Catriona Morrison is set to top the bill at the Stirling Duathlon on Sunday 28 March 2010. Scotland's in-form athlete will take on the scenic but tough standard distance duathlon that doubles as a qualification event for Age Group athletes aiming for a place in the GB Age Group Team for the 2010 Edinburgh ITU Duathlon World Championships in September.
Morrison is the current ETU Duathlon European Champion and has already declared her intention to take on the world's best Elite duathletes for the World title in her home town from 3 - 5 September. To secure victory and the Scottish Championship title over the 10km run, 40km cycle and 5km run event in Stirling, she will need to beat 2009 winner, Kerry Lang, and Scottish triathlon champion and ex-international hockey player, Ali Rowatt.
Organiser Andrew Turnbull commented: 'The bike course is fast and flat, with a couple of drags. It's a big gear, fast course. However, the run is a very challenging multi lap course with a short sharp hill called 'the beast', which features on every lap. We're expecting some very fast bike times but setting a good time on the run will be much harder!'
Age Group athletes will compete for places in the GB Age Group Team for the ITU World Championships taking place in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh. In order to qualify they will need to be amongst the first few across the line in their Age Group. Athletes of all ages, including super veteran, have entered and can earn the right to represent Great Britain. British Triathlon will confirm selections in the weeks following the event.
British Triathlon Director for Age Group Portfolio, Howard Vine said: 'I am really looking forward to the 2010 Edinburgh ITU Duathlon World Championships. The venue should provide great racing with excellent home support. The prospect of having the largest Great Britain Age Group Duathlon team is superb and the competition at qualifying events, including Stirling this weekend, will create some great domestic races'.
Victoria MacLean, 22, from Edinburgh University Triathlon Club, is amongst those aiming to qualify. She said: 'My main ambition this year is to qualify for the GB Age Group Team for the 2010 ITU Duathlon World Championships in Edinburgh, something bigger than I could ever have imagined when I joined the sport a year and a half ago. The chance to take part in such a huge race on my doorstep is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
James Harrison, 27 years old from Edinburgh, said: 'Competing at the 2010 ITU Duathlon World Championships in Edinburgh is an opportunity to take advantage of a course that I know really well and often use to train. Holyrood Park is unique as a city centre venue in that it's on a large hill, free from all the usual urban hustle of other city parks. The course will identify well deserving winners!'
Craig Dale, a 4th year medical student at Edinburgh University, said: 'For me, multisport events present a challenge that an individual sport just can't match - that feeling in the legs when you run off the bike is so challenging. I love the variety of training and how easy it is to avoid the monotony of one sport alone. Now I want to give duathlon a shot and I would love nothing more than competing in Edinburgh in such a prestigious event - painful on the legs, beautiful on the eyes; a race you'll never forget!'
Catriona Morrison from Boxburn, the reigning ETU Duathlon European Champion, added: 'As a local duathlete, the excitement is growing as the 2010 Edinburgh ITU Duathlon World Championships becomes ever closer. The course is exciting and challenging and will be a real test of fitness and determination for both Elite and Age Group duathletes alike. With qualification places for the Age Group team now underway, I would urge all duathletes both novice and experienced to look to qualify for what will be a spectacular event in a beautiful city'.
The Stirling Duathlon takes place at Stirling University and will feature 300 athletes. It doubles as the Scottish Duathlon Championship, and will also see 80 children aged 8 to 16 racing in the Junior event.