Over the last months the Blackwater Triathlon Club has tried its best to keep up a virtual training program for as many athletes as possible. For the running side of things we have been lucky to be coached by Aoife Cooke. Aoife is a prodigious young running talent who recently qualified in the marathon for the Tokyo Olympics. Aoife had been providing training programs for our athletes over the winter and early spring but now she is concentrating on her Olympic preparation and no longer has the time to continue. While disappointed with the fact that she won’t be available to coach our runners for a while, we were all delighted that Aoife will be representing Ireland in Tokyo. We wish Aoife and all the rest of the Irish team all the best in Japan.
To mark the end of Aoife’s coaching stint and coincidentally, the advent of outdoor training events, the club decided to hold a half-marathon and 10k run for members on Sunday the 23rd of May. It was an early start on Sunday morning for our runners and the run organisers and marshals. Unfortunately, weather conditions were pretty appalling with high winds and lots of rain. However, our runners are a hardy bunch and just like Mrs Doyle from Fr. Ted who loved the misery of making tea the old fashioned way, our runners faced the misery of the weather, and enjoyed every minute of it. The runs took place around Castleyons village with the 10k runners completing one loop and the half-marathon crew doing the loop twice. Well done to Adrian Collins who coordinated the run on the day as well as running the half marathon. Unfortunately, with tired legs from the cycling on Friday night and miserable weather conditions some our members choose the duvet instead of the rain. Some would say they made a wise decision. The half-marathon started at 8.30am and despite the inclement weather, four of the nine participants finished the day with personal bests. Dave Bartley finished in 1:33:29, Clem Leonard in 1:42:48, Jonathan D’Arcy in 1:55:53 and Barney Kiernan managed his first sub 2 hour half marathon, crossing the line in 1:59:15. The 10k runners started at 8.45 am with Ken Power leading the field home in 49:06, followed by Kay Quirke in 59:33 and Allen Cotter in 1:02:21. Well done to all who took part on the day and to all the marshals, organisers and supporters who braved the conditions to help out and cheer them on.