Saturday, 26 July 2014

Commonwealth Games 2014 - Triathlon Mixed Relay

The Triathlon Mixed Relay was scheduled to begin at 12.30, so I walked to Strathclyde Park in North Lanarkshire to catch some of the action.

This time I took my big Canon 300mm L lens and the 70mm to 200mm L zoom lens and the 24mm to 70mm lens. Including the monopod, the whole lot weighed a ton! 

Still Warm and Dry

The sunshine, which had been around for over a week, had disappeared but it was still quite bright, dry and warm. Strong sunshine such as had been on Thursday (Day 1 Triathlon) caused problems with shadows, as the road and paths were tree-lined and blocked the light on parts of the course.

The crowds were not as big as on Thursday, but were still substantial. There were many English people there to cheer on the English team which were favourites to win the event.
Start of lap One
The rain stayed off until the end of the cycle race and only affected the runners on the last part of the course.

The running course was much shorter that it had been on Thursday and only covered a small part of the course, which was in the restricted area. There are therefore no photographs of this. This was a pity as many spectators would have loved to have seen this.

Local triathlete, Grant Sheldon, received a lot of support from the crowd, who appreciated his efforts.

Below are some photographs of the race. More photographs of the event can be seen here.

Emma Stimpson

The event was won by team England, with Republic of South Africa second and Australia third.

All the athletes did well to compete in such a hard event and everyone was applauded as they came through the course.

Further Information:

Glasgow 2014

Strathclyde Park

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Commonwealth Games Glasgow - Triathlon Photographs

The Commonwealth Games Triathlon was held today in Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire. It was a beautiful and sunny day with temperatures at over 23c. There was a large crowd of people in the park well before the Ladies Race started at 11.00 and finished around 13.30.

The triathlon involved a swim of 1500 metres, a bike ride of 40 kilometre and a 10 kilometre run. The swimming part was held in the Loch which has had special filters installed to prevent infection to the swimmers.

The bike ride was round the road surrounding the park, which was pretty tough because it does have a few steep hills which can tire riders out quite quickly - I know this from experience!

The winner of the Ladies event was Emma Stimpson, with Kirsten Sweetland second and Vicky Holland third.

Women's Race Photos
Ladies swimming

Cycle event. Winner Emma Stimpson is third left

Second overall, Kirsten Sweetland leads the bunch

Third overall, Vicky Holland

Kate McIlroy and Kirsten Gentle
The main bunch
Fabienne St. Louis of Mauritius
Men's Race Photos

Unlike the women's race, where there were no Scottish competitors, there were three in the men's race. This gave the crowd an incentive to cheer on their countrymen but they cheered all the competitors in equal measure to help lift them. Alistair Brownlie was first, Jonathan Brownlie was second and Richard Wilson was third.


Race favourites Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee of England

Chasing bunch

Tom Pechard
Brownlee brothers and Marc Austin of Scotland
Grant Sheldon of Scotland leads this bunch
Jason Wilson (L) and Kyle Jones
Brownlee brothers
Christopher Walker at 47 was oldest competitor

Youngest competitor, Harry Spiers 
Well done to everyone who competed today. It was a very warm and humid day but you carried on and they did the best they could.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Glasgow Getting Ready for the Commonwealth Games

On the way home from work this evening I went up to George Square in Glasgow to see the activities in the main square in the City. It was a lovely sunny and warm day with temperatures of 22c.

'Big G'
'Big G'

The Big G is the centrepiece in George Square at the moment as the Games are about to begin.
It is taller than a double decker bus and is 5.5m (18-feet) high and 10.2m (33.5-feet) in circumference.

It weighs four tonnes, which is the same weight as an African elephant. It is made from mild steel and aluminium frame and has been painted in the Games colours of red, green, yellow and blue. Surrounding it is a circular garden of flowers.

'Big G' with City Chambers in the background

Side view of 'Big G'

Get photos taken with Games background

Piper outside City Chambers welcoming competitors

Piper outside City Chambers welcoming competitors
Outside the City Chambers were a piper and a drummer welcoming guests to the Chambers as they arrived.
Another view of 'Big G' showing City Chambers

Buying the last of the tickets
There was also a superstore where people could buy merchandise. It was very big inside with a variety of goods for sale, including traditional Scottish goods such as Harris Tweed bags, purses and wallets, Heather honey and haggis.

