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.
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.
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.