The most successful Ballinrobe Duathlon to date was held on a beautiful spring morning in early February, participants traveled from near and far to take part in the first run/bike/run event of 2015. For many it was their first time to take part in an event like this and the anxiety was clearly shown on many participants faces before the start. Luckily there were great marshals and helpers on board who are well experienced from taking part in events and the many questions that a nervous participant asked were answered with confidence.
Local boot camps and fitness class instructors used this event as a goal for their clients and judging by the reaction it proved a great success and people new to the competitive game were ecstatic and showed great elation and excitement when crossing the finish line.
For two participants, just to start was a monster achievement in itself, Oisin Gannon and Billy O’ Toole are only 12 months out of the Brain Trauma Unit of Dun Laoghaire rehab unit, their aim was not to acheive a PB or to get in the prizes, the just wanted to be part of the buzz that surrounded this great event. When both crossed the line emotional on lookers gave them a rapturous round of applause and friends and family were eager to give their heroes a hug.
The race itself started with all the competitors lined up at the top of Bridge Street Ballinrobe and with a clear downhill 1k straight ahead it was notsurprising to see that quite a few athletes broke the 3 minutes mark for the first km such was their speed.
Leading the fray from the start was Galway’s Hurt locker surpremo John Greaney, he held this lead from Killian Heery from Emyvale with John Lyons from Longford in 3rd who was leading the Relay section.
The ladies section was neck and neck between 4 ladies, Lorraine Carey Ballina, Marie Boyle Spiddal, Siobhan Murtagh Carrick on Shannon and Michelle Lannon Boyle were all stuck together.
On the bike leg the men’s race was blown wide open when Western Lakes CC Sean O’ Malley who came from away back to lead the bike leg, in doing so Killian Heery, Stephen Donnelly and a few others tried to jump on the O’ Malley train but his speed was that high only another relay cyclist from Longford could sustain the pace. By the time bike leg was over O’ Malley and Longford relay cyclist Temple had a huge gap on the individual athletes of those Stephen Donnelly seemed strongest as he held a tiny lead on the Co. Monaghan man Heery.
In the ladies section a clear battle had developed between Carey Ballina and Boyle Spiddal with the other ladies now falling off the pace. Boyle led into transition with only 3.5k to go with a lead of 20 odd seconds from Carey and it was looking to be the evergreen Boyle’s day.
At the finish line relay runner Brendan Conway Westport led home the race after been passed the baton by cyclist Sean O’ Malley,second home was the Longford pair of Lyons/ Temple.
In the individual race the fast running Killian Heery passed Donnelly on the last run with only a few hundred meters to go to take his first big win of the year.
Likewise in the ladies race Boyle had victory grasped from here right at the death in the sprint to the line making for two very exciting finishes.
Ballinrobe Duathlon organisers would like to thank the following sponsors Vaughan Shoes, Ballinrobe Physiotherapy, Chrysalis Beauty Salon and Marrey Bikes
The event was supported by Mayo County Council, Ballinrobe Men’s Shed Group, Western Lakes CC, Ballinrobe Tidy Towns, the RSA and the Order of Malta.
There was be a massive event after party at Costello’s Bar, Abbey St. that night, where race photos and video footage was shown, the next event in the Duathlon series is the Castlebar Adventure Duathlon on March 14th.
1st: Killain Heery, Muckno, Emyvale, Co. Monaghan
2nd: Stephen Donnelly, Fit Science, Ballina
3rd: John Greaney, Hurt Locker, Galway
TJ McHugh,Garrymore, Tri lakes
Sean Lyons, Achill
1st: Lady Lorraine Carey, Liquid Motion, Ballina
2nd: Marie Boyle, Hurt Locker, Spiddal
3rd: Siobhan Murtagh, Carrick on Shannon
Women’s Over 40
Michelle Lannon Boyle
Women’s Over 50
Over 50 Ann Heaney Castlebar.
Ronan Dirrane, Spiddel, Co. Galway
1st: Relay team – Sean O’ Malley/Brendan Conway Tesco Finest, Ballinrobe
2nd: Temple/Lyons, Longford
3rd: Martin Joyce/Matt Gill, Western Lakes
1st: lady relay Sinead Stagg/Sinead Keane, Hollymount/ Ballinrobe
1st: Mixed relay John and Imelda Hughes, Kilmaine Western Lakes
Bike Fitting Specialist