2019 Scottish Aquathlon Championships report

Luke Howard and Kara Tait lead the way on Saturday to earn top spots at the 2019 Scottish Aquathlon Championships at Balloch Castle Country Park

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -

As I highlighted in the Weekend Preview last week, domestic championship racing this past weekend was the Scottish Aquathlon Championships, held at Balloch Castle Country Park

Thanks to Triathlon Scotland for sending through their post-event report.

On Saturday the 27th July Triathlon Scotland was at Balloch Castle Country Park for the 2019 Scottish National Aquathlon Championships, hosted by Lomond Swimming and Triathlon Club.

The weather was warm with rain throughout the day. The water temperature was 15°c so it was an optional wetsuit swim, but all chose to wear a wetsuit.

The first two races of the day were the Beastie (sprint cross triathlon) and the Wee Beastie (novice friendly triathlon) races that went off 9.30am and 10.15am respectively. The Scottish Aquathlon Championships and the Bikeless Beastie went off at 11:00am with 84 competitors doing a deep water start. The course was a 750m looped swim followed by a 5km run around the park finishing with an uphill sprint.

With all six of the overall medal winners from last year not on the start line it was a wide open race, but with a field of athletes with Scottish Championship experience and the damp conditions there was going to be lots of action.

In the men’s race squad athlete Daniel Saunders (H3O Racing) was quickly in front on the swim and was 10 seconds ahead coming out of the water. Rory Strachan (Fusion Triathlon Club) was second with another 15 second gap to Thomas Dalgarno (Aberdeen University Triathlon Club) in third. In fourth place was Luke Howard (University of Stirling Triathlon Club) but he was almost 50 seconds behind the leader coming out of the water.

With only a swim and a run, every aspect of the race was vital, including the long run up the slope from the jetty to transition and then transition itself. Daniel and Luke both made up time on their competitors after a fast run up the hill and transition.

Once onto the run Luke moved up the field moving into a podium place and then up to top spot very close to the end. Luke claim the title just four seconds ahead of Daniel in times of 27:29 and 27:33 respectively. Behind them, Thomas finished third (27.52).

Luke said on his race:

I was pretty tired crossing the line, It was a hard run as I was having to catch back up after the swim but it felt good when I cross the line.”

On his preparation and what is coming next Luke said”

I knew I was coming back to this [Scottish Aquathlon Championships] from camp, so I have had a little bit of an eye on this. I put in some really hard training over the couple of weeks… and I have come back really really fit and ready for the second half of the season.

next Sunday [is my next race] for the European U23 Qualifier, that’s the aim and it’s going to be a tough one.”

In the women’s race Kara Tait (Edinburgh Triathletes) was the first out of the water with a 15 second lead and was very quickly onto the run. Kirsty O’Brien (Lanark Triathlon Club) was second and Ashleigh Jolly (Perth Triathlon Club) was third out running up the hill to transition.

Once onto the run Kara was able to maintain the gap to the rest of the field and claimed the gold medal with plenty of time to spare (31:25). Kirsty also held her position in the run securing another medal to add to her 2019 Scottish Championship collection (33:30). Coming home in third place in the Championship was Lorna Todd (Ayrodynamic Triathlon Club) who put in the third fastest run split to move up through the field and earn a bronze medal.

This was Kara’s first Aquathlon and first race in open water. Speaking to her after, Kara said:

I was a bit shocked as I didn’t realise that I had won, until someone told me that I had. So I was really happy.

I was a bit nervous about the swim. I know I am good at swimming but was just a bit nervous about the water and everything coming together, but it went really well and I really enjoyed the swim.

Triathlon Scotland would like to say a massive thank you to our hosts, Lomond Swimming and Triathlon Club, and their team of friendly marshals and event supporters.

Our next Scottish Championships is the Middle Distance on Sunday 18th August at Loch Tay hosted by Triathlon Edinburgh Ltd. Find out more HERE.

For full results from the 2019 Scottish Aquathlon Championships, click HERE and your Scottish National Aquathlon Champions are:

Overall Male

1st Luke Howard (University of Stirling Triathlon Club) 27:29
2nd Daniel Saunders (H3O Racing) 27:33
3rd Thomas Dalgarno (Aberdeen University Triathlon Club) (27:52)

Overall Female  

1st Kara Tait (Edinburgh Triathletes) 31:25
2nd Kirsty O’Brien (Lanark Triathlon Club) 33:30
3rd Lorna Todd (Arodynamic Triathlon Club) 34:30

Youth Male

1st Daniel Saunders (H3O Racing) 27:33

Junior Male

1st Calum Little (Stirling Triathlon Club) 30:02
2nd Sam Burton (Stirling Triathlon Club) 31:07

Junior Female

1st Chantel Thomson (Grangemouth Triathlon Club) 37:58
2nd Lucy Roberts (Glasgow Triathlon Club)  45:40

Senior Male

1st Luke Howard (University of Stirling Triathlon Club) 27:29
2nd Thomas Dalgarno (Aberdeen University Triathlon Club) (27:52)
3rd Rory Strachan (Fusion Triathlon Club) 28:11

Senior Female

1st Kara Tait (Edinburgh Triathletes) 31:25
2nd Kirsty O’Brien (Lanark Triathlon Club) 33:30
3rd Ashleigh Jolly (Perth Triathlon Club) 35:16

Veteran Male

1st Liam Goldie (West Lothian Triathlon Club) 30:34
2nd Fergus McDowell (Scottish Fire and Rescue) 30:45
3rd Kevin Gemson (Unattached) 33:34

Veteran Female

1st Lorna Todd (Arodynamic Triathlon Club) 34:30
2nd Marian Monk (Greenock Glenpark Harriers) 37:38
3rd Jane Essex (Edinburgh RC) 45:23

Super Veteran Male

1st David Auchie (Arodynamic Triathlon Club) 33:10
2nd Martin Duthie (G72) 33:23
3rd Stewart Bailey (Arodynamic Triathlon Club) 34:28

Super Veteran Female

1st Barbara Sweeny (Monifieth Triathlon Club) 37:52
2nd Ann Johnstone (Edinburgh RC) 38:14
3rd Lorna Sloan (Arodynamic Triathlon Club) 43:03

Vintage Male

1st Danny McLauchlin (Greenock Glenpark Harriers) 37:23

Vintage Female

1st Julia Hector (Stirling Triathlon Club) 40:13

Super Vintage Male

1st  Douglas Wood (Stirling Triathlon Club) 43:13

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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