Iain Veitch, 39, was the first to cross the finish line of Starman Night Triathlon in five hours and 36 minutes. He was 20 minutes ahead of the previous two-times champion Chris Watson in the race in the Cairngorms National Park. Third placed Andrew Scott finished in 6:10.
Important to note is that this year’s course featured a 1km longer transition from the swim to the bike and the run did not take in one of the mountain summits due to the weather.
Organisers said they very surprised at the speed of the front competitors.
Caroline MacKechnie, from race organiser True Grit Events, said: “We knew we had a fast field this year, but Iain took us a bit by surprise.
“We heard over the radio at 5am that he was already on the final summit, so we had to scramble to finish setting up the finish line. He was at least 30 minutes earlier than we had originally expected.”
Iain, of Peebles, described the Starman as “probably the most physically difficult race I have done”.
He added: “The course is incredible, from the cold loch swim and the long, technical, hilly bike to the run over two mountains.
“Throw in the midnight start time and it’s definitely the most different race I’ve done, too.”
More than 100 people took part in the Starman on August 14 and 15. The race starts at midnight with a 1900m swim in the dark in Loch Morlich, near Aviemore.
The format is a hilly 90km cycle along silent Speyside roads, before taking on a half-marathon over the summits of Cairn Gorm and Meall a’ Bhuachaille as the sun rises.
The fastest female – and 19th overall – was Natalie Batey, 36, of Great Lumley, County Durham, in 7:14:53.
She said: “I loved being a part of this unique race. It was so calm and peaceful out there in the dark.
“It was definitely challenging and the run was just beautiful as it got light. Well done to all competitors.”
Starman Night Triathlon 2021
The event was organised by True Grit Events, a management company based in Aberfeldy in the Highlands, which set up the Starman Night Triathlon in 2017 to offer something different for triathletes and outdoor adventure addicts.
Caroline MacKechnie said: “We were so delighted to be able to deliver Staman Night Triathlon again this year.”