SNEAK PREVIEW: The ‘world’s toughest’ water course has come to Glasgow

The Red Bull Neptune Steps competition is tomorrow

A lot of you think you’re tough – but are you this tough?

Step into (gettit) the world of Red Bull Neptune Steps – dubbed the “world’s toughest” water course competition.

It’s being held at Maryhill Locks in Glasgow for the second time tomorrow – the only other place in the world it’s been held so far is Sweden. There will also be five competitors from Glasgow Uni racing which is an even bigger incentive to go and watch the action unfold.

The much-coveted finish line

The Tab Glasgow was presented with the opportunity to preview the course today ahead of the big race  – and let us tell you, it’s not for the faint hearted. For one, it’s freezing. We were wrapped up at the side of the course with jackets, scarves and an umbrella while Team GB triathlete Gordon Benson literally tested the water for us.

The course is very physically demanding

We grabbed the chance to speak to Gordon and two-time Neptune Steps winner Mark Deans ahead of the competition.

Gordon Benson is a Team GB triathlete

Hi, Gordon! How do you think this competition compares to the Olympics and are you excited?

Obviously they’re completely different – and this one’s in a canal. I’m really excited. I’ve been wanting to participate for a long time and it’s exciting to be back on home turf. My mate from Glasgow is competing too – he came second last year – so it’ll be fun to compete against him. I’m just going to enjoy it.

Gordon testing the water

Will you miss not getting on your bike after your swim?

Nope! It’s pretty cold – I’ll be straight in the hot tub after.

Another obstacle which needs defeating

What do you like about Glasgow as a city?

I’ve never been until I landed last night! From what I’ve seen, it’s really lively.

Do you have any St Paddy’s Weekend plans?

I’m going to go to the England v. Ireland Sixth Nations game tomorrow and then I have a race in Gran Canaria.

One of the obstacles

Hi, Mark! You’ve won every Neptune Steps which has been hosted so far – are you confident for this one?

We’ll see how it goes tomorrow! I actually prefer the long distance in Sweden – it’s two times the length of this one – because I’m a long distance swimmer. My stroke when competing is 5k or 10k freestyle. I also prefer it because it’s warmer there – the temperature really makes a difference.

What do you think the hardest part of the course will be?

Definitely the cargo net at the start after the 100m swim.

Swimmers will tackle the cold Maryhill Lock

Do you have any St Paddy’s Weekend plans?

Well, I’ll hopefully be celebrating tomorrow night!

Unfortunately, applications to take part in the competition are now closed, but heats start at 10am tomorrow and run through until the prize giving at 4:20pm. It’s sure to be a spectacular day out, and one not to be missed for those adrenaline junkies.

 

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