INTREPID athletes gave their all as an exhilarating series of triathlons returned to the bonnie banks.

Damp weather conditions failed to deter hundreds of triathletes who travelled far and wide to compete in the famous ‘Beastie Triathlons’ at Balloch Country Park recently.

It was father and son team David and Fred Brown, from Hexham near Newcastle, who achieved the loudest claps and cheers on the day, proving that last place is just as rewarding as first place as they tackled the sprint triathlon event - a 750m open water swim, a 17 Km off-road cycle and a 5 km run.

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David, who was entered into the race by his sons Fred and Charles as a 65th birthday present, said it was an incredible experience.

David, a record breaking fell runner who has survived a battle against cancer, said: “It was an absolutely incredible, a day I will never ever forget.

“I can thank Lomond Swimming and Triathlon Club enough for organising such an amazing event.

“I plan on coming back next year.”

His son Fred, who is a seasoned triathlete, added: “We loved it.

“Everyone was so welcoming and supportive on the course.

“We will be back.”

David and Fred, 24, received a special award for being the ‘best dancers’ after performing a post swim Highland Fling as the piper played on the jetty.

As well as the sprint triathlon, competitors also took part in the ‘Wee Beastie Novice Triathlon and the Scottish National Championship Aquathlon.

Pamela Gallagher, the Lomond Swimming and Triathlon Club’s race director, said the event was one of the best yet.

She said: “I want to thank all the amazing participants, volunteers and supporters who made the day such a success.”

“Inspirational people like David and his son Fred epitomise what triathlon is all about and prove that it’s not all about the winning.

“They are true heroes in our eyes.”

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The club also thanked photographer Daren Borzynski, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority, West Dunbartonshire Council and Triathlon Scotland for their continued support.