Organised by Midleton Cycling and Triathlon Club, the Hills of the Harbour Sprint Triathlon took place in Whitegate, East Cork on Sunday July 18th 2020 at noon.
For many of the 123 hardy souls who made the early morning start to Whitegate on Sunday morning, it was the first opportunity to race in nearly two years. Included in their number were ten members of Blackwater Triathlon Club; Rachel Cronin, Allen Cotter, Barney Kiernan, Eileen Ryan, Mary O’Donnell, Mike Lyons, Ken Power, Edwina Boyce, Ruairi McGrath and Brian O’Hagen. For Allen and Mary it was a first triathlon.
Registration started earlier than usual to facilitate social distancing requirements on the day. The transition area was based in the local school with plenty of parking nearby for competitors and spectators. Sunday morning dawned bright and very warm. Conditions were closer to southern Spain than East Cork. The event began with a 750 metre open water sea swim starting in Whitegate village. For the competitors the wait to start the swim section was a challenge in itself as they waited in their wetsuits in the heat. The swim itself was lovely as the athletes enjoyed the only cool part of their day.
This was followed by a challenging 20 kilometre out and back cycle in the direction of Midleton before rounding the event off with a hilly 6 kilometre run around the back of Whitegate village before crossing the finish in the centre of the village. Mike Lyons was 5th overall on the day and Mary O’Donnell was 4th lady home. The race was really well organised with loads of marshals keeping everyone safe and socially distanced. Lots of supporters travelled down on the day to enjoy the buzz and atmosphere and shout on their friends and family members. Well done to everyone who took part on the day.
Hopefully it’s just the first of many events to come this year.b