RACING TO THE LINE
Thrills and spills in challenge
Hard racing, spectacular spills and a new record – just some of the highlights of the Dalbeattie Hardrock Challenge at the weekend.
With spectators cheering on a big field of 220 along the 7stanes tracks and forest trails, it was the Hardrock Hoodlums/Gala Harriers combo of Gary Flannighan and Bradley Cowan who took the team honours.
The under-21 duo posted an impressive combined time of 2hrs 9 mins 38 secs over the bike and run legs to win the event, 96 seconds clear of the Callum Dream Team of Callum Waugh and Callum McCubbing.
First solo Stewartry athlete home was David Houston in 2hrs 29 mins 01 secs, good enough for third solo place and 13th overall.
David was closely followed by Kirkcudbright’s Peter Corson just 23 secs behind, fourth in the solo event and 14th overall.
The solo winner was Jack Taylor in 2hrs 17 mins 21 secs – a superb combined time which earned him third place overall.
First mixed team home was the Hillbillies/Team Breakpad pair of Sofia Christiansen and Euan McConnell who were 21st overall.
The Border Harriers team of Carolyn Millican and Rebecca Verry was the first all-women team in 66th spot while first solo woman home was Kim Spence in 83rd overall.
Rebecca Bryson, of Dalbeattie Hairy Bikers, was first local woman and second female overall, just four minutes behind Kim.
Thomas Cornthwaite, of Blackburn, shattered the run record by more than a minute, charging round the 10-mile course in 56 mins 46 secs.
Event founders Andy Webster and Stuart Mcintosh were delighted that another Hardrock Challenge – and the junior challenge the day before – were so well supported.
Stuart said: “We had a very successful event once again. Numbers were up for the second year in a row. We had more than 350 competitors in the team, solo and junior competitions over the two days.
“It was great to see so many spectators too. There was a fantastic atmosphere for the whole thing.
“We set this up as an event for the community and creating that friendly spirit is even more important to us than mere numbers.”
Andy added: “The weather on Saturday for the juniors was fantastic and the rain only really came on for the last hour on the Sunday.
“Everybody seems to have been pleased with it and we have had some great comments on social media.
“We had athletes from the central belt, northern England, Cumbria and, of course, Dumfries and Galloway.
“Now we’re just looking forward to the 16th event next year.”
Trophies The winning athletes with day’s silverware
Glad that’s over A couple of competitors reflect on their efforts
Oh, that hurts Feeling the strain
Crest of a wave Runner smiles
Finding a way Cyclist picks their way through