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My Outdoors Q&A: Roddy Riddle

By John Davidson

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Roddy Riddle taken during his 6633 Arctic Ultra race.
Roddy Riddle taken during his 6633 Arctic Ultra race.

Name: Roddy Riddle

Age: 52

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you normally do.

I am a ex international cyclist and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May 2008. To raise awareness for the condition I ran the 2013 156-mile Marathon Des Sables, took part in the 2016 352-mile Arctic 6633 Ultra Marathon but failed to finish, pulling out 70 miles from the finish line. Feeling that I let myself, family, friends and the diabetic community down, I went back in 2017 to finish unfinished business, crossing the finish line in second place and the first Scotsman to finish the race. I am a partner in our cycle shop Bikes of Inverness.

Where are you based/where do you live?

I was brought up on a farm just outside Inverness called Balnafroig but now live in Inverness.

How have you been filling the void of the great outdoors during lockdown and what has been the biggest change for you?

Since lockdown I decided to put running on the back burner for the meantime and have been going out marching every day for between eight and 10 miles in the countryside out beside the farmhouse I was brought up on. I’ve also started to write my book, which I keep getting asked to do but never had the time before.

What are you missing most about the freedom of the outdoors just now?

To be honest, due to being allowed to go out to exercise, I’m enjoying my marching so nothing really.

Have you found any positives in lockdown?

Definitely, my oldest son Alasdair (16) plays football for Inverness Caledonian Thistle under 18s asked on April 3 if he could borrow my road bike, so he has been going out every single day since. He did 620 miles in April and has got top 10 overall for most of the local climbs on Strava, so if he doesn’t make it as a professional footballer he definitely has potential on the bike.

Findlay my youngest (12) has been mountain biking 7.5 miles most days also. As a family we are doing quiz nights every night after Mr Ross from Holm Primary School started one every Thursday since lockdown, which is helping keep the community together.

What is the first place you plan to visit, or route you plan to do, once lockdown restrictions are eased to the point we can travel more freely?

I don’t tend to travel to do my exercise, as I am so lucky what I’ve got on my doorstep and there is never a day I take it for granted.

What event or events are you looking forward to once things are up and running again, whenever that might be?

I was entered for the 80-mile Loch Ness 360 ultra-marathon which goes all the way around Loch Ness but it’s now rescheduled for May 2021, so I’ll look forward to that.

Do you have a favourite outdoors book or author?

The Corbett Round by Manny Gormann.

roddyriddle.com / Twitter: @RoddyRiddle / Instagram: @roddy.riddle

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