The sport of Triathlon consists of three main disciplines, swimming, cycling and running. Many of the members of the Blackwater Triathlon Club are equally good, or possibly bad, at all three disciplines. However, most of us have our preferred one of the three. Recently some of our club members completed a 10km swim and another member spent a day cycling 400km in county Clare. Not to be outdone, a pair of our running enthusiasts decided to take on an ultra-marathon challenge. News of the postponement of this year’s Dublin City Marathon spurred Blackwater Triathlon Club members Peter O’Brien and Adrian Collins into tackling a run along the iconic Blackwater way. On the morning of Sunday, July the 11th, the intrepid duo set off on a challenge to run from Fermoy to Bweeng through a course encompassing challenging trails, quiet country roads, and stunning scenery.
The morning conditions were familiar to any triathlete with heavy rain making the run feel more like a swim. The first leg, between Fermoy and Ballyhooly followed the river as far as Glenabo woods before climbing up to Knockananig above the reservoir and finally descending into Ballyhooly and onto Castleblagh woods. Leaving Ballyhooly the rain thankfully subsided and it remained sunny and warm for the rest of the day. From there, the path was mostly forestry trails occasionally joined together by short sections of country road. The Blackwater pair made steady progress though sometimes challenging and hilly terrain. The course led the two through Killavullen, skirting around the Nagle mountains. At about 45km, Peter and Adrian crossed the main Mallow/Cork road for the remainder of the run which all took place on roadway.
With Bweeng finally in sight, the pair made a final push to complete the 55km run. This was the first time either of them had completed the ultra-marathon distanced and represented the completion of the Avondhu way (which forms part of the Blackwater way) for Adrian who had run the section from Clogheen to Fermoy earlier in the summer. This was a remarkable achievement for Peter and Adrian. Well done to them both.