NYA Moderator fastest Scot to complete triathlon

The Moderator of the National Youth Assembly was the fastest Scotsman to complete an extreme triathlon in Norway.

Robin Downie,21,finished the ThorXtri event in 14 hours and 37 minutes.

The race, which started in Lysebotn and ended at the three swords site in Stavanger, entailed a 2.3-mile fjord swim, 111-mile hilly bike leg and a 42-mile coastal, beach run.

Robin Downie
Robin Downie

Mr Downie of Lochcarron in the Highlands said he was “chuffed to bits” to finish 25th overall out of a field of 99 competitors on Saturday.

“It was one of the most amazing, stunning and challenging days of my life,” he added.

Mr Downie was pipped to the title of fastest British man by Roo Murray, who completed the course in 13 hours and 56 minutes.

Terrifying

The NYA Moderator, a member of Applecross Lochcarron, Torridon Church of Scotland, was only invited last month to take part in the epic event, which featured five British competitors.

“It was an incredibly hard day,” said Mr Downie, who took part in his first triathlon, the Celtman in Wester Ross, in June.

“The swim is one of the hardest triathlons swims in the world.

“It was one of the most terrifying things I have ever done.

“We boarded a ship at 4.15 am and were dropped off on some rocks at the edge of a huge fjord.

“The water was freezing and when we started it was pitch black, all we could see was a light at the end of the fjord.”

Downie
Robin Downie

Mr Downie, a student nurse at Stirling University, said the swim was a lot more challenging than he expected due to strong currents and he finished an hour later than he had hoped.

“During the bike ride, I started to feel good again and managed to pull back some time,” he added.

The run was hard and I, and many others, got lost but we managed to push on.

“It felt great to finish and all the hard work in training was worth it in the end.”

Determined

ThorXtri assistant race director, Anders Myhra Nordin, said Mr Downie should be proud of himself.

“Robin's performance was very good and to be able to finish 25th out of 84 people who completed the race is an achievement,” he added.

The triathlon was won by Stian Gilje who finished in 11 hours 24 minutes.

Lysebotn
Part of the extreme triathlon course at Lysebotn, Norway. ThorXtri

The National Youth Assembly is a platform for young adults, aged 17-25, to voice their opinions and actively participate in decision making within the Church of Scotland.

Suzi Farrant, Young People and Young Adult’s Development Worker, Mission and Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland, said she and her colleagues were proud of Mr Downie's achievements.

"Robin is not shy when it comes to taking up a challenge, he readily said yes to being the Moderator of the NYA after all," she added.

"But I was amazed when he told me about his latest exploits.

"As someone who can’t run longer than a few minutes, the thought of undertaking such a feat is totally beyond me.

"Robin showed great tenacity, determination and a will to succeed in accepting the challenge and then completing it so ably."