OVER 5,000 ATHLETES, including some of Ireland’s top names, turned out in force over the weekend for the European Long Distance Championships in Roth.
The course, the biggest and quite possibly the fastest full distance triathlon in the world, includes a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike, followed by a full marathon.
Matt Molloy, who has already qualified for the Ironman World Championships in October, swam the 3.8km open water swim in 47:45, biked 180km in 5hr 2min 40secs or 35.6 kph and ran the full marathon in 3hr 8min 48secs, and just missed out on a sub nine-hour finish to claim to M40-44 years gold medal.
Another notable performance came from former Commonwealth Games representative, Brian Campbell, who finished in 9hr 18min 59secs in his first full distance triathlon.
Meanwhile at Ironman Frankfurt, Sharon O’Hara from Tourlestrane, Co. Sligo claimed gold in the 18-24 years category in a time of 12hr 25mins.
Further afield, elite athlete Russell White, fresh from his 12th place finish at the World University Games, was racing his first senior ITU race at the Osaka ITU Asian Cup. A former swimmer, White showed his class exiting the water in second, just one second off the Korean Ju Seok. White also had a strong bike leg and a 34:51 10km run to finish in eighth place.
Aileen Morrison and Gavin Noble on the other hand are ‘sleeping high, training low’ in preparation for the Olympic Games. Morrison is using the state-of-the-art training base in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, training in the surrounding low lands and sleeping at close to 2500 meters. Noble is sticking a little closer to home and availing of the altitude house in Limerick to the same effect.