On Saturday the 29th of November, four members of The Blackwater Triathlon Club travelled down to Clonakilty to take part in the Clonakilty Waterfront Marathon event. Conor Bartley, Dave Bartley and Jim Crowley all took their places at the start line of the marathon, while Pat Dunlea took on the 10km challenge. The race routes took in the in the spectacular views of Inchydoney Island , Galley Head , the causeways, postcard pretty Rathbarry village, Castlefreak estate, Red Strand , Ardfield and the dramatic coastline of Duneen Strand. The marathon route also took the runners around the Dunmore headland and up and down the hills around Clonakilty Bay. Runners were treated to dramatic views of the Atlantic to take their minds of the pain in their legs as they covered the miles along the West Cork coastline. It was a cold and windy day as the runners lined up at the start line on Saturday morning. All four of the Blackwater participants are in training for the Ironman in Youghal next June, just 200 days away. Dave and Conor Bartley are experienced marathon runners and made light work of the hills and conditions on the day. Conor crossed the finishing line in an excellent time of 3:09, just 18 minutes ahead of his older brother, who finished in 3:27. Jim Crowley was facing his first full marathon and decided to return to his native Clonakilty to do it. Jim was delighted to finish the 42 km event in 4:43, crossing the finish line with a smile on his face and a big thumbs up for his supporters. The final member of the BTC quadrumvirate, Pat Dunlea, had a marathon under his belt already, albeit over 20 years earlier. Pat is a newcomer to the club and the sport of triathlon. Having attended the Ironman in Youghal last June as a spectator, he was so impressed by what he saw that he decided that he wanted to give it a go from the sharp end. So, a couple of days later, despite having never even competed in any kind of triathlon, he signed up for next year’s Ironman Youghal. Not even the fact that he couldn’t swim was enough to dissuade him from his course of action, and it’s been a full on learning experience for him ever since. In August he completed the Edge Sports try-a-tri in Fermoy and has been working hard on all three elements of triathlon ever since. The 10km race on Saturday was the longest run he had completed in many years and he was absolutely delighted with his time of 1:03 on the day. Pat’s 25 year old daughter Alanna, has been so inspired by her father’s new ambition that she recently took up running as well and she did the half-marathon on the day, finishing in 1:51. Well done to all of the people who took part on the day. It was once again a very well run event and definitely one to consider for next year.