Plans are progressing for the ‘Autumn of Endurance’ events, scheduled to take place in September 2020 in and around Loch Ken in Dumfries & Galloway. These will show off the Loch Ken area as one of the jewels of Southern Scotland’s landscape, and are designed to raise the profile of the region on the national stage. The events are being overseen by the newly established Loch Ken Trust and supported through Visit Scotland as part of the ‘2020 Year of Coasts & Waters’ programme.
The events are:
- 5-6th September – Beltie Triathlon. Swim in a slow-moving river; cycle a fast and scenic route followed by a testing run.
- 11-13th September – Loch Ken Wild Swimming weekend. A weekend of wild swimming in Loch Ken, distances of 500m to 10km.
- 18-20th September – Castle Douglas Bike and Food Festival. Bringing together a love of food and cycling! Food related activities through the weekend with bike events from 1km to a 90km time trail
- 25th-27th September – Loch Ken Paddle Festival. Dragon boat racing, kayaking and all things paddle related!
- 04 October – The End Game. Test yourself against a modern pentathlon! 5km Open Water Swim, 6.5km Kayak, 40km Bike and 10km Trail Run finishing with archery and a well-earned feast.
Last weekend, the Autumn of Endurance team were exhibiting at the Scottish Cycling, Running and Outdoor Pursuits Show (SCROPS), with lots of interest being shown in the events. They spoke to hundreds of event organisers and potential participants from around the UK.
To show how reachable Loch Ken is from other parts of Scotland and Northern England, the ‘Autumn of Endurance’ team used a bike and turbo trainer to pedal the distance from Loch Ken to Glasgow and back again over the course of the weekend event.
Barney Fryer, Loch Ken Alive Officer, co-ordinating the Autumn of Endurance season, said:
“It was great to have the chance to talk about our Autumn of Endurance programme to all the visitors to the show in Glasgow. Endurance athletics and wild sports are becoming more popular all the time, as people realise the range of benefits to both physical and mental health. Loch Ken has some of the best swimming, running and cycling routes in the country. We are all looking forward to welcoming everyone this autumn for what promises to be an amazing series of events.”
Alan Smith, Chairman of the Loch Ken Trust, said:
“The level of interest in the events was heartening, and this was a great opportunity for the range of partners involved to start showing off what we are planning. The Autumn of Endurance Events are designed to provide a boost to the area, from accommodation businesses to those running events themselves, at a time of year when visitor levels tend to drop. Keep an eye out for further information as the plans come together.”
More detail about the Autumn of Endurance events is as follows:
5-6th September – Beltie Triathlon
Swim in a slow-moving river; cycle a fast and scenic route followed by a testing run.
- Middle distance triathlon (1.9km swim, 90k cycle and 21km run).
- Standard distance triathlon (1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run).
A Go Tri opportunity for new athletes to get to dip their toe in the water and for those competitive kids in tri stars 1, 2, 3 and youth level to race in a safe off-road track.
11-13th September – Loch Ken Wild Swim
An open water Wild swim weekend. Friday night will kick off with a 500 metre and 1 km night swim. Saturday will feature 1 km, 2km and 4 km swims. For those really looking for a mega challenge Sunday will feature a 10km end to end swim. Loch Ken is perfect for Wild swimming – some of the cleanest waters in Scotland.
See www.lochken.co.uk for entry applications
18-20th September – Castle Douglas Bike and Food Festival
Friday evenings 3km street eliminator is a taster for Super Saturday.
On Saturday, a bazaar of food and drink stalls, chef’s demos, food trails, hands on workshops, craft beer and spirits bubbles over into the evening King Street 1km Climb with music and entertainment!
On Sunday sweat out your indulgences with a 90Km time trial through the Galloway Forest Park or stay in town as the culinary carnival continues until we crown the inaugural Castle Douglas Bike and Food Festival Champion!
25th-27th September – Loch Ken Paddle Festival
Want to try your hand at paddling? Then check in to the Galloway Activity Centre Paddle-fest. We will be running dragon boat racing on the Saturday (teams of up to 20 – no experience required), prizes for the best fancy dress! We will also be running kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding and sit on top taster sessions. Sunday will see a skiffy racing event as well as a Wilderness Trip to explore Loch Ken, from the Centre to Crossmichael (10km).
See www.lochken.co.uk for entry applications
04 October – The End Game –
Coming to the end of the Scottish season for outdoor events in and around Loch Ken, round off Endurance Autumn with the “End Game”. All events come together in one day, plus some archery– a modern pentathlon! 5km Open Water Swim, 6.5km Kayak, 40km Bike and 10km Trail Run finishing with archery and a well-earned feast. Teams of 4 are invited to take part in this event