A PEEBLES man has won the Starman Night Triathlon – breaking the previous record by completing it in five hours and 36 minutes.

Iain Veitch, 39, took part in event in the Cairngorms at the weekend.

He slipped into the black waters of Loch Morlich for a 1900m swim in the dark.

Ant this was followed by a hilly 90km cycle along silent Speyside roads, before a half marathon over the summits of Cairn Gorm and Meall a’ Bhuachaille as the sun rose.

Speaking about his experience, Iain said: “There is epic and just beyond that there is crazy – Starman manages to find the perfect middle ground. The course is incredible: from the cold loch swim, the long, technical, hilly bike around the Cairngorm National Park to the run over two mountains. It is probably the most physically difficult race I have done. Throw in the midnight start time and it’s definitely the most different.

“Diving into the pitch-black water for the swim was nerve racking but the organisers set up of flashing buoys, safety canoes and a million glow sticks kept it from being scary. Biking in the dark was fun. The extra sense of speed felt at night-time made even the slow sections feel fast and the fast sections feel like flying.

“Also, because of the dark, everyone acknowledged and spoke to one another briefly, even the more serious athletes pushing to win. There was an extra sense of camaraderie from being out there at 2am together. The run was fantastically hard on tired legs but coming down off the second mountain at sunrise was special and unlike any other racing experience I’ve had. Overall a really well-organised, savage event in a jaw-dropping location unlike any other race out there.”

Kate Pearson from organisers True Grit Events, and also a former Peebles resident, added: “We were so delighted to be able to deliver Starman Night Triathlon again. We knew we had the fastest field we had ever seen this year, but Iain took us a bit by surprise. We heard over the radio at 5am that he was already on Meall a' Bhuachaille, so we had to scramble to set up the finish line – he was at least 30 minutes earlier than we had originally expected.

"We are thrilled that this year’s event was such a huge success. Everyone who took part gave 100 per cent and really seemed to enjoy themselves too despite the huge challenge. We’d like to thank everyone who helped make it happen and most importantly everyone who participated in this crazy challenge. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2022."