While most races have been cancelled this year, some triathletes finally had a chance to compete this season at the Hardman Bantry Bay Triathlon, which took place in West Cork on the 8th of August. Among the 160 athletes taking part on the day were three Blackwater Triathlon Club members; Stephen Collins, Dave McCarthy and Mike Lyons. The race was only the second event of the 2020 triathlon season to take place and was run under strict social distancing measures.
The race started and finished at Bantry Airfield, providing the competitors and organisers plenty of open space for social distancing on the day. The middle distance race started with a 1.9km swim in Bantry Bay, followed by a 90km cycle through West Cork and the Mizen and Sheep’s Head peninsulas, before finishing with a 21km run along the hills of the Sheep’s Head peninsula once again, all with the stunning backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. The day was ideal for a race. The swimmers entered the water in pairs. The water was warm and there was hardly a wave to obstruct the competitors. The bike route was undulating with a big climb at the Goat’s pass. The first 10km of the run was the hardest part of the route with 500m of climbing as the day got very warm. It was a tough event for the competitors but they all agreed it was a really good day out, with a great atmosphere as the athletes took full advantage of the opportunity to race once again. Dave finished in 10th place overall in an excellent time of 4:58:48. Stephen finished in 5:43:36 and Mike crossed the line just a few minutes later in 5:48:38. Well done to everyone who took part on the day. Hopefully we’ll all be back racing before too long.