Celtman Extreme Triathlon 2017
If you looked up perseverance in the dictionary then you might just find a picture of Jimmy Dryden. He was taking on this beast of a race for the fourth time, which says something in itself as most people wouldn’t even consider entering once and of those that do, once is usually enough. It’s pretty brutal!
The course has a special start, with the flaming Celtman sign and pipers piping you into the water, it really sets the scene for this foreboding event! It starts with a 3km swim across the jelly fish infested waters of Loch Sheildaig (and I’m not just talking about the odd jelly fish here and there, I mean literally thousands of jelly fish in a giant jelly fish soup).
You’ve then got the small matter of a 200km cycle through the challengingly hilly West Coast of Scotland and then there’s the run which is a marathon but because this is an extreme triathlon it’s not your standard flat marathon – it’s hilly... obviously! Everyone starts with the same first section across the Coulin Pass and then there’s the next dimension to it... if you make it in time you go the high route – over two munros (and get a blue t-shirt when you finish). If you don’t meet the first time cut-off then you go the low route which is equally as challenging it just doesn’t go as high for safety reasons (and get a white t-shirt when you finish).
Now, due to several unfortunate setbacks including breaking his bike during the race (I think that was the first year) and breaking his back another year (not mid-race thankfully), Jimmy had yet to get meet his target which was to make the first time cut off and get the highly sort after Blue
T-shirt. I’ve rarely seen someone so determined to achieve their goal. Jimmy trained his socks off and kept his training consistent, got advice from a variety of people and reflected on
previous races to see where he could make improvements. Well, I’m delighted to say that Jimmy’s hard work paid off and despite a truly horrendous day of weather which made an already tough course tougher he did it. Jimmy is now the proud owner of a Celtman Blue T-shirt.
This was to be Jimmy’s last year of Celtman however, if you do the race 5 times, you get a red t-shirt. I’ve a funny feeling, Jimmy will be back!
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