Perfect conditions greeted over 600 triathletes for the Sprint Distance Triathlon National Championships in Clogherhead at the weekend.
The CAT 1 men were off first with James Edgar and Chris Mintern emerging from the 750 metre swim in under 9 minutes.
Out onto the 20 kilometre bike and the duo built an early lead with a pack of 6 forming behind. Early in the bike ride the leading pair took a wrong turn, resulting in a shorter route being taken and ultimately a DQ from the race. A disappointing end to their day.
The larger pack however was working well together and kept the chasers at bay. Into the second transition and Con Doherty took all of 23 seconds to rack his bike and don his runners, giving him a jump on the competition. He went on to clock 14:18over the run section to take the win in a time of 54:50.
Nenagh Triathlon Clubs Darren Dunne found himself in the second pack on the bike but blitzed the run in under 15 minutes to bring him through the field and into second position. It was a similar story for GB Triathlete, Richard Horton who was down out of the water but worked really hard on the bike and backed it up with a 14:15 run split for 3rd place.
The 3rd Irishman subsequently 3rd in the Irish National Championships was Neil Bolger in a time of 56:07.
The Women’s race was won by Carolyn Hayes in a time of 1:03:02, adding the Sprint title to the Standard distance title she won in Dublin a few weeks ago. Out of the water it looked as through a small pack would form as Lynne Algar, Kirsty Mc Ilwaine, Sophie O’Brien and Niamh Corry were all in close order.
Hayes wasn’t letting up though and she pushed on solo, extending her lead as the race progressed.
Heather Foley was almost 2 minutes down out of the water but the fastest bike and run splits of the day saw her finish on the podium in 2nd in a time of 1:04:30
Kenmare native, Rachel Hawker won bronze in the Standard Distance National Championships and repeated that performance over the sprint distance as she completed the course in 1:05:16.
YouTube Race Highlights Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq90DZW4L9E