THE BIG RACE of the weekend was the Caroline Kearney Triathlon which is part of the Vodafone National Series.
This race is held in honour of one of Ireland’s leading triathletes who was tragically killed in a road accident in 2006, while training in France.
Competitors were treated to stunning weather for the 1500m swim in Lough Ennell, 40km bike and 10km run.
Youngster, Conor Turner, who was participating as part of a relay team, led the charge out of the water in 18min 48 seconds. Some three minutes behind was David Sheridan who was first of the individual participants, followed by a group consisting of all the favourites.
For the ladies it was Linda Clarke of Dublin based Piranha Triathlon Club who was first from the water, in a quick time of less than 24 minutes.
The two lap bike course saw a shakeup of the overall contenders, with powerful biker Will McCormack coming to the fore. His 1hr 2min 55sec bike split was some four minutes faster than the next best split, giving him a sizable advantage going onto the run. Limerick’s Dave Richardson started the run in second but was overtaken by Mariusz Olejniczak who produced a 35 minute 10km run to snatch second and bumped Richardson down to third.
For the ladies, Marie Boland entered T2 in the lead and looked on target to pick up another win until the heat of the day and exhaustion got the better of her with just 400m remaining. Anna Crooks of Predator Triathlon Club went on to take the victory in a time of 2hrs 24mins 24secs some five minutes ahead of Anna Frankland in second with Judith Lowery in third.
Next weekend sees the Middle Distance National Championships take place in Groomsport, Co. Down with almost 300 athletes expected to battle it out over a 1.9km swim, 90km bike followed by a half marathon of 21.1km.