The Lost Sheep Triathlon Kenmare 2016
The “Lost Sheep” Middle Distance Triathlon will again be a National Series Race as well as being the Irish National Middle Distance Championships 2016
Since its inception in 2003 it has gained a reputation both nationally and internationally as the toughest half iron distance race on the Irish triathlon circuit. The Lost Sheep Half Iron triathlon is entering its 14th year and this year will be the biggest race ever with space for 400 individual competitors. The race will fill fast so set your alarm clock now!
Traditionally staged in September each year the event starts with a 1900m swim in the scenic Kenmare Bay.
This is followed by an 83km cycle which takes competitors from Kenmare out along the ring of Beara peninsula before going up and over it to the other side. This journey takes competitors over two category one climbs. Firstly the Healy pass. On reaching the top you cross the county border from the northern Kerry half of the peninsula into the southern Cork side after just over 27km into the cycle. You now have to navigate your way down the other side with its 6 switch-switch back hairpins to test your tour de France style descending technique on what can only be described as Ireland’s answer to l’Alpe d’Huez’s 21 switch-backs. Continuing back down to the ring of Beara, through the small town of Adrigole, from here you continue on into Glengarriff. On this stretch of road you will be treated to stunning views over Bantry bay with Sheeps Head, Whiddy Island in the background. You now face the Caha pass which will take you from Glengarrif back to Kenamre over the Caha mountains . This time at the summit the border from Cork into Kerry is marked by a dark tunnel (don’t be scared) some 150 meters long which takes you straight through the side of Baurearagh Mountain.With just over 60km of the cycle completed at this point another spectacular 6km descent awaits down into the village of Bonane. This town gets its name from Fionn Mac Cumhall, the legendary leader of the Fianna who had house here some 6,000 years ago (Both-Fhionáin or Fionn’s house, now anglicised to Bonane). The section of road here has been poor in recent years but this year there are plans afoot by Kerry county council to have it resurfaced before the start of the race. From here it is a simple 14km mainly downhill TT back to T2. The bike course is 10km short of a ‘normal’ half iron event but ask anyone who has done it if they wanted any more.
The recently updated 21km run course is almost as challenging as the cycle! Its quiet country roads undulate along by the river Sheen before turning back and approaching Kenmare town over more hilly terrain. The final few kilometres of the race sweep downhill to the finish line in the heart of Kenmare town.
The 2012 race was a cracker with Katie Cooke and Shane Scully victors on that occasion. Shane went with the risky strategy of going full power from the start but it paid off as he finished 6 minutes ahead of the field. Katie was the second of the women out of the water but quickly moved ahead with the fastest bike split of the day. More at: