In June 2016, I was assigned to photograph the Celtman Extreme Scottish Triathlon.
The Celtman is one of three official 'extreme triathlons' (the others being the Norseman and the Swissman). It takes place near the villages of Shieldaig and Torridon in the North-West Highlands of Scotland. Competitors swim 3.8km across a tidal loch (filled with jellyfish), cycle 202km on remote highland roads before completing their race on a marathon 42km run over two mountain summits on the 914m+ high Beinn Eighe ridge.
I don't normally appreciate event photography - where a typical photography style is to choose a location and shoot every competitor as they pass by. I much prefer an individual shoot with an athlete where I can take my time and set up shots. However, the terrain on the Celtman, particularly the mountain run, is right up my street and it enables me to be really creative with how I choose to work and achieve my client's brief, which this year was to show off the race landscape to its full effect.
The Celtman in 2016 was won by Norwegian Lasse Finstad in a time of 11:42:20, just a few seconds shy of the course record of 11:41:30, set by Swedish athlete Johan Hasselmark in 2014. Dutch-born athlete Bonnie van Wilgenburg broke the female course record, by 45 minutes, strategically over-taking on the mountain run to finish in 13:13:06. As ever, it was a great event, attended this year by competitors from 39 different countries. It's always good to meet up with new and old friends.