Gourdon man ready to take on Celtman

Des Neill takes on the Celtman
Des Neill takes on the Celtman

A businessman from Gourdon is ‘gearing’ up to take part in one of Scotland’s toughest ever triathlons, covering 240 kilometres in ground – The Celtman.

The extreme race takes place next month (6th July) in Wester Ross on the West Coast of Scotland.

Des Neil, a director of Aberdeen-based IT Company, Intellicore, has been training for the last 10 months.

His training started exactly one month after he crossed the finish line at the inaugural event last year, which he completed in 17 hours and 37 minutes.

It starts with a 3.8-kilometre swim across Loch Shieldaig, followed by a 202- kilometre bike run. Participants then complete the race by enduring a 42-kilometre run over two Munros – Ruadh-stac Mòr (Big Red Stack) and Spidean Coire nan Clach (Peak of the Corrie Stones).

After experiencing the Celtman for the first time last year, Des was keen to put 100 per cent into his training this year and, as a result, has been doing 15-20 hours of training each, which includes weekly half marathons and five kilometre outdoor swims at Knockburn Loch, near Banchory.

For the last three months, Des has also been cycling a 54-mile round trip to his office in Aberdeen from his home in Gourdon, Aberdeenshire, which takes him around an hour-and-a-half each way.

He is feeling prepared and looking forward to the challenge, and said: “The Celtman is by far the toughest and most enduring challenge that I’ve ever done. Last year I was just pleased to finish and this year I’ll be hoping for the same.

“Time doesn’t really come into it, although it would be great to beat my time from last year’s event.

“I hope to be better prepared this year, by having a better idea of what’s in front of me. Wester Ross is a great setting for a challenge like this. It’s a beautiful place and has such a great atmosphere.”