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Ross Creber and Eilidh Prise set new Celtman! records

Written by Fiona

June 20 2024

New course records were set by the male and female winners of The Celtman! Extreme Scottish Triathlon 2024 at the weekend.

Ross Creber, who triumphed in the multi-sport endurance event for the third consecutive year, finished in 10 hours, 50 minutes and 29 seconds. He beat the pervious course record for the Ironman-style swim, bike and run race by six minutes.

Ross took the lead early in the Celtman! 2025. Credit: Alligin Photography

Ross, who is supported by Zalaris and Rab Equipment and rides an Argon 18 bike with Hunt wheels, also rode a new fastest bike time of 5:17, nine minute faster than his own record time in 2023.

Ross, 35, of Aviemore, said: “I am really delighted to win for a third year in a row and to set a new course record feels amazing.”

Eilidh exits the swim into T1. Credit: Alligin Photography

Eilidh Prise’s time of 12:39:13 gave her seventh place overall and she was 29 minutes faster than the record she set in 2021 when she finished on 13:08:26.

The 28-year-old from Aberdeen said: “It was great to take part in the Celtman! again and the race went really well. I am also very happy to set a new course record.”

Ross on the bike. Credit: Alligin Photography

What is the Celtman!?

The Celtman! takes place in Wester Ross each June and comprises a 3.4km sea loch swim, 202km bike ride and a 42km run. The run includes a high-level mountain route via the Beinn Eighe massif, although there is a strict cut-off time after which other competitors complete a low-level course.

Ross said he ended up very cold in the loch swim. Credit: Steve Ashworth

Multiple winner Ross Creber 

Last year, Ross was one of only four competitors to complete the full Celtman! Course and won in in a time of 11:29:38.  The year before, in is first triathlon, he set a fast time of 10:35:59 to take Celtman! victory.

In each of these three races, Robin Downie has take second place. This year, Ronin closed the gap on Ross’s lead and finished just over 17 minutes behind in 11:07:39. In third place was Iain Vetch in 12:01:47.

Ross said: “Unusually for me I swam well and I wasn’t far off the front when I exited the loch. I was still 11 minutes down on the first swimmer and the cold water left me fighting hard to warm up on the bike, but I swam much better than I have previously.

“I took the lead quite early and had to hold on to it for the rest of the race, which is not an easy position to be in.

“I prefer to chase the front of the race more rather than lead for so long because you just don’t know what is happening behind you.”

Heading into the second transition after the bike section, Ross had created a 12 minute gap over Iain and 14 minutes over Robin.

Ross said: “The run route has an out-and-back section and that meant I met Iain and Eoin and I could see they were not that far behind me. I was aware that I needed to keep pushing hard in the mountains and that my descent needed to be really fast.

“I knew Robin wasn’t far behind me by this point but luckily my descent was good and I ended up 17 minutes ahead on the finish line.

“I did feel the pressure of Robin and Iain throughout the race and Robin finished in a really good time overall.”

Ross and his support runner Ian. Credit: Alligin Photography

New Celtman! record

Ross described the race day conditions as almost perfect. He said: “When Ewan Brown set the previous record of 10:56 in 2021 the weather was also good. The weather does play a huge part in this race and some years it has been very windy or very wet.

“This year, it was great. The sea was fairly calm for the swim, then there were only light winds on the bike course and, while it did feel quite hot at the start of the run, there was a drizzle higher up and that was cooling. There was torrential rain later on but only for the last bit of my run.

“I am really happy with how the last three years of the Celtman have gone for me but I think it’s now time for a break. It’s a good time to try something else especially as I have set a course record.

“Next year, I am keen to for the Zalaris Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, whichh is the XTRI World Championships 2025, and also the Celtman XTRI Solo Point Five World Championship.”

Ross is grateful for his support crew, including his wife Jess and their two young children, his mum Maggie Creber and her partner Andy, as well as his two run supporters Bruce Kenneth and Ian Stewart

Eilidh rides an Argon 18 time trial bike. Credit: Alligin Photography
Eilidh during the run. Credit: Alligin Photography

Female record holder Eilidh Prise 

Eilidh, 28, of Aberdeen, has won the Celtman! three times, setting records each time. This year’s fastest finish trumped her own record time of the high-level course in 2021. In 2022, she set a low-level course record of 11:19:30. That year, the race organisers decided to close the high-level run course due to adverse weather.

Eilidh reports that her cycling strength was key to this year’s win. She said: “In 2021, when I first took part in the Celtman, I had only just started cycling. Over the past few years, my cycling has improved because I have done more of it. 

“I also rode a very fast Argon 18 time trial bike – the same as Ross – which definitely makes a difference. My run and swim times were similar to 2021.

“In addition, I’ve put in constant hours of training over the last eight months, which is required for an event like the Celtman.” 

Eliidh also praised her support team. She said: “Everyone has been so supportive over the past year and on the day, including my mum and dad, my sisters Kerry and Siobhan and my coach Ferg Roberts, as well as all my fantastic friends. The support team gave me so much energy on the day.”

You can register for a place in the Celtman! Extreme Scottish Triathlon 2025.

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