AYRODNAMIC triathlete of the year Marc Auchie got his new season off to an exotic start by traveling all the way to Dubai to take part in the Iron Man 70.3 event - a 1.9 km swim in the warm sea, followed by 56 miles along the flat coast and a 13.1 mile run.

Marc, like many others ad suffered from flu which disrupted his training, but decided to take on the challenge and see what happened. He had an

excellent swim and bike, but a combination of his recent illness and desert heat took its toll during the run, and he wisely decided to abandon and seek medical attention. After a short period in the medical tent, he was fit to return to his hotel.

The event was won by Olympic gold medalist Alastair Brownlee, who completed the full event in an amazing 3 hours and 32 minutes.

While club members are pushing on with their winter training, event organisers have been busy setting up the six races which Ayrodynamic will offer to the sports public in 2018, and there is something to whet many people's appetites.

On April 22, the ever-popular Ayr 3 Castles Duathlon takes place from Doonfoot Primary School.

There will again be two Aquathons for youngsters between eight and 16, on May 12 and September 15, both at Prestwick Pool. That venue is of course provisional on the final decision on the pool future by South Ayrshire Council.

A brand new event - The Shewalton Open Water Aquathon - makes its debut on June17 in the pond where the club does its summer

swim training, and the run which follows exit from the water will be on the lovely quiet and traffic free trails nearby. The Pond is again the swim venue for the Irvine Open Water Sprint Triathlon on August 5, and the final event is the much-loved Turkey Trot on Boxing Day. All these events can be entered via the entry Central website.

There is major disappointment however that the club have been forced to drop the Ayr Sprint Triathlon, which for many years has taken place at the mouth of the River Doon. The event, which was voted the most enjoyable Triathlon in Scotland just two years ago, has been ditched after fears for competitor safety following testing of the water in the River Doon.

The club paid for samples from the mouth of the river to be tested in laboratories in Glasgow, and were shocked when the tests revealed massive levels of pollution, which may have come from farming run off.

The race was cancelled in 2017, but in the hope that the pollution was a one - off, the river was re-tested. Unfortunately little had changed, and the sad decision was taken to abandon the race to protect participants.