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The Big Chip Triathlon

Chips were the fuel of choice for Glasgow TC last weekend

One hundred and eighty seven miles is a long way to go for a good fish supper – especially if you’re swimming, cycling and running, says writer Fiona Russell. But according to the members of Glasgow Triathlon Club who did just that recently, the chips taste all the better for the effort.

Around 40 members of the club took part in a unique charity event called the Big Long Chippie Run Triathlon on 26-29 June 26.

The three-day challenge took them from the west coast of Scotland to the east coast village of Anstruther, aptly the home of Scotland’s famous Anstruther Fish Bar. After the event, one participant Elisabeth Schalenbourg said: “These are the best fish and chips I have ever tasted – and definitely the most deserved.”

Starting at 6am on the Friday, the Big Long Chippie Run Triathlon set off from Helensburgh for an eight-mile mass cycle to Balloch.

For the next 11 hours, a relay of swimmers headed north along the spectacular 22-mile length of Loch Lomond.

After a night at a nearby campsite, the relentless triathletes then cycled the 96 miles from Ardlui to Kinross.

The final leg on the Sunday included 40 miles of cycling and 11 miles of running.

Participants were joined by many friends and relatives for the final one mile run into Anstruther on Sunday.

And there were cheers and clapping from bystanders in the coastal village as the Big Long Chippy Run Triathlon finally came to a finish outside the door of Scotland’s best chip shop.

It was then over to the staff at award-winning Anstruther Fish bar to fry up enough fish and chips to feed the exhausted triathletes.

Mini-bus and van support for the event was provided by Mitchells Hire Drive at Dumbarton.

Yesterday, Glasgow Triathlon Club president David Wilson said: “Some people will go a long way for a good fish supper and our club is no exception.

“Although this was a tough event we all had a fantastically enjoyable time. We are also delighted to have raised more than £1500 for our nominated charities.”

The club’s secretary Stewart Reid added: “When we thought up this event as part of the club’s 10th anniversary celebrations we has no idea how much fun it would be – nor how good the chips would taste at the end.

“This has been an incredibly special weekend and one that many people will treasure for years to come.”

Money raised from the Big Long Chippie Run Triathlon will be split equally among Loch Lomond Rescue Boat (LLRB), Erskine Hospital for ex-service men and women and The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow.

* Anyone interested in finding out more about the club, which welcomes all abilities, can check out www.glasgowtriathlonclub.co.uk

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.