On the way home,  Central Station lower level was mobbed as there was a dress rehearsal at Celtic Park for the opening ceremony. I supposed we will all have to get used to the crowds for a few days.

Further Information:

Glasgow 2014 - All the information about the games.

Scotrail - Rail travel details

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Motherwell Getting Ready for the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games are coming to Glasgow. Many places have been transformed for the Games, including Hampden Park, which has been converted temporarily from a football stadium (soccer) to an athletics one.

Strathclyde Park in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, is hosting the triathlon and the area has been transformed for the occasion, with many large marquee tents having been erected.

Although the Games start this Wednesday, the area still looked slightly 'unfinished' but by Wednesday, no doubt it will be looking immaculate.

Here are some photos:

New signs
Local residents inside the secure area.
In the secure area the local residents were blissfully unaware of the big event taking place in the next few days!

Triathlon start and finish area
Triathlon start and finish area
Information area for visitors
Information area
A competitor limbering up?
There were many volunteers and officials walking about. The volunteers had  lovely kit including a red, white and grey softshell jacket, grey trousers, red, white and grey polo top and a small shoulder bag which contained essentials such as a water bottle, umbrella and a rain jacket.

We met one volunteer from London who said she was a regular at big events and already had the Athens and London Olympics and the Manchester Commonwealth Games under her belt.

The Commonwealth games will be held in Glasgow from July 23rd until August 3rd.

Further Information:

Glasgow 2014

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Kick Scootering on the Isle of Arran

Recently I went to the Isle of Arran with a few friends for the day for some fun. Arran is off the West Coast of Scotland and only an hour's train journey from Glasgow Central Station to Ardrossan and a 55 minute ferry crossing to Brodick, which is the main town on Arran. 

We picked a lovely day with sunny weather and warm temperatures of 23C. The trains to Ardrossan are modern ones with power sockets and WiFi so it is possible to surf the net and keep phones charged at the same time.

The train was not too busy so we were all able to sit together and keep out kick scooters in the luggage area. It is always advisable to buy a combined rail and ferry ticket as it saves money and prevents a long wait at the ferry office in Ardrossan to purchase a ticket for the ferry.
Waiting to go on the ferry at Ardrossan
The ferry we were on was called 'Caledonian Isles' which was launched on 25th May 1993 by The Princess Royal.

Watching cyclists waiting to board the ferry from the deck 
There were a large number of cyclists waiting to board the ferry by the vehicle entrance and were able to watch them from the deck of the ferry.

View of the hills on Arran from the ferry.

Arran is good for walking and has good hills and valleys. 'Goatfell' is the largest mountain on Arran at a height of 874 meters.

Brodick Bay
Arriving at Brodick, the sun had disappeared and it looked like it might rain. However, the sun came back out about an hour later and the remainder of the day was lovely and sunny. Many boats were moored on Brodick Bay.

Brodick Beach
Brodick has a nice sandy beach. In the picture above the ferry can just be seen in the top left corner.

We scootered northwards, past the Castle towards Sannox. An open-topped bus passed us near Brodick Castle and we thought of taking this the next time we go to Arran, so long as it is a nice day and not lashing with rain!

Mountains on Arran
View from the beach near Sannox
It's quite hard work travelling along on a scooter but it gives a good work-out and allows for stopping at places along the way to admire the scenery.

Scooter on the shore near Sannox
A few cyclists passed us as well as a few walkers. The roads on Arran are quiet and nothing like those in the city. There are very few traffic lights on Arran.

Looking southwards at Goatfell
Wild flowers near Sannox
Brodick Golf Course
On the way back we carried the scooters through Brodick Golf Course. This is a private course which visitors to the island can use for a fee. It looked a nice course with hardly any rough so would mean that not a lot of time would be spent looking for lost balls.

Before getting the ferry back to Ardrossan, we stopped at the local Co-op and bought some food which we ate on the beach.

The ferry crossing was smooth and the rest of the journey home was quite uneventful and  peaceful.

Further information

Scotrail - train services in Scotland.

Caledonian MacBrayne - ferry company

Arran Tourist Site - tourist information