This September one of the most stunning landscapes in Scotland, the Trossachs, will play host to a Duathlon. ‘The Chase’ , set in the heart of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, is a unique event fusing both sport and culture to celebrate the iconic 200 year poem, the Lady of the Lake, as part of the Scottsland festival.
The origins of The Chase began in 1809 when Sir Walter Scott visited the Trossachs and was so taken with the area he wrote the epic poem, which transformed popular perceptions of landscape. His depiction of this breathtaking landscape within the poem established Scotland as a tourist destination.
The Lady of the Lake describes how King James V, disguised as a knight, attempts to hunt a stag and eventually seeks shelter on an island on Loch Katrine, summoned by the beautiful Ellen Douglas (the Lady of the Lake).
There will also be a family orientated version of the event, called ‘The Wee Chase’, taking place on the same day, which is aimed at people of all ages, families, groups of friends or work colleagues looking to get involved in the festivities. ‘The Wee Chase’ features a five mile bike route followed by an orienteering task inspired by the poem, ending with a cycle back to join the medieval celebration with the duathlon participants.
The main Chase will follow the themes of six cantos of the poem, culminating in a gathering of the participants for a medieval style celebration with local food and entertainment.
The duathlon, taking place on 25 September 2010, will follow in King James V footsteps along a 40-mile route, passing three lochs (Katrine, Venechar and Achray) in pursuit of the ‘elusive’ stag. Using a combination of cycling and running, participants will journey through the breathtaking landscape encountering several challenges along the way. The course will be fused with elements of the poem bringing history to life in the modern age.
Liz Shorthall from the Forestry Commission said, “The event will also take participants through Scotland’s landscape scale woodland restoration project – The Great Trossachs Forest – which is an additional draw to the area that I think Scott would have welcomed."
Catriona Morrison, World Champion Duathlete and local girl, helped launch The Chase in the Trossachs this week. She said, “I am delighted to support this exciting new duathlon coming to Scotland. The Chase will provide a fantastic opportunity for people from all over the country to experience the thrill of a duathlon in one of the most amazing locations we have.”
Entries for The Chase and The Wee Chase are now open at www.thechaserace.co.uk. For more information please call 01877 437 998.