The Blessington Triathlon took place on Sunday 1st July 2018 in the beautiful lakeside setting of Poulaphouca Reservoir, Co. Wicklow. There were three different races available to the athletes on the day, a Sprint distance race, an Olympic distance race and an Aquavelo event. Among the 400 athletes who took part were seven of Blackwater Triathlon Club’s finest. Our ladies were very well represented with Ashleigh Byrne, Gina Lyons, Ann Lyons and Ciara MacCallum taking part in the Olympic distance event, which consisted of a 1500 metre swim, a 39km cycle and a 10km run. Karen McNamara, having completed the Hell Of The West Triathlon the day before, competed in the Aquavelo event, a 1500 metre swim, followed by the 39km cycle. The Blackwater contingent was completed by Michael Mulcahy and George Clancy, who were taking part in the sprint event, a 750 metre swim, followed by a 19km cycle and a 5km run. The race, which was very well organised by Belpark Triathlon Club and hosted by Blessington Sailing Club also raises much needed funds for Down Syndrome Ireland. The race started at 10 in the morning and even at that early hour the mercury was rapidly rising with temperatures already in the mid twenties. The swim section consisted of a triangular loop in the reservoir, with the Olympic and Aquavelo competitors taking a longer loop. Water conditions were very calm and water temperatures were around 18 degress, positively bath like! There was a new bike course this year, consisting of a 19km lap with 228 metres of elevation. The sprint competitors did this once, while everyone else had to do it twice. The run course was a 5km lap on very quiet roads and lanes with a looped course and some rolling climbs. Once again, sprint competitors completed this once, while the Olympic athletes had to do it a second time. Despite the heat all the Blackwater competitors finished their races in really good times. Ashleigh was the first of the Blackwater crew home in the Olympic event, crossing the line in a great time of 2:51:31. Gina Lyons was hot on her heels, finishing just 27 seconds later in 2:51:58. Ann was less than 4 minutes behind her sister, finishing in 2:55:52 and Ciara crossed the line in 3:15:48. Karen McNamara finished the Aquavelo race in 2:11:32, all the more impressive considering she had completed The Hell of The West Olympic distance triathlon the day before on the other side of the country!! In the sprint race Michael cruised home in a very fast time of 1:16:57 with George, who was competing in his very first triathlon, finishing in 1:33:27.