South Uist sporting star Kerry MacPhee said she was “thrilled” at having had the chance this week to experience the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Kerry is the first woman ever from the Western Isles to compete at a Commonwealth Games, and she rose to the occasion by finishing a creditable 13th place in the women’s cross country mountain bike race held at Cathkin Braes on Tuesday.
Selection for the games squad rewarded a meteoric rise in the sport for the 28-year-old from Kilpheder. Having made rapid progress as an off-road triathlete after taking up the sport in 2010, Kerry only switched focus to cycling a year ago in a bid to make the Glasgow 2014 squad.
After Tuesday’s competition she said: “I am absolutely thrilled with how today went. I really wanted a top 10 finish. I didn’t get it but I put it all on the line and gave it my all. After four laps my legs did start to go and I really had to use my mind-set to get me through.
“You really can’t be disappointed with that. I just raced for Scotland!
“The crowd were absolutely brilliant. The noise right the way round the course was so loud and I really noticed the home support. I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and appreciate all the support I have had up until now. It’s been great.”
Tuesday’s race was won by Canadian Catharine Pendrel, with her campatriot Emily Batty in second place. The bronze medal went to Australian Rebecca Henderson.
In recent years Kerry has juggled three jobs — working as a dementia adviser for Alzheimer Scotland, teaching PE part-time and helping out at a bike shop near her home in Stirling to scrape together the finance needed to compete at elite events across Europe.
Last year, she won two golds in her maiden appearance for the Western Isles at the NatWest World Island Games in Bermuda.