Eirgen Pharma WTC Tramore Duathlon
In 2019, 32 Members took to the Duathlon circuit wearing the colours of Waterford TC. The largest single contingent of 30 members took to the start line in the Eirgen Pharma WTC Tramore Duathlon in February. This race formed part of Triathlon Ireland’s Duathlon National Series and it did not disappoint on the day with a massive 405 duathletes competing on a great course in Tramore. Emmet Kelly put in a peerless performance on the day to take 1st place overall in the men’s race, followed by Niall Cornyn in 2nd and Marc Flavin in 3rd place. In the women's race Ciara Wilson took 1st place overall with over 5 minutes to spare over Donna Mahon of Belpark in 2nd and Niamh Richardson of Kilkenny in 3rd place. There were some excellent Waterford TC results in the women’s race with Zeta Dooley coming 5th in AG, Áine Kinsella 6th in AG and Maggie Murphy 9th in AG. In the men’s race Bernard Keane was well up the field in 11th place overall and 3rd in AG. David Devine was in close pursuit with 6th in AG. Darryl Hale and Ger Nolan had a marvellous race with a 4th and 7th in AG respectively followed by Dean O’Shea with a 9th place in AG finish. One of the most notable performances on the day was a super performance by young Conor Shiels who won the Junior Duathlon National Series (AG 16-19) race. Making it a double Gold medal result for Waterford TC in the men’s Senior and Junior NS Race. Congratulations to Emmet and Conor and all club members on their excellent performances in one of the best supported Duathlons in the country.
Duathlon National Series
The Club’s top performing Duathletes this season were undoubtedly Jennifer Hennebry and Emmet Kelly. Jennifer came 13th overall and 3rd in AG in the Triathlon Ireland Duathlon National Series. A tremendous result for Jennifer who came 2nd in AG in the Galco Naas Duathlon Series Race 1 in January, then came 1st in AG in the Galco Naas Series Race 3 and finally travelled to the Duathlon Irish National Championship in Sligo finishing in a fantastic 4th in her AG and 78th overall in the draft legal standard distance race. These three excellent performances have given Jennifer the top 15 ranking nationally in the Women’s Duathlon NS and the Bronze medal position in her AG. Congratulations Jennifer.
Similarly, Emmet came 4th overall and 3rd in AG in Galco Naas Race 1, 1st overall in Tramore and 3rd overall in Athy. These outstanding results for Emmet garnered him with 3rd place overall nationally in the Men’s Duathlon NS. This is the second occasion in three seasons that Emmet has been in the Bronze medal position, and it is an outstanding achievement. Congratulations Emmet.
Aubrey Storey and Eoin Lyons travelled to the Galco Naas Duathlon Race 3 and put in their customary strong performances. Eoin putting down an early season marker coming 4th overall and 2nd in AG and Aubrey also with a podium finish with 3rd place in AG. Elsewhere on the circuit Sara Hobson put in a very strong performance coming 11th in AG on the fast course in the Athy Flat Out Duathlon. Bernard Keane is a regular at the Battle of Ballinspittle Duathlon and no better man to battle it out on the course than Bernard, coming over the finish line in 4th place overall and a fantastic 1st in his AG. Well done to Sara, Bernard, Aubrey, Eoin and all of the Club’s Duathletes in 2019.
Boland's BMW 15th Anniversary Hook or by Crook Triathlon
On a sunny Summer's day on the 15th of June, on the 15th anniversary of the Hook or by Crook Triathlon, more than 600 triathletes competed in Triathlon Ireland’s 2018 Race of the Year. Triathletes from 43 clubs from the four provinces of the island descended upon Dunmore East for one of the best days of racing in 2019. With the beautiful weather, race directors Martin Condon and David McConnell’s unparalleled organisation, Boland’s BMW as main sponsor and a heavyweight turnout of some of the country’s very best men and women racers, the atmosphere was always going to be electric.
Last year's winners Ellen Murphy and Kieran Jackson were back for more but it wasn't going to be easy with the likes of Belpark's Maeve Maher-McWilliams, Sinead Murphy and Donna Mahon, and Cork's Amy O'Keeffe seeking a victory in the women's and Eoin Lyons, Sebastian Helka, Paul Ogle and Edenderry's Enda Bagnall looking for gold in the men's race.
