24/7 Triathlon club was well represented at both ends of the country last weekend with some excellent performances, getting the season of to a cracking start and showing that this small club had some big aspirations in 2012.
A small continent of athletes travelled to the southwest tip of Ireland to compete in the National Championships on Valentia Island off the coast of Kerry. The weather gods were in fantastic form for the day with clear sunny skies and calm sea’s greeting the competitors for 10 am start.
The swim leg required athletes to swim from the mainland out to the island, a total distance of 750m followed by a 20km cycle loop of the island taking in views of the famous Valentia lighthouse, the scenic Skeligs (Micheal and Beag) and the much travelled ring of Kerry, followed by a 5km run leg around the small island village of Knightstown.
Five athletes in total, Aidan Callaghan, Gavin Crawford, Margret Kelly, Pauric Kelly and Hazel Scorer made the 650 mile round trip for the event with all wishing to pit their wits and wear’s against the best tri-athletes in the country at the moment. Aidan Callaghan got off to a great start exiting the water in a time of 9.32 leaving himself in 5th place for the bike leg, he was closely followed by Gavin (11.51) Hazel (12.56) Pauric (13.00) Margret (13.24).
Unfortunately it was not to be and Aidan could not capitalise on his effort in the sea, crashing on the bike with about 4km to go, picking some pretty bad injuries therefore signalling the end of his race. Gavin, Pauric and Margret pushed hard on the bike section and made up some great time, Hazel too lost some time on the bike also coming off but did manage to finish the course and complete the run leg of the race.
On the run, athletes again put in a massive effort and each can be happy with the day’s results, Gavin finished 18th overall and Margret was 7th woman home and 2nd in her age group. Excellent results given the field of 600 athletes and the calibre of competition.
Nick Fowell and Cathal Roarty were also representing 24/7 at the weekend and travelled to Limavady on Saturday to complete in the annual event, held at the Roe Valley leisure centre.
The swim section of the race was a pool swim followed by a 20km out and back bike with rolling hills giving plenty of opportunity to build up speed and momentum to gain valuable places leading into the 5km run leg. Nick had a fantastic day and will be very pleased with his 17th place overall, with Cathal also putting in good performances in the pool and turning out a sub 40 minute bike leg.
Next up for the 24/7 athletes will be the Liam Ball Triathlon in the Templemore Complex Derry this coming Sunday.