SHANE SCULLY AND KATIE Cooke both put in stunning performances to win the Lost Sheep Middle Distance Triathlon in the wilds of Kenmare, Co. Kerry.
Trevor Woods and Nenagh man Shane Scully both held the lead in the swim, after which competitors were treated to some spectacular views and a number of testing climbs which made the 83km loop not for the faint hearted.
The Healy Pass was the first major challenge and Scully continued to blaze a trail at the front, with Woods pushing hard to stay in contention. Top Ironman competitor, Liam Dolan, gave up almost eight minutes to the leaders during the swim but moved back to the head of the field thanks to the fastest bike split of the day.
The half marathon run was another hilly affair, however Scully had enough left in the legs to run 1hr 19mins 50secs and went on to win in a time of 4hrs 10mins 36secs. Dolan backed up his quick bike with the fastest run of the day in 1hr 17mins 58secs and took second place, just five and half minutes behind Scully. Mariusz Olejniczak managed to over hall Woods during the run leg to take third in 4hr 19mins 52 secs.
For the ladies it was Katie Cooke who took the lead early on during the bike section. Marie Boland also had a strong bike which put her in second place, while Louise Keane held on to third place. The ladies stayed in the same position throughout the run, with Cooke holding on to win in a time of 4hr 51mins. Boland was second crossing the line some ten minutes back with Keane third in 5hr 9min 17secs.
Tri an Mhi
Meanwhile at the Tri An Mhi Sprint triathlon, Olympians Fionnuala Britton along with sailors Annalise Murphy and Scott Flanagan turned their hands to triathlon. Unsurprisingly, Britton featured near the head of the field. After a 15min 22sec swim, Britton had the quickest run of the entire field which helped her to a third place finish in her first ever triathlon. The men’s race was won by Pulse TC’s Joe Lynch while Anna O’Neill of Piranha TC won the women’s race.
At the 70.3 Ironman World Championships in Las Vegas, conditions were not ideal for the Irish athletes with temperatures reaching 40 degrees. Robbie Wade from Waterford was racing in the PRO division and produced an impressive 24th place. Other notable performances came from Karl Kildea in the male 25–29 age group, who finished fifth. Eimear O’Brien was sixth in the female 25-29 age group and Dessie McHenry was sixth in the male 60-65 age group.