Once the gun went, Maeve Maher-McWilliams took off and was in third place until the bike leg from where she smoothly moved into 1st place. Last year's runner-up was not giving up her lead and this time raced to victory with 30 seconds to spare over Amy O'Keeffe in 2nd and Ellen Murphy in 3rd place. Well done Maeve, Amy and Ellen!
In the men' race Kieran Jackson was first into T1 but Eoin Lyons and Sebastian Helka were hot on Kieran's heels. Eoin thundered into the bike leg and with a very impressive split came into T2 in the lead and looking ever so strong. The local boys were at it again and with a good lead established it all came down to the run between them. The lads' run times were outrageous on such a tough run course but it was Kieran who regained the lead with a 16:14 run split to take the victory yet again. A fantastic battle between the boys, taking 1st and 2nd place for themselves and Waterford TC. South Coast TC's Sebastian Helka had a fine performance on the day and took 3rd place on the podium. Well done Kieran, Eoin and Sebastian!
The Hook or by Crook was also a Junior Triathlon National Series race in 2019. The winner of the Junior race was Club member Conor Shiels. Another outstanding performance by Conor on the day, on what is a challenging course for any Junior triathlete. A huge congratulations to Conor as he now took 1st place in both the Junior Duathlon and Triathlon NS races making it a Double-Double Gold for the club in the Junior and Senior men's Duathlon and Triathlon races. Well done Conor!
In all, 33 members of the club competed in the Hook or by Crook 2019 and there were super results all around. 13 members were in the women's race with 6th in AG for Aine Kinsella and 8th in AG for Jennifer Hennebry. Additionally, Claire Guyon, Sinead Foran, Caoimhe Byrne, Caroline O'Donnell, Sharon Flynn, Aisling Mitchell, Johanna McElligott, Emma Marks, Pauline Crowe, Michelle Daly and Margurite Haley put in excellent performances on the day. Well done Girls!
There were AG Podium finishes in the men's race with Paul Ogle 1st in AG and 5th overall, Shane Scadding 1st in AG and 15th overall, also Brian Sauvage took 8th in his AG. Elsewhere, Tadhg DeBarra, Frank Quinlan, Stephen Butler, Cen Breathnach, Paul Walsh, Coilin Collins-Smyth, Jason Rosenkowitz,, Niall Kirby, David Condon, Fintan Stanley, Don Laffan, Dean O'Shea, Eamonn Sheehan and Nigel Cusack all put in strong performances for the Club on the day. Well done Boys!
Triathlon Irish National Championships
In late June, The Sheephaven Tri was the location for the 2019 TI Middle Distance Irish National Championship. Eoin Lyons was the Club's only representative on the day. Eoin was in fantastic form at this time of the season and so his race proved. What ended up being one of the races of the season, with a top class field, evolved into a titanic battle between Eoin and Chris Mintern of Cork TC that lasted a little over 4 hours. In what was Triathlon Ireland’s equivalent of Federer versus Nadal, in the end, Eoin took Silver a mere 20 seconds! behind Chris and 10 minutes ahead of 3rd place Michael McCarron. The margin was staggeringly fine between 1st and 2nd place over the 113km course. This was Eoin's first time on the podium at this Middle Distance in an Irish National Championship. But there was more to come from Eoin.
Eight days later the Base2Race Harbourman Triathlon was the location of the 2019 TI Standard Distance Irish National Championship. Waterford TC had six members competing with excellent results from everyone. In what was an absolutely stacked field in both the men's and women's races Eoin came 3rd behind winner Chris Mintern and 2nd place Con Doherty of Westport TC. This was another tremendous performance by Eoin gilded by a consistency of performance as he had also come 3rd the previous year in this Championship. Jennifer Hennebry put in another stunning performance and came 19th overall and 3rd in her AG. A well deserved AG National Championship Bronze medal for Jennifer. Not to be outdone by Jennifer, Ann Hennebry took 7th in her AG and Clare Guyon coming home in 13th in her AG. In the men's, Shane Scadding won AG Gold and came 17th overall, another superb performance by Shane. Like Shane another National Series racer, Philip O'Reilly put in a solid performance and getting a top 30 finish in his AG. Congratulations and well done to Eoin, Jennifer, Shane, Ann, Clare and Philip.
