More than 150 competitors from across the UK got in gear to cycle, swim and run yesterday (Sunday 22 September) to take part in Tri Together Glasgow, an inclusive triathlon run by Leonard Cheshire Disability and triathlonscotland.
The triathlon event, which has a sister event in London, was held for the first time in Scotland at Bellahouston Sports Centre and Park. The accessible, short distance triathlon is specially designed for disabled and non-disabled people to swim, bike and run side by side. There were several different race categories to cater for all abilities and ages – two adult distances (sprint distance and Mega Mini) and four junior.
Particularly popular with beginners, the event saw people of all abilities and ages over eight years old give it their all on the course. The junior categories saw more than 75 children and teenagers take part in the event.
Participants came from across Scotland and the surrounding areas. Paisley resident, Helen Rice, who was diagnosed with Ehler-Danlose Syndrome just two years ago, joined in the action. The 36 year old said: “I couldn’t make a cup of tea without help, but I had intensive physiotherapy which really helped and I started swimming. I saw a post for Tri Together Scotland up at the local swimming baths and I had a crazy notion to sign up – so I did!”
“It’s been really brilliant; the team at Leonard Cheshire Disability have been fantastic. The most important thing I’ve learnt is that the biggest obstacle is thinking ‘I can’t do that’.”
Paula McGuire, 32, a Glasgow resident, overcame her crushing fear of water in order to take part and raise money for Leonard Cheshire Scotland. She said: “People were cheering each other on throughout. The swim was really tough for me but I really enjoyed the cycle and the run and all in all I had a fantastic day.”
Competitors chose to test their mettle individually or as part of a team by tackling a swim, followed by a cycle ride and a run through the leafy surrounds of Bellahouston Park. The disabled participants used a variety of specialist equipment, such as hand bikes, to take on the cycle and run.
Kilbarchan-based World Paratriathlon Champion, Jane Egan, also joined in coming first in the disabled women’s category. She said: “I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in Tri Together Glasgow. Triathlons are always tough, but everyone was encouraging each other along the way, creating a fun and fantastic atmosphere.”
Several members of staff from Howdens Joinery, a long-standing partner of Leonard Cheshire Disability, put their best foot forward to conquer the challenge individually and in teams.
Caroline Gormley, the Tri Together Race Director at Leonard Cheshire Disability, said: “I would like to thank each one of our competitors, volunteers, sponsors and support crew for making Tri Together Glasgow an inspirational day.”
“By raising vital funds for Leonard Cheshire Disability Scotland our supporters are helping us to continue working with disabled people at all our services in the area.”
In order to bring the event to Glasgow the charity partnered with triathlonscotland, the national governing body for triathlon. Their Events and Volunteer Manager, Gemma Simpson, said: “Alongside Leonard Cheshire Disability, our local triathlon club network, sport volunteers and national governing body staff have all worked hard to make this a very special event for our participants.”
“I am extremely proud to have helped Tri Together launch in Scotland and look forward to the event continuing to be part of our annual calendar.”
To find out more, see results, timings and photographs and to register for next year’s event please visit www.lcdisability.org/tritogether