THE first open water triathlon to be held in the Wee County put athletes through their paces earlier this month.

The test event was organised by Clacks Active, which aims to raise awareness and encourage people to make the most of the impressive outdoors facilities in Clackmannanshire, in conjunction with Harviestoun Estate.

Thought to be the first triathlon for the county, participants took on a swim at Aberdona, biked over towards the Dam and then came back Dollar way, running up Bank Hill and King’s Seat, finishing in the Mill Green.

Director of Clacks Active, Sean McFarlane, said: “The event couldn’t have gone any better. 

“All the competitors loved the course and the sun came out too. 

“Seeing people open water swimming for the first time at the start of a triathlon in Clackmannanshire was a particular highlight. 

“Crossing the River Devon on a newly-reinstated track over what used to be an old ford was also memorable, especially given the recent wet spell.”

Sean, a seasoned triathlete who won the inaugural Starman Night Triathlon recently, said the idea for the race came about after a chat with Nick Poett, of Harviestoun Estate, about the potential of the land.

Having long trained on it himself, Sean knew it would make for a cracking course and 95 per cent of the event was held there – with purpose-built tracks even set up.

Clacks Active, which was established in 2012, was keen to use its expertise to help with the Harviestoun Triathlon.

Sean, from Dollar, said: “Clacks Active has a large amount of experience in helping stage successful triathlon-type events so it was an obvious fit.

“Also, given the intimate knowledge Clacks Active has of the land for options to swim, bike and run, it all made sense to work together on this. It was an exciting, varied and excellent course. 

“The swim was in the lochans at Aberdona with Nick Poett and his team building a wonderful linking trail for the event, with competitors briefly exiting the water and running between the lochans. 

“The bike was 95 per cent off-road and the run course was the hardest part of the day. 

“Short course competitors did Bank Hill and back whilst long course competitors went to King’s Seat and back.”

Thanks was given to Harviestoun Estate for going above and beyond, along with Harviestoun Brewery which kindly gave everyone a beer.
And the event went down a storm with competitors.

Sean, 44, added: “The feedback has been enormously positive with a very clear request for more events like this. With the course now having been tested and passed with flying colours, the future looks good.”