Joey Hannon Triathlon

By | May 2, 2018

Stephen Dalton, Gina Lyons, Karen McNamara, Ann Lyons, Niamh Fleming, Ciara MacCallum, Deidre Morrison and Julian Boeg at The Joey Hannon Memorial Triathlon.

Sunday the 29th of April saw the 25th edition of the Joey Hannon Memorial Triathlon. This event is run by the Limerick Triathlon Club on the grounds of the University of Limerick, in memory of fellow triathlete, friend & club member Joey Hannan who was tragically killed while out cycling some years ago.  It was a beautiful sunny spring day as the athletes gathered at the impressive University Of Limerick sports complex to begin the races. For many people this is a rare opportunity to experience a full 50m pool.  There were 4 separate events run on the day, a try-a-Tri/Novice race, a Junior triathlon, a Sprint event and an Olympic distance triathlon. All races had a pool swim meaning that this race can be run early in the Triathlon Calendar with no need for participants to wear a wet-suit. The Bike and Run courses were relatively flat and well marshalled making the race fast but safe and largely un-intimidating for the novice triathlete. This is a very popular event with nearly 500 athletes taking part in the 4 races on the day. The try-a-tri and junior races kicked things off at 9am, followed by two Olympic waves, and two sprint waves. The campus and surrounding area were like a sea of high-visibility vests with over eighty marshals safely guiding athletes through their respective races. Blackwater Triathlon Club had 13 members taking part on the day, with participants in the Olympic, Sprint and Junior Triathlon events. First out were the try-a-tri and junior races. Ciara Beston completed the Junior race in 55:58. The junior race consisted of a 300 metre swim, a 9 km cycle and a 3 km run and Ciara cut nearly a minute and a half off her time for the same race last year. Next to go were the Olympic distance competitors. Among the athletes taking on the 1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run on the day were no fewer than ten members of the Blackwater Triathlon Club. Deidre Morrison was the first BTC athlete home in a very good time of 2:35:54. This was an improvement of nearly 12 minutes on her 2017 time for the same event. Peter O’Brien was the first of the BTC men home in 2:47:29, followed by the Lyons sisters, Gina and Ann, who finished in 2:47:44 and 2:53:16 respectively. Adrian Collins crossed the line in 2:55:35 with Niamh Fleming cutting nearly 5 minutes off her 2017 time, coming home in 2:59:50. Karen McNamara and Ciara MacCallum also both improved on their 2017 times. Bragging rights on the day went to Karen who finished in 3:01:41, a whole 2 seconds ahead of Ciara in 3:01:43! Karen cut her 2017 time by nearly 5 minutes while Ciara was nearly 8 minutes faster this year. Julian Boeg completed his first Joey Hannon Olympic distance race in 3:46:05. Again this was a step up for Julian who in 2017 had completed his first ever triathlon in the Joey Hannon Sprint event. Dave McGrath was also taking part on the day, but unfortunately a knee injury at the 5k point in the run ended his day early. Shane Fleming and Stephen Dalton took part in the Sprint event on the day, finishing in 1:21:34 and 1:24:41 respectively. Stephen also improved on his time of last year, completeing the 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5 km run a minute and a half faster than in the 2017 race. Conditions on the day were near perfect for racing and all agreed that, once again, Limerick Triathlon Club had organised a really good event. Well done to our members for taking part and, as usual, doing the BTC proud. There is an obvious progression from all our members showing that the club’s training programs, in conjunction with the dedication of the members themselves, are having definitive results year on year.