Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

FamilyOutdoors do the Peebles Triathlon

Written by Fiona June 13 2011

It is women like Jane Holmes that inspire me to aspire for even better times in my sporting events. Jane was the first lady to cross the line of  Peebles Triathlon 2011 on Sunday. She is 42, has three children and is a busy farmer’s wife in Duns yet she still trounced all the other women (many much younger than her) and beat the majority of the men.

Going slow: FionaOutdoors!

Her time of 1 hr 11 min is impressive – and after speaking to her I loved her modesty. “Oh I’ve just found I’m quite good at muddling through these kind of events,” she told me. “No I didn’t do sport much as a youngster. I never made it on to any of the school teams but I’ve always liked swimming, cycling and running.

“One day I just thought I’d give a Come and Tri event a go and I won it and since then I’ve enjoyed taking part in a few sprint and standard distance triathlons.”

Have you won anything before?, I asked her. “Oh, well, I think I came second in last year’s Peebles Triathlon. Second or third or something like that. And, er, yes, I won the overall Borders triathlon series last year.”

That’s brilliant, I suggested.

“Hmm, well, thank you. No I think I only won because I did four out of the six events and that gave me more points. There were definitely better women triathletes than me competing. Still, it was nice to win. And I do like beating the men!”

The Peebles Triathlon welcomed more women than ever before and a host of new-comers. This year across the two events, the Sprint distance and the Come and Tri event there were 60 female participants, up from 43 in 2010. The Come and Tri event had 40 entrants, up from 17 last year.

It’s like I’ve been saying for a while: There are definitely more women and  novices getting into triathlon. I only wish there were a few more competing.

Last year, I was pushed around the course by another woman. We fought to beat each other on the 20km cycle and then we chatted for a bit before trying to out-run each other on the 5k running course.

This year, I hardly saw another woman after the start of the swim. My friend and fellow Glasgow Triathlon Club member Super-Charged Charlotte was in my lane for the 750m pool swim. We were both very nervous before the event kicked off and both felt under par.

We exited the pool around the same time and she had a much faster transition to the bike than me but after I caught her on the bike section (she was going extremely well) I didn’t see her again until the end. More’s the pity because I could have done with some friendly rivalry!

Anyway, my swimming has always been my weakness so I was delighted to make it out of the pool in a personal best of 13 mins 33 seconds. (Last year’s PB was 14.07). I felt quite sick on the first half on the bike ride but kept pushing and after the 10k mark I started to feel a lot stronger. I raced to another PB of 36:09 despite the the nauseous start.

Then came the run. My worst ever time! My calf cramped as I changed from my bike shoes to my trainers and I was forced to limp off at a slow pace. I noticed a woman running along behind me and I half hoped she would race past me and give me a bit of a push to try harder. But, to be honest, I didn’t seem to have any oomph left. I trundled around the run, feeling OK, but not very energetic.

Surprisingly my final result actually gave me a personal best for the event of 1hr 17 mins 03 seconds. (Thanks to my coach the Mighty Vickster for that!). I was third lady veteran, the best result I’ve ever had. But still nowhere near as fast at farmer’s wife Jane!

BruvOutdoors in in his first ever Transition 1

Peebles Come and Tri event was also my brother’s first go at triathlon. BruvOutdoors and his friend Action-man Adrian decided at New year to get fit – and then entered the Peebles event. BruvOutdoors started from scratch with his swimming and running and so he was delighted simply to finish the event on Sunday.

It was great to have another member of the family taking part in the triathlon and to be able to cheer on my little bruv. I’ve not seen him running since I was about 15!

BruvOutdoors approaches the finish line.

Action-man Adrian came home 16th out of 40 participants, which is very respectable for his first attempt. He was grinning from ear to ear after crossing the finish line and said he’ll definitely be doing another triathlon. “Maybe another novice event first, and then the Peebles Sprint distance next year!”

Another huge surprise on the day was that it didn’t rain for the whole event. Incredible!

More Like This


5 fantastic reasons to vIsit Guatemala – and 4 things to do there 


How cold water swimming can help with managing depression


Corbett bagging: Morven, near Ballater


Free beginner’s guide to navigation by Ramblers Scotland


Corbett bagging: Meall Dubh, Glen Moriston


Tips for first time traveller’s guide | Greenbrier WV