Off-road triathlon set to test the hardiest of athletes

A competitor takes on last years Durty Tri event.
A competitor takes on last years Durty Tri event.
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LEADING triathletes from across the country and beyond are gearing up to get down and durty in the Borders.

The Scottish Cross (Off-Road) Triathlon Championships will again be hosted by the Durty Triathlon on Saturday July 21, in the hills above St Mary’s Loch where competitors get a real taste of the Borders countryside.

Supported by Scottish Borders Council, the race has attracted a field of nearly 300 of the country’s leading triathletes with the event also forming part of the UK- wide Scott X-Tri Series.

In addition, this series brings together four of the biggest and best off-road triathlon races in the country.

Race organiser, Paul McGreal said: “The entire triathlon course is over some of Scotland’s most spectacular wilderness.

“We’re welcoming both solo and relay teams (three members) on both courses, entries close this Sunday, so anyone else looking to enter will have to be quick.”

The race is organised by Durty Events in collaboration with the Scottish Borders Triathletes club.

This will be the fifth running of the race and it’s become a well-established favourite on the sporting calendar.

Last year’s race won the coveted Triathlon Scotland ‘Event of the Year’ award, and was short-listed for the British Triathlon equivalent – the first off-road triathlon to ever achieve this.

McGreal added: “The course is designed to be fun but challenging, with epic climbs resulting in stunning panoramic views across the Southern Uplands and fantastic technical descents by bike.

“The run also has a significant climb of around 800m on rough forest roads, and a unique descent, initially across trackless wild moorland, followed by a grassy, muddy quad track.”

The Scottish Cross (Off-Road) Triathlon Championships, aka the ‘Long Hard Durty’ consists of a freshwater loch 1,500m swim, 30km challenging mountain bike, and 10km hilly trail run with a few obstacles thrown in for good measure. There’s also a supporting race, the Short Fast Durty, which takes place over half these distances.

Juniors are also well catered for as a pair of new aquathon (swim and run) races are also to be held.

Spectators are very welcome. The swim starts are always spectacular as up to 200 swimmers in each wave fight for space. The two triathlon races start at 2.30pm and 3.30pm from the Tibbie Shiels Inn at St Mary’s Loch. The junior aquathon races start just after 1pm.

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