Between July 7th and the morning of the 17th August, due to the sequence of Championships between 2018 and 2019, Chris Mintern of Cork TC was in the privileged position of being the holder of the Triathlon National titles over Middle, Standard and Sprint Distances simultaneously. Quite an achievement by any standard. That was to change by lunchtime, however, as Kieran Jackson rolled in to Dublin town with one thing on his mind, and that was victory in the Sprint Distance Irish National Championship. Piranha TC hosted the sprint championship as part of the brilliant DCT, Dublin City Triathlon. Bernard Keane, Philip O’Reilly and Greg Holden were Waterford TC’s AG contingent for the day in a race that had over 700 competitors. The draft legal Elite race was run at a furious pace throughout, with race tactics employed at every twist and turn to gain an advantage. A unique blend of speed, endurance and total chaos makes the sprint distance Elite national championship a fabulous spectacle to watch. With 48 seconds the difference between winning gold and coming fourth there really isn’t any time for the triathletes to think but just to do what they are good at to the best of their ability. From the start Kieran Jackson was focussed and in control. Kieran and James Walton of Triangle TC were playing cat and mouse all the way, building those valuable seconds lead over Cillian Tierney of Tralee TC, Brian Glynn and Aaron Doherty of Westport TC. When it came down to the run section, it was a case of every man for himself and Kieran recorded the fastest run split of the day to come home in 1st Place to be crowned 2019 TI Sprint Distance Triathlon Irish National Champion in a time of 55min20sec. A fantastic and well deserved National title for Kieran and a proud day for his family and coaches. Waterford TC as always is very proud of Kieran as a fellow Club Member and to be associated with his successes domestically and internationally.
In the Age Group race, Bernard Keane came 33rd overall and 7th in AG. This was an excellent result for Bernard who almost didn’t make the start line after getting lost on his warm up run somewhere around Dublin Zoo. Philip O’Reilly and Greg Holden collected some modest but hard earned points for the Club Series. Congratulations to Kieran and well done to Bernard, Philip and Greg.
The scenic Lough Cutra Castle hosted the TI Aquabike National Championship earlier in the Summer and Waterford TC’s sole representative made his mark. Vinnie Power had a great race coming 15th overall and 3rd in AG. An AG Bronze in the national championship for the very experienced triathlete. Congratulations and well done Vinnie!
In the 2019 National Post Primary Schools Championships in Clarenbridge, Co. Galway, Chloe Bennett came 1st in the Girls Minor grade while her brother Luke came 4th in the Boys Junior grade. Congratulations Chloe and Luke!
BMW Triathlon National Series
In total 60 Club members competed in one or more National Series race in 2019. There were 5 members qualified for the NS with the mandatory 4 races or more in the Series. Without question the Waterford TC National Series Triathletes of the season were Eoin Lyons and Jennifer Hennebry. 1,900 men took to the start line of a National Series race in 2019. 236 men completed the NS by doing 4 or more NS races. Eoin Lyons was outstanding in 2019 coming 2nd overall in the Men's category. In addition, this placed him in 1st position in his AG and he also collected silver and bronze medals in the National Championships. All of this before he boarded a flight to France for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships! Congratulations Eoin on a fantastic year. Of the 800 women who competed in one or more NS races this season, Jennifer Hennebry is ranked the 40th woman overall nationally and 7th in her very competitive Age Group for 2019. A very consistent couple of seasons has seen Jennifer rise steadily though the rankings and her hard work is paying dividends with an AG bronze in the National Championships also. Congratulations Jennifer on another great season. There is no more consistent performer than Shane Scadding. Shane finished his season ranked a massive 26th overall in the NS and 1st in AG to add to his AG Gold in the standard distance NC. There are few with more awards in triathlon than Shane and he always proves that class is permanent when it comes to his performances. Philip O'Reilly put in a big shift to secure points for Waterford TC in the Club Series. Greg Holden somehow completed 4 races at the back end of the year to score a modest number of points in the Club Series. Waterford TC's Men's Club Series team had 4 men but required 6 to get the maximum points. TC is ranked 14th out of 53 Clubs for the 2019 Club Series season. All Members of the club are welcome to race and complete the National Series in 2020 so that we can get the Men's, Women's and Mixed Teams back to the top table of the Club Series. All race points are hard earned individually and are greatly appreciated collectively by the Club.
