AS the competitive season draws towards its end, it has been a busy couple of weeks for Ayrodynamic club members, who have been taking part not only in triathlons, but also a variety of other events related to Triathlon disciplines of swimming, cycling and running.

On Saturday, New Cumnock was the venue, as a dozen athletes from the club joined another 50 to take part in a super sprint to celebrate the opening of the beautifully re-built New Cumnock Open Air Pool.

The event was organised by club stalwart Andy Clapperton who is also a volunteer at the pool, where Prince Charles has taken a personal interest in the refurbishment.

To kick off proceedings around 40 young enthusiasts aged between eight and 15 contested an quathon, with a swim followed by a running loop along the neighbouring river banks and paths.

Contestants came from as far away as Edinburgh and Stirling but it was encouraging to see a large number of local kids - and their parents - getting involved.

Many of the older competitors arrived early to cheer on the next generation, and the youngsters in turn remained to see the ‘experts’ in action.

The race for seniors began with a 400m swim in two heats, with six competitors per lane, and then it was out and onto the bikes for a very challenging 15 km cycle into the hills

around New Cumnock.

Finally, there was a 3km run around the town centre and along the riverbank.

Overall winner was young Karl Owens from Ayrodynamics who blasted round in just over 52 minutes.

Lorna Todd used her experience to finish third overall and first female in 55 minutes.

In a wonderful performance vintage vet ( 60+), Alastair Stewart defeated many athletes half his age to take fourth place, and third male overall, and, not to be outdone, his daughter Mandy took second female place in under an hour. There were two other club members in the over-60 age group in the top 15 of the event, proving that Triathlon is a sport for all age groups.

Grant Young was 13th in 1 hour and 1 minute, with fellow vintage vet and club president John Strawhorn just a few steps behind.

Other club placings in an excellent event, were Alan Hiddleston 6th, Darren Nicol 11th, Chris's Figgins 18th, Colin Davidson 29th and Alice Vernon, in her first triathlon, 30th.

However, it was really encouraging to note that about half the field was made up of local people taking part in their first event of this sort and their efforts were equally worthy, inspiring, and hopefully, enjoyable.

Earlier on the same day, several club members were taking to the chilly waters of Loch Lomond for the ‘Great Scottish Swim’.

There were in fact several swims, ranging from half a mile, to a rather mind boggling, 10kms (six miles).

Young Abbie Middleton completed the half mile event in the unusually calm and glassy water, in 17 minutes.

In the two-mile event, Fiona O’Dowd took 58 minutes while Lucy Mullan covered the distance in an hour and 12 minutes. Trina Mulherran also completed the distance.

Three brave souls tackled the 5km ( three miles) with Lindsay Foster taking third in his age group in an hour and 21 minutes. Tracey Middleton, Abbie’s mum, took an hour and 25 minutes and Steve White took an hour and 35 minutes for the same distance.

Finally, Stewart Bailey took on the 10 kms ( think the distance from Ayr Town Hall to Coylton) and completed it in a highly impressive 2 hours and 27 minutes, placing him 16th overall.

Still on open water swimming, the club’s ‘Barassie Sea Swim Sessions’ at Barassie Beach continue to prove highly popular, with numbers increasing every time. Around 50 folk took the plunge at the latest session, many swimming in the open sea for the first time in a wet suit.

Several athletes took part in the Inverclyde Sprint Triathlon, with Davie Auchie taking an excellent third place overall. This saw him beat son Marc by two places. Lorna Todd was second female and first vet female.

Finally, club members also competed in the Jim Young Marymass 10k in Irvine, with Derek Cambers finishing in 46.05 and Alan Hiddleston in 46.52 with national medals around their necks.