Record breaking Hillbilly duathlon at Kirroughtree

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the third Kirroughtree Hillbilly Duathlon over the weekend where an amazing 10 records were broken.

On weather and atmosphere alone, this was undoubtedly the best Galloway Hillbilly event yet, attracting 84 juniors and 143 seniors to compete on the arid fast-flowing Kirroughtree Forest paths, roads and Seven Stanes bike trails.

Enthusiasm for the junior event was outstanding on Saturday, with many local clubs including the Newton Stewart Triathlon Club, Galloway Harriers and Galloway Hillbillies members and support teams turning out.

After being wound up by Mac with his brilliant commentary, the runners set foot at 11am in the Under 12s race. This was followed by the under 16s race.

All entrants in the junior races successfully completed the course and received a medal as they crossed the finish line. Podium positions received a Galloway Hillbilly Gold, Silver or Bronze medal as well as goody bags provided by MPG Cycles and £10 vouchers from Kirkcowan Cycles for the winners in each category. Well done to all the junior entrants. As always, the organisers had a lot of fun with the timing challenges presented at change-over in the Under 12s race!

Sunday’s senior duathlon was equally as exciting with spirits high in anticipation of a number of personal and record-breaking attempts. The senior event is a challenging 10 km run followed by the 18km Red Route Seven Stanes Mountain Bike trail – which can be completed by the fastest individual entries in around 01:40 hours (men) and under 2 hours (ladies). In addition to the normal categories – Senior, Vet (V40) and SuperVet (V50) – an Under 22 category was added this year with the support of ETB technologies who donated cash prizes to podium positions in the solo category.

Rowan Armstrong said: “Thank you to everyone who took part. What an amazing weekend! Special thanks to volunteer marshalls, timing crew and registration and shirt-stand fairies, to SiEntries for senior timing, Mac, events first aid and rescue, Raynet and Forestry Commission Scotland.”

For all of the results from the weekend, please see http://gallowayhillbillies.org.

See www.gallowaygazette.com for a full race report.

In the under 12s, the kids run a lap of the Kirroughtree events field before hopping on a bike and completing the Seven Stanes taster loop. A couple of fantastic performances came from Harry Barr (Newton Stewart Triathlon Club) who took 51 seconds off the existing male record, completing the course in 12:57 mins; and overall winning team/male pair Lewis Kennedy and Thomas Forster, who clutched the male team record (in 12:17 mins) and cleaned up in the split times with a run record of 2:43 mins and a bike record of 9:34 mins.

In the Under 16s race, Rosie Sinden smashed her own individual female record by over a minute to complete the challenging run and bike course in 49:08 minutes. Rosie, from the Stewartry Wheelers, now holds the U16 Female Record and individual female run and bike records for the Kirroughtree Hillbilly Duathlon U16 Course! Local athlete Sam Gurling put in a solid performance to clinch 1st Male and individual home in the U16’s race in 42:43.

Ben White was the winner of the solo category in an outstanding time of 01:46:16 hours. In total, 10 records were broken in the senior duathlon with 7 out of 8 pair records falling – with the most notable performance coming from the male pairs.

Gary Flannigan and Josh Hurley blew the field away, rounding the course in a record time of 01:31:05 hours. If Gary could just have contained his excitement he could have knocked another 10 seconds of his record run time (41:23 mins). Look out for this pair on the local circuit this year!

Euan McConnell (the original Hillbilly Goat) and Judith Murdoch (Galloway Hillfillies) brought home individual golds in the seniors, whilst reigning vet champion Michael Pluckrose (Carlisle Tri Club), held on at the top - coming home 1st individual overall in 01:38:52. Craig Malcolmson snatched a record in the Supervets with a winning time of 01:47:55. Tension was high in the vet male category with only 18 seconds separating the first two placings and Alan Baxter and Will Voce updating their existing record with a time of 01:36:22. It was also a close race in the mixed category and this was won by Rowan Armstrong and Neil Little in a category record time of 01:38:52.

The organisers wish to thank Churchill Catering, Cream o’ Galloway, Rowan Glen, Newton Stewart Co-op and Sainsburys for supplying refreshments, bananas, ice cream and yoghurts.

They also wish to thank the many sponsors without which this year’s events would not be possible. Keep an eye on the Galloway Hillbillies website for information on the next Galloway Hillbilly Event.