Midnight Triathlon star raises funds for BDRF
Huge congratulations and thanks to BDRF supporter Kathleen McManus who has competed in and completed Starman 2019 – a triathlon event that starts at midnight and goes through the night.
Set in the Cairngorms National Park this this is a sleepless, tough, intimidating and wild triathlon under the stars.
Covering a 1.2m swim in Loch Morlich, a 56m bike ride and finishing off with a 14m run through the summit of Cairn Gorm.
Here’s Kathleen’s report back to BDRF :
“The event was brutally amazing! The official finish time was 9hrs 45 and what a 9hrs it was!
I decided to raise money for BDRF as it was my 30th birthday and rather than parties and presents, this money could really help research into bowel disease.
I have a close family member with chronic bowel disease with no cure which is hard to understand these days. There’s more focus on the more common bowel diseases which is great but we also need to bring more awareness to the more rare illnesses and find better, less intrusive treatments.
My night of hard effort, pain and stubbornness not to give up is only a very small representation of what people with bowel disease go through everyday.
The event started with a race briefing at 11:45pm where we were told it was so windy that mountain rescue had declared part of the route too dangerous but we would start anyway and hope it improved! This news plus being able to hear how choppy the water was, really got the nerves going. Midnight struck and off we set into the pitch black Loch Morlich. That wind really made it tough, waves hitting you in all directions, pushing you off course. The darkness was completely disorientating and having swallowed half of Loch morlich I was glad to get out and onto the safety of my bike!
56 miles of cycling in complete darkness with only your bike lights for sight was eerie but strangely peaceful. Only at 4 in the morning when I got a puncture and it started sleeting did I question what on Earth I was doing. The final climb of the cycle up to the cairngorm ski centre was really tough going, a very steep switch back with the wind threatening to topple you over and the higher you climbed, the colder it got! Luckily the transition area at the ski centre had amazing volunteers to take the bikes and hand you a hot drink as we got changed into running gear.
During the course of the night, mountain rescue determined that the wind had died down enough to declare it safe to summit so off we went up the Cairngorm mountain. While the legs adjusted we decided to eat to refuel on the way up as it was too steep to run. The wind had other ideas though and blew the food out of our mouths! Food plan abandoned it was a case of head down and plough on. As I got blown off the main path and into the safety fence, I did question what mountain rescue declared as safe to summit! By the time we had summited cairngorm and we made our way down through the cloud to see the sun had risen creating an amazing rainbow over the mountains.
With the sun up and one mountain down, one to go, our energy levels lifted. The rest of the run went well as it was downhill and the sun made it easy in comparison. That was until we got to the foot of the second mountain, this climb although not as steep as cairngorm, was just as tough – the legs starting to buckle on the way up. Heading down the other side led us onto the beach with sunshine and the very welcome sight of the finish line!
This really was a tough endurance event but it was phenomenal!”
Once again a huge thank you to Kathleen and to all who have sponsored her, raising a whopping £1,325 so far.
You can still sponsor Kathleen by visiting her JUSTGIVING PAGE
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