Triathlon Ireland’s annual awards dinner took place in the surrounds of the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening. Much like the growth in the sport, this year’s awards dinner was bigger than ever attracting some of the top elite and age group triathletes in the country along with special guests on the night, Olympians Rob Heffernan, Natalya Coyle and Darren O’Neill.
The Vodafone Athlete of the Year, which is voted on by members of Triathlon Ireland went to Ireland’s first ever male representative in triathlon at the Olympic Games, Gavin Noble, who despite suffering from injury in the lead up to the Games produced a stunning performance and lead for much of the race.
Noble beat off stiff competition from Aileen Morrison who climbed to as high as 7th in the world in the run up to the Olympics along with Ironman UK and Ironman 70.3 UK winner Eimear Mullan.
In domestic racing top honours went to Cork man Trevor Woods and Meath’s Marie Boland who came out on top after the twenty three race-long Vodafone National Series.
Woods was pleased with his efforts commenting “It’s hard to keep consistent in your training and racing throughout the season”
Professional Long Distance triathlete Bryan McCrystal who recently foiled the efforts of a jewellery thief who attempted to steal from the family business collected his trophy for winning the Kinetica Standard Distance Championships. McCrystal beat off competition from over 2000 triathletes in the National Championship event which was held in Athlone in late June.
Aoife Lynch of the Dublin based Pulse Triathlon Club won the women’s race but also picked up silver medals in the Aquathlon, Duathlon, Sprint and Middle Distance National Championships showing her incredible consistency through the season and over varying distances.
Speaking at the event, Vodafone Ireland Business & Enterprise Director Anne O’Leary said: “It’s been an amazing year for Triathlon, between the continued growth of the sport and the wonderful performances of our elite triathletes. It’s only fitting that we would gather and celebrate what has been a milestone year for the sport in Ireland and we are delighted to be part of that continued growth.”