As the June weekend arrives the Triathlon season kicks off in earnest and this weekend members of the Blackwater Triathlon Club were out in force with nearly 30 members taking part in events as diverse as triathlons in Athy, a Duathlon in Watergrasshill and the Cork City Marathon.
The June bank Holiday weekend was the 4th year of the Hillfest festival in Watergrasshill. An initiative of the Watergrasshill Community and National School association, Hillfest is an opportunity for clubs in the local area to work together, hold an event and raise much needed funds for the local community and their charity partner, Pieta House. This year the organisers, including our own Nigel carroll, decided to add a Duathlon race to the festival. The race, which consisted of a 3km run, followed by a 16km cycle and then a 5km run, attracted large numbers of competitors and among them were 13 of Blackwater Triathlon Club’s finest.
The race started with the runners running through Watergrasshill and heading for Glenville before turning back to the transition area in the school car park. The cycle was out towards Glanmire and back, with strong headwinds heading out and some very challenging hills on the way home. The final 5km run took the competitors out towards Knockraha and back to the village. Well done to BTC Chairman Mick Mulcahy who won his age group category on the day. This was somewhat controversial as nobody would believe that he was a day over 25!! All that good living is paying off. The weather conditions on the day were warm and dry and it was a tough event but very well marshalled and organised by Hillfest with a special mention to the Watergrasshill Athletic Club and The Over The Hill Cycling Club. The competitors were especially impressed by the huge selection of much needed refreshments on offer after the race. Hopefully this will become a regular event on the racing calendar.
The Blackwater triathlon Club contingent at the Hillfest Duathlon in Watergrasshill.
Saturday the 3rd of June saw the 11th running of the very popular TriAthy event. Once again the June bank holiday weekend saw over 2000 competitors converge on the heritage town of Athy to take part in one of 4 different triathlon distances available. There is something for everyone in the event from a Try a Tri race for beginners to a Double Olympic distance event for more experienced triathletes. There are also standard Sprint distance and Olympic distance events available. This year the Blackwater Triathlon Club was represented in all four races distances at the event, with no fewer than 12 members taking part. Weather conditions on the day weren’t too bad, mostly dry and quite warm and humid, although there were a few short showers and breezy conditions to contend with as the day went on. Two new members, Richard Tanner and Vincent McCarthy, took part in their first triathlon, completing the Try-a-Tri race which consisted of a 250 metre swim in the River barrow, a 20 km cycle and 3.8km run. Richard finished in 1:13:47 and Vinnie was a few minutes later in 1:18:15. Well done to Richard and Vinnie, hopefully this will be the first of many triathlons for both of them. At the other end of the Athy race menu Aidan Fitzgerald, along with 277 other athletes, took on the Double Olympic event. Aidan finished the 3km swim, 80km cycle and 20km run in a very impressive time of 5:48:36. Next up were the Sprint competitors. Deidre Morrisson, Peter O’Brien, Adrian Collins and Karen McNamara were flying the BTC colours in this race, which is made up of a 750 metre swim, a 20km cycle and a 5km run. Well done to Deidre who finished in 2nd place in her Age group category, completing the race in 1:23:09. Peter was next home, finishing his first Sprint Triathlon in 1:25:10, with Adrian and Karen finishing in 1:26:13 and 1:27:42 respectively. We also had five bodies taking on the Olympic distance race on the day; Joe Scanlan, Eddie O’Brien, Stephen Collins, Stephen Dalton and Marie MacAree. This and the sprint race were both very popular with just under 600 competitors completing in each race. Joe was first of the BTC contingent home, finishing the 1500 metre swim, 40km cycle and 10km run in a time of 2:21:18, followed by Stephen Collins in 2:31:42 and Eddie in 2:32:58. Stephen Dalton crossed the line in 2:53:00 and Marie finished the race in 3:17:28. This is a huge improvement for Marie who completed her first ever Olympic distance triathlon in Athy in 2015, coming home in 3:53:26. It just goes to show that all the hard work is paying off. Well done to all the Blackwater Crew and everyone else who took part on the day.
Richard Tanner and Vincent McCarthy at Try Athy
Stephen Collins, Eddie O’Brien, Marie MacAree, Stephen Dalton and Joe Scanlan (Kneeling) at TryAthy
James Slowey Keeping Active
Having recently returned to competitive action, Blackwater Triathlon Club’s resident Duracell bunny has been keeping active as usual. Having recently taken part in a training camp in the South of France, this weekend he completed the Cork City Marathon, finishing 61st overall in a time of 3:03:55. The following is his account of the camp.
So last week I headed off for some warm weather training to the South Of France just outside Perpignan to Sancture-Sportifs Triathlon Training with Ex Ironman Richard Laidlow and his wife Michelle, where I stayed in their base in Amelie Les Bains in the French Pyrenees. The first 2 days we had nice mornings but rain in the evenings but the rest of the week was good warm sunshine. Where we stayed was right in the heart of the mountains in a small French village. On the first day we headed straight up for an hour to 1000 meters and a 25km climb before descending into a beautiful valley before another climb of approx. 10km brought us back to the town and after a 4 hour bike we arrived hungrily back for Lunch. All meals, freshly produced and delicious are provided by Michelle and can be included in the stay. In the afternoon it was out for an easy run for an hour before Dinner and the evening was for relaxation and recovery. The week would continue with specified training which was explained to us over a hearty breakfast. Swimming was done in 4 different locations which we were spoilt for choice. There were 2 fantastic lakes, one within 15km so we would run there and then swim, or the other was about a 25 minute drive. We also had a session with the Catalan Triathlon Club in a 50meter pool in Perpignan on the Monday evening, this was a coached one and a half hour session by Richard and was a tough evening session. And also the Sea was less than 40km away so we had a bike-swim on that day with an amazing picnic provided by Michelle at the beach in Collioure. All in all we had a great week of weather, good hard training and great food. I will be returning here again that’s for sure. Richard and Michelle are amazing hosts and I cannot thank them enough for their hospitality. Pepignan is easily accessible from Dublin, Aer Lingus fly there 3-4 times a week and it’s not too expensive.
Thanks for that account James. Definitely something to look into for anyone looking for a slightly more active type of holiday.
James Slowey feeling the strain in the Cork City Marathon