Moray triathlon star and Commonwealth Games hopeful Cameron Main used the coronavirus lockdown to head home to Elgin and get himself even fitter for a shot at Birmingham 2022
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THE coronavirus pandemic has not hampered Moray triathlon star Cameron Main’s hopes of making the next Commonwealth Games.
In fact, the 20-year-old former Elgin Academy pupil believes four months back home in lockdown have helped make him even fitter and ready for a return to competitive sport.
Main has competed in the stamina-sapping sport, which combines swimming, cycling and running, for the past eight years and is part of the Scottish Triathlon development squad based at the University of Stirling, where he also studies sports and exercise science.
This year he was aiming to compete in the European under-23 championships in Ukraine and the worlds in Canada to build up his international experience for a shot at qualifying for the 2022 Commonwealths in Birmingham.
Covid-19 put paid to his summer schedule, but at the same time has given him time to strengthen his ability on the road – if not on water.
“Lockdown has really surprised me,” he said. “In terms of running, I’m probably at the peak of where I’ve ever been and I feel I’m cycling better than I ever have before as well.
“I’ve done a couple of run and bike tests and I think they have both improved since the end of 2019. It’s good that the hard work I’ve been doing in focusing more on my cycling and running has actually really helped me.”
Just prior to his return to Moray, Main had made his longest journey in triathlon to train and take part in events in Queensland, Australia.
The trip Down Under led a memorable victory in the The Moolllaba sprint triathlon in what proved to be his final race before the sporting world was plunged into lockdown by the coronavirus pandemic.
“There was an open draft race, a complete open sprint and I managed to win by over three minutes,” he said.
“All the hard work that I had done for the seven weeks before that race and the fitness I had managed to gain, it was really good to be able to put all that into a performance before I had to go back home.
“It gave me a bit of confidence, getting to grab the tape which I hadn’t done in a long time. It was just a really cool race to do. As you can imagine, it was really great weather all the time. I made so many good friends out there and I would love to go back one day.
“I had to cut my Australia trip by about two weeks. I was being told that it would probably be better and safer to be back in Scotland before the flights got cancelled.
“Four days after I got back to Stirling, lockdown was announced.”
Choosing to spend isolation in Elgin with his family, Main then switched base to the family home of his girlfriend, fellow Moray-born Scottish triathlon talent Sophia Green when restrictions were eased.
Green even had a metal-framed swimming pool installed in her garden for training purposes.
“I have to give her all the credit, she’s got a great set-up with a gym in the garage and the pool,” he said. “You can tie yourself to a rubber theraband and just swim in one place and I know I’m going to feel the benefits of going back into the water instead of just doing absolutely nothing.”
In recent weeks, Main has stepped up his training programme, cycling as much as 400km and running 70km in a typical week. He has headed to nearby Findhorn or Cove Bay for open water swimming sessions, and has enjoyed trips to Loch Morlich, near Aviemore, where the water is inviting and the nearby trails are perfect for sessions on foot or bike.
The retirement of top Scottish triathlete Marc Austin has opened up a Scotland team place for Birmingham in two years and he said: “Next year will be a qualifying year and it’s my big, big aim to get to the Commonwealths.”
As part of his preparations this year, Main is taking part in the Virtual Moray Firth Sprint Triathlon this summer.
He explained: "This event can be completed in your own time over the next couple of weeks at Burghead and is a great way to get people out pushing their limits when there isn’t any racing on at the moment.
"I am also taking part in the Moray Road Runners Virtual 3km challenge. This event again can be completed in your own time over the next couple of weeks.
"Again it is a great way for people involved in the club to challenge themselves when we don’t have the races to do that at the moment."
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