The Vodafone Triathlon Ireland Middle Distance championships took place in Kenmare on Saturday 17th September. The weather conditions were changeable to say the least with frequent heavy showers and strong winds making racing difficult at times.
A high quality field lined up at 7.45am at the pier in Kenmare. In the men’s race, Owen Cummins led from start to finish. First out of the water in 22.03minutes he consolidated his lead on the bike with the split of the day (2hrs18.57) and finished the race in a time of 4hrs13.03 to take first place. The fight for second and third place was less straight forward. Owen was followed out of the water by Mike Yelverton and Philip King. Eric Wolfe, Mark Nolan and Kevin Keane weren’t far behind and Aodh O’Neill exited the water some 8minutes after the leader. Kevin Keane, Mark Nolan, Eric Wolfe and Aodh O’Neill all recorded fast bike splits and Mark Nolan was first into T2 in pursuit of Cummins. He was closely followed by Eric Wolfe but super-quick Aodh O’Neill ran his way into second place with the fastest 21km run of the day, 1hr16.13, five minutes faster than the next fastest, Mark Nolan who finished in third place. Aodh’s finishing time was 4hrs17.13 and Mark’s was 4hrs18.21. Eric Wolfe (4hrs20.38) and Kevin Keane (4hrs25.10) rounded out the top 5.
The female race was equally exciting with the lead changing on more than three occasions. Katie Cooke exited the swim first in 28.13mins with Joyce Wolfe just 9 seconds behind. Aoife Lynch followed in 28.30 with Jennifer Lynch swimming the 1.9k in 28.46. Katie Cooke was first out of T1 but was overtaken within 10km of the bike course by Aoife Lynch. Joyce Wolfe moved into second place on the final climb, the caha pass and then caught Aoife a little further up the climb. The lead changed on the descent but Wolfe entered T2 with Lynch hot on her heels. Aoife was first out of transition and set off on the hilly 21km run at a ferocious pace. Joyce hung on and at the turnaround was running on Aoife’s shoulder. Joyce then kicked for home with about 4 miles to go and recorded a 1hr28.41 run split to finish in first place with an overall time of 4hrs47.05. Aoife Lynch finished second in a time of 4hrs49.14 and Jennifer Duffy ran her way into third place to finish in a time of 4hrs56.21. Katie Cooke finished in fourth place (5hrs02.02) and Derval Devaney in fifth (5hrs14.03)
The event was followed by the now infamous post-race party in the Brooklane Hotel. This year a raffle was held for athletes and marshals with prizes supplied by the Kenmare Bay Hotel, the Brooklane Hotel, Rocketscience Sports (http://www.rocketsciencesports.ie/home/), Runworx, Prego Kenmare and Sailfish. Cork Tri Club would also like to thank the race sponsors for their support- Xterra Wetsuits, The Edge Sports Shop, Dream Ireland Holiday Homes, Kinetica, Jam and Sailfish Triathlon.
A special thanks to Ivan Kelleher (Race Director) and his crew of willing helpers and marshals who gave up so much of their time to ensure that the Lost Sheep 2011 was such a success.