Sunday 10th May saw the staging of the inaugural Eireman Off-Road Triathlon in Courtown, Co-Wexford. Over 100 competitors braved the challenges that lay ahead in the form of a ‘crisp’ sea swim, a 2 lap mountain bike course that had multiple river crossings, not to mention the mud, sand, tree roots, ditches, rocks …. and a run to finish with more of the same. In the men’s race first out of the water was Donncha O Siadhail with Trevor Woods (Cork Tri) and Michal Ondrej (Belpark) in close pursuit. Woods lead on to the technical bike course and extended his lead over the hard chasing Eric Wolfe (Cork Tri) and Adam Kelly (Wicklow). With more river crossings and mud to contend with on the 5km run it was Woods who crossed the line in first place in 1hr 13 min 34 sec, Wolfe secured his 2nd place on the run with Kelly finishing in 3rd spot. A number of other Cork Tri athletes raced including Thomas Curran, Conor Coleman and Mark Wallace. In the female race Kate Meagher (Galway Tri) had what looked like an unassailable lead after a strong swim but Aoife O’Sullivan was gaining ground every minute on the bike and managed to run herself up to leader Meagher in the closing kilometre of the run leg. However it was Meagher who had the finishing sprint to take the honours by a whisker. Jackie Hudson completed the podium spots. Gill Ryan from Cork Tri, despite being ill in the week before raced herself into a fine 5th spot in 1:57.28.
Being a pilot event and one of the first off-road triathlons to be held in Ireland organiser Eoin Ryan is already looking to build on this and stage another similar event toward the end of the race season.
(Thanks to Trevor Woods for this Race Report)