Christina Mackenzie pedalled onto the podium at the Sharon Argue Memorial Race as a double winner in both the team event with Stirling Bike Club and an individual triumph she says left her stunned.
The Stornoway athlete was on her bike for the annual event which doubled up as the East and Central Regional Championship and Team Time Trial. And our Christina podiumed in both – although she is adamant she was amazed to hear her name called out for the national championships.
“I was sitting beside (fellow Western Isles Island Games cyclist) Kirsty MacPhee afterwards chatting waiting for the presentation,” said Christina.
“I felt the Stirling team had done well and won the team event but when they called out the third place in the regional championships as me ‘Christina Mackenzie’ I couldn’t believe it. I thought there must be some mistake, it was so, so unexpected.”
She continued: “I knew I had done a good bike time and I was happy with it but with it being my first time trying this out I wasn’t sure how it would all work between times and placings. It was a completely new ball game to me so to get third place was wonderful and a massive surprise. Especially against some youngsters and experienced cyclists.”
The Sharon Argue Memorial Race was Christina’s first ever attempt at a Team Time Trial event but racing with her Stirling Bike Club team mates they pedalled to glory. But on the second day which was the East and Central Regional Championships and a combination of TT and road race, Christina placed third to win bronze.
“I still can’t believe it,” she said as she reflected on the race.
“It was a great weekend and the Saturday team trial was a great introduction where we all worked together. It was amazing.”
Hip pain has blighted much of Christina’s recent training, almost wiping out her ability to run comfortably but she hopes there is finally some light at the end of her injury tunnel now.
“My hip is getting better but the problem has always been running and not cycling so it’s fine on the bike and there has been a huge improvement and I’ll be back running soon.,” she said.
The triathlon and cycling season is coming to an end in a matter of weeks but for Christina there is always time to cram in one more super event into an already packed schedule.
She added: “The triathlon season finishes with the bike season at the end of September but before then I had another big race I have signed up for on Sunday – a 100-mile time trial. I’m looking forward to that one as it is a similar distance to what I would do in an Ironman event.
“It is taking place in Laurencekirk and is another Scottish national title event. I’m just trying to learn my way around the racing circuit in Scotland and trying to get as much experience as possible for Gotland and next year’s NatWest Island Games– that’s what it is all about.”