Corofin man Derek Joyce believes the huge level of fitness and entrechat preparation required to complete the 8 stage An Post Ras stood to him well in Duathlon racing, even though both disciplines are as different as chalk and cheese in terms of duration and terrain. The Galway man was a complete novice when he entered at the first round of the Bridge Signs Ireland West Duathlon series, The Land of the Giants Duathlon held at Christmas was a baptism of fire for him but by the last event he gained in stature having his best result of the series at the Westport Duathlon on March 25th
William Burke of Galway Tri showed great grit to finish second overall only a handful of points down, he is sure to be back next year to try and win the title, Ray Mc Namara Liquid Motion Ballina has been steadily building form through the series and is bound to be a contender in the triathlon season ahead.
With over 700 participants taking part in one or more of the rounds throughout the series, each event had a different character, some used off road trails, hilly forest paths or the greenway, participants that came from all over the country were thrilled with the courses with some brilliant feedback has been acknowledged, there were some gigantic battles between the various club/Teams this section is bound to grow as every team participant has a chance to help their squad total.
The age categories section proved very competitive especially the over 40 category with a huge battles at each event right to the end of the series.
Claremorris promoted the first round on December 28th with the LOTG, the winner for the 2nd year in a row was Anthony Murray Multisport Westport, Tri Lakes TC promoted Rd 2 in Knockma in late January with John Greaney Hurtlocker having a sprint victory over Cavan’s Triathlete Killian Heery.
Mid February Ballinrobe hosted Rd 3, Killian Heery eventually got the win over John Greaney.
Round 4 was staged in Cong using part of the beautiful Ashford castle grounds (Rory Mc Elroy getting married there ) with Killian Heery taking his 2nd win on the bounce.
Westport Leisure park promoted the last round on a beautiful day in late March, probably the strongest field of the series took to the line with Stephen Donnelly Liquid Motion Ballina storming to one of his best ever victories, John Greany Hurtlocker was second and Westport own Sean Mc Loughlin third.
Holding form for 3 months isn’t easy but for most of the athletes the series was the ideal building block for Triathlon racing which kicks off in May. The 5 event series was sponsored by Bridge Signs Ballinrobe; the graphic designer even made the national headlines with the work he did with Ashford castle ahead of the Mc Elroy wedding.
In the ladies category Ballina Ironwoman Lorraine Carey again nearly took a clean sweep winning 4 out of 5 races; it took the national champion Heather Foley of Belfast the only woman who could match the Ballina flier. She even placed 3rd overall in the series a super achievement in itself, It’s no wonder she won a silver medal at the national Duathlon championships recently.
The team classification proved popular, clubs had to have at least 5 finishers at each event, Multisport AM Westport looked to be sailing away with the title for the second year running but a big push from Ballina’s Liquid motion, Tri Lakes TC and Galway’s Hurtlocker team closed the gap, the last race was a four way battle with John Greaney leading home his squad for the team title.
The Bridge Signs prize presentation was attended by the various winners and it was held recently at the Clewbay Hotel Westport
Male prize winners
1st Derek Joyce Galway Bay Cycling Club
2nd William Burke Galway Triathlon Club
3rd Ray Mc Namara Liquid Motion Triathlon Club
4th Paul Joyce Tri Lakes Triathlon Club
5th Ciarán Kilcullen Ballaghaderreen Cycling Club
Martin Kinneavey Western Lakes Cycling Club
Overall Female prize winners
1st Lorraine Carey Liquid Motion Triathlon Club
2nd Mary Daly MultiSport by Anthony Murray
3rd Jean o Connor Galway Triathlon Club
4th Marie Halpin MultiSport by Anthony Murray
5th Michelle Reynolds Liquid Motion Triathlon Club
1st Caitlín Woods Swinford Triathlon Club
1st Team Hurtlocker Galway
2nd MultiSport by Anthony Murray Westport
3rd Liquid Motion Triathlon Club Ballina
McHale Team Ballinrobe
Paul Coleman & Noel Jennings Hollymount Wheelers
Thanks again to all the various sponsors of the individual events and to all the participants for taking part in the series
Prizes sponsored by Bridge Signs Ballinrobe