A teacher from an Ayrshire school got on her bike and set a new ‘monster’ course record for a grueling 66 mile road race.
The sporting cycling event around the iconic Loch Ness has been postponed three times from April 2020 due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.
But Catriona Lockie of Stewarton Academy broke the women’s course record, completing it in 2 hours 54 minutes 59 seconds.
She also clinched the title of Queen of the Mountains, completing a 4.8 mile climb reaching 380 meters in 24.39 seconds.
More than 4,000 cyclists have registered for the event this year, including her boyfriend, Andrew Tait, and her father, Gordon.
They haven’t quite reached the heights of amateur cyclist Catriona, of East Kilbride in South Lanarkshire, but it was her father who inspired her to cycle in the first place.
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“Dad and Andrew were also competing so it was also a family day with my mom cheering us all on from the sidelines,” Catriona, 29, told Lanarkshire Live.
“Although my dad never rode a competition bike, he always did it more for fun and to stay in shape. He got me involved a few years ago.
“Unfortunately Andrew had a puncture at 10 miles. He settled down and kept going, but by then a lot of people were long gone.”
The event around some of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes has so far raised over £ 50,000 for charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support.
Catriona had already competed in the race in 2019, finishing 15th woman at the time.
She continued: “I only really started to take cycling seriously a few years ago and really wanted to improve my time from 2019.
“It was an honor to participate and besides improving my time, deep down I knew I really wanted to win or finish in the top three or five.
“But I knew that if I wanted to do it, I would have to go faster than I’ve done before – races like this are never easy.
“There was a steep incline and I managed to get away from two or three other cyclists.
“By the time I got to the top of the hill I had opened up a gap and then for the last 25 miles or so I continued to pedal as fast and as hard as I could. I don’t think I was. was expecting to set a new course record, I was absolutely thrilled. “
Catriona – who teaches Religious, Moral, and Philosophical Issues (RMPS) at Stewarton Academy after working on Arran for several years – rides a bike every Saturday morning with a group to East Kilbride and also, depending on work commitments, also during the week.
“I spend a lot of my life working or riding my bike,” she added. “I go out a lot on weekends and when I can after work, so it’s a big commitment.
“The EK group that I cycle with on Saturday morning runs long distances and is a very fast group which was great for preparing for Loch Ness.”
Catriona’s success continued as she and her Glasgow-based team Travelo won the Scottish Team Time Trial Championships which took place recently in Forfar, Angus.
It was her very first official road race, with the Loch Ness event officially not counting, and it was a close battle at the end with Catriona’s team winning by just 12 seconds.
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