Early in the season in May, Aubrey Storey, Paul Walsh and Shane braved the cold for Carlow's Tri795. The men were tough as nails however and Aubrey, who doesn't feel the cold himself, ran into 2nd in AG and 19th overall. Philip O'Reilly attempted a Jailbreak in Cobh and succeeded all by himself in August. Coilin Collins-Smyth was spotted burning up the road for the Club in Pulse TC's Port Beach Triathlon in Clogherhead. Tried and Tested TC put on a great standard distance race in Dungarvan in September. 30 Club members turned up to race and it was brilliant to have such a large representation from the Club. All Club members performed brilliantly on the day as it was a tough course but it was nice weather. It was the women of the club that flew the flag the highest this time with all six women finishing in the top 12 of their respective Age Groups and three of the girls inside the top 5. Superb stuff. A big well done Girls to Maeve Kennealy, Shirley Molloy, Maggie Murphy, Gillian Lyons, Helene Power and Jennifer. In the men's' race there were 24 men from the Club. The usual suspects were there with Bernard, Aubrey and Shane trying to beat each other so they could talk about it for six months after. Darryl Hale showed his classy running to come 4th in AG and was delighted to beat Brian Sweeney! Meanwhile, Jason Rosenkowitz, Michael Coleman and Brian Sauvage all had top 10 AG finishes. Tom Casey somehow won his AG after been spotted carrying his bike on his back after a mechanical meltdown. Gerry O'Donoghue paced his race with surgical precision and Michael Foley made it back to Dungarvan just in time, from the swim in the Lost Sheep. Elsewhere great results where had by Ciaran O'Connor, Paul Walsh, Steve Hogan, Ronan McDonagh, Philip O'Reilly, Jamie Cleary, Jody and David Condon, Greg, Coilin, David Power, Gerry Lafford, Eric Denmead and Barry Malone. Helen Whyte took some lovely photos of the group after the race proving we are one of the best looking clubs in the country also!! Well done everyone on a great day out.
On the last day of the season, 14 members raced in South Coast TC's Moby Dick sprint triathlon on Youghal. This race is always a nice way to end the season, with a nice atmosphere there and not very far to travel, Waterford TC always supports this race well. Before the 365 racers walked to the beach start, South Coast TC had a triathlete in a wetsuit perform the national anthem on the bagpipes. Not something one sees everyday but certainly a stirring start to the proceedings. As Emmet Kelly and Alistair Brownlee prepared for Kona, the triathletes in Youghal were reminded that they were about to do something that not even Alistair and Emmet could do in Youghal ... swim! The 750m swim felt like 1500m but that didn't stop Aine Kinsella from posting a fast swim split setting her up for a 5th place finish overall and 3rd place in her AG. Aine has had a fine season in 2019 and no doubt we will see more of the same from Aine in 2020. Similarly, Caoimhe Byrne had a 5th in AG, Noeleen McCarthy 8th in AG and Helen Kavanagh 10th in AG. Well done Girls! Fantastic results. In the men's race, Michael Bowes once again showed his class in Youghal and took 1st in AG. Eamonn Ryan put in a brilliant performance on the day and took 3rd in AG and it was good to see Eamonn back to form. Aubrey took 7th in AG in a competitive battle against Kilkenny TC's Adrian Cunningham, Peter Barry and Pat Young. Great results on the day were had by Ciaran, O'Connor, Cen Breathnach, Niall Kirby, Greg Holden, David Wallace, Nigel O'Sullivan and Nigel Cusack. Well done Boys!
Well done to all of the Club’s National Series Triathletes this season.
As always, a sincere thanks to Helen Whyte and Damien Jackson for their sometimes amusing but always memorable photos.