Findlay

There are many things that keep us coming back:

The location is stunning and always leaves an impression regardless of the weather.

The event is always very well organised, and from a competitors point of view runs flawlessly.

There is the on-going challenge of trying to improve upon your times, honing your paddling skills and then the additional challenge that the weather conditions bring, ensuring that the event is never quite the same from one year to the next, which adds to the drama and excitement of the day.

Most of all though, it’s the fact that the CAT is such a friendly, welcoming, good spirited event, and is genuinely fun to be at (despite a certain amount of suffering during and sometimes afterward!) that really keeps us coming back. A great weekend all round, and one we thoroughly look forward to every year.

I would wholeheartedly recommend the event (and frequently do!) to anyone who enjoys a challenging day in the great outdoors or is looking to have a go at their first triathlon.
Brian Strachan

When we arrived for the first Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon nobody knew what to expect or how long it would take. Having done all 10 now, I can say that no two have been the same.  The weather makes a huge difference on the loch so there is always a different route to follow which makes the timings for each year so different.  I am lucky to have had two great teammates - first Lynn and now Saunders - it has always been a great laugh with each of them and we have done not too bad over the years!  Loch Morlich has such stunning scenery  you can't help but fall in love with the place - even on a bad day!  

Each year participants turn up and are so warmly greeted by all the volunteers and you know that you are in safe hands if anything goes wrong because the day is so well organised.  Also the friendships between the teams giving worlds of encouragement when you start to flag near the end is what any sport should be about!  

This year, when I was on the run, everyone was saying well done and keep going and a reply came back which made my day " go on yersel" !  

It is having such a wonderful day during the race but also the gathering of family and friends which makes me book as soon as I can for the next triathlon - big thanks to Tim and all the team who contribute to making such a wonderful event!

Finally wishing Dave Smith, beneficiary of this years event, a speedy recover following surgery and hope for a successful rehab.
Brian MacDonald

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