Dame Kelly Holmes, Sir Chris Hoy and Ross Edgley triumph over tide

Long-distance swimmer and passionate environmentalist Ross Edgley teamed up with Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and Dame Kelly Holmes to take part in an epic triathlon.

Taking place on the shores of Edinburgh, the athletes triumphed over the tide to raise awareness for the importance of our wild seas, covering 28.5km in 100 minutes. 

In a never-attempted challenge, the trio raced consecutively along the coastline, towards Cramond Island, which sits 1.5 km off the shores of the Scottish capital. 

The island is only visitable for a limited time per day, after which the causeway to access it is enveloped by the tide and Cramond becomes secluded from the city once more. 

The wild challenge started in the Firth of Forth, where Ross dived into the crisp 10 degree waters of the famous Scottish Estuary.

Propelling himself across the 1.5km to the shore, it took Ross just 18 minutes to reach Silversands Beach, where Sir Chris Hoy was waiting. 

Once Ross had run up the beach and tagged him, Chris embarked on a stunning 15.8km cycle which took him across the iconic Forth Road Bridge and along the Scottish coastline in a rapid 34 minutes to meet Dame Kelly Holmes.

Kelly raced through the triathlon’s final 11km in an incredible 48 minutes, completing the final leg along the causeway before it was taken by the tide and leaving the three wild spirits victorious. 

Dame Kelly Holmes said: ‘It was close but we did it! I was incredibly excited to be partnering with Talisker to undertake this epic race in the name of ocean conservation. 

‘The triathlon was a great challenge and I was delighted to have two legendary sportspeople on my team to race in and alongside Scotland’s beautiful waters to Cramond Island, uniting our sporting strengths to beat the tide.’

The athletes were raising awareness for Talisker’s ongoing work with Parley for the Oceans. 

The research, that Talisker has helped fund through their long-term partnership with Parley, is being carried out at Heriot-Watt University, who along with Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the Blue Marine Foundation, are undertaking independent scientific research in the Orkney Islands. 

The research aims to better understand kelp forests’ critical role in preventing climate change and the value they play in the biodiversity of Scotland’s fragile and beautiful marine ecosystems.

Native to Talisker’s home, the Isle of Skye, sea forests are prime underwater habitats which cover 25% of the world’s coastline and play a critical role in planetary health, but are vanishing four times faster than rainforests. 

Parley for the Oceans and their partners will help to showcase how essential these underwater forests are and encourage greater levels of protection.

Read more on Scottish Field’s News pages. 

Plus, don’t miss the November issue of Scottish Field magazine.