Heb Traithlon just around the corner

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The second annual Hebrides Triathlon will take place in a little over a week with organisers thrilled to see it set to operate at full capacity.

Capped at 30 triathletes, this year has seen 21 individual entrants with seven team entries to take on the standard distance triathlon around the west coast of Lewis.

Organiser Donald Smith, who also competes as part of a team, says all involved are hugely excited for the testing race which is set against the backdrop of the picturesque west coast .

The second annual test of endurance and skill here on home shores begins with a standard distance triathlon of a 1.5KM swim, 40KM cycle and 10K run.

Last year it was Mark ‘Doug’ Maciver and Christina Mackenzie who earned the first ever Hebrides Triathlon prizes.

Both conceded after the race, that the course between Shawbost, Callanish and Bragar had been extremely challenging, but each emphasised their excitement at the launch of a new event on home soil for triathletes.

‘Doug’ crossed the line in 2:26:57 – two and a half minutes ahead of second placed Donald Smith (who was part of a team entry with Colin S Macleod.) Macleod was first swimmer onto the shore with a two minute lead over ‘Doug’ who also took longer in transition, but after dominating the bike leg he ultimately opened up a near three minute lead when he dismounted for the 10K run to finish.

Looking ahead to this year Donald Smith says: “This year it has been open to the public but it is capped at 30 and we are full between individuals and teams.

“It is the exact same route as last year but I won’t be swimming,” he laughs.

“I was very pleased with how it went last year and we hope it continues to evolve.

“The Heb Tri is being run this year by the newly formed Western Isles Triathlon Club. The club hosts indoor and outdoor swimming technique, swim to bike and bike to run transition training sessions. We also intend to run the Try-a-Tri Stornoway later on in the year.”

In 2016 there were just nine entrants into the first ever Hebrides Triathlon – three team entries and six solo triathletes – who all charged into the balmy Loch a’Bhaile in Shawbost for the first ever event.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, July 29, at the Shawbost Community Centre with a scheduled start time of 11am.