“The countdown is on. The weather looks favourable and 350 athletes are preparing to take on the iconic Lost Sheep middle distance race this coming Saturday in Kenmare, Co. Kerry.
The quality of the field is once again superb with top class men and women attracted to this tough, yet fair race. The 1.9km swim in Kenmare bay is followed by an 80km technical bike loop through both Cork and Kerry. There is nowhere to hide on the scenic bike course with two category one climbs and a category two climb. Once off the bike, an undulating and testing 21km run course awaits. Only the strongest will emerge victorious.
Who will cross the line first remains to be seen. In the men’s field, previous winner, Owen Cummins returns to try and repeat his 2011 victory. He will face tough opposition from among others- the evergreen Trevor Woods of the organising Cork Tri Club. Middle distance champion Niall Somers, über biker Bryan McCrystal, Gotri’s David Richardson, Ian Farrell from Pulse and Mark Nolan on his return from Europe will also be in the mix. Other notable contenders include James Curran (formerly of CTC), Eric Wolfe (CTC), Michael Buckley (CTC), Mariusz Olenjnuczak (Naas TC), Charles Maltha, Noel Kavanagh (Wicklow TC), Tim Mahoney (Midleton TC), Ross Higgins (Limerick TC) and last but not least the relentless Shane Scadding of Waterford TC. It is sure to be an intriguing contest.
In the women’s field, previous Ironman distance record holder Joyce Wolfe returns to reclaim the title, having taken last year out. She will face stiff opposition from her sister and ETU/ITU athlete Amy Wolfe. Rachel Glendon, national Olympic distance champion, Katie Cooke, national sprint distance champion, Maire Triona Keane, Caoimhe Ni Mhurchu, Louise Keane, Aileen Flynn and the youngest of the Wolfe pack, Lorna will also be trying hard for a podium placing.
One thing is for sure, victory will not be easy with such a strong field and such a testing albeit beautiful course.”