Glorious spring sunshine greeted the athletes and their supporters as they arrived on the UL Campus for this year’s Joey Hannan Triathlon.
The Olympic distance event challenges the athletes to 30 lengths of the 50M pool, followed by a 38km cycle and a 2 lap 10 KM run on UL’s grounds by the river Shannon. All eyes were on the young trio of Darren Dunne (Nenagh TC), Cillian Tierney (Tralee TC) and Ben Vahey (Galway TC) – all Ul Students training in the Limerick TI High performance unit at UL. Darren & Cillian did come out of the water first, but were followed 45 sec back by Owen Cummins of Cork TC. All 3 put in fast sub 59 min bikes and it came down to the run where Owen pushed the younger athletes to their limits posting the quickest run split of the day, to finish in an impressive 2:00:07, ahead of Darren in 2nd & Cillian in 3rd. On the Women’s side Belpark’s Ellen Murphy on her first visit to Joey, led from start to finish, to win by 6 min over home girl Murna Griffin O’Malley, with Tri Lakes Mary Corless delighted to round out the podium.
The Sprint was also hotly contested, with another TI HPC athlete, whom we usually see racing longer distances, Aichlinn O’Reilly dominating to come home just over the hour in 1:00:17. Aichlinn was hotly pursued by junior athletes Sabian Kulczynski of Ennis TC and Predator’s Ben Ryan who couldn’t match his bike strength, finishing 2nd and 3rd. The women’s podium was made up of Rianne DeCroock, Ennis Junior Ella Doherty and Kathryn Fahy of Limerick TC, who all were in the top 15 finishing times.
Of special note in the sprint, amongst the many happy finishers were the Limerick TC pair Michael Griffin and Tom O’Donnell, both friends of Joey Hannan, who first completed a triathlon together in 1984 – some 34 years ago!
We also welcomed our first visually impaired athlete, with PT-V1 athlete Donnacha McCarty completing the event with Dave Tilley as his guide.
The Try Distance attracts many first timers eager to Try triathlon, and the pool makes this ideal. Marko Horvat, Seamus Boyle and Jimmy Shanahan were fastest Senior men, while Maria Boyle (Seamus’ sister) Izabela Tomaszewicz and Elizabeth Lane were the fastest ladies – we hope you and all our other finishers enjoyed it and will be back for more!
In the Junior Try we had a super turnout from Predator, Ennis, GoTri, Limerick and South Coast clubs. Darragh O’Neill and Carla Griffin took the line honors, with Luke Burke and Saoirse Davis in 2nd, Geordan Mangan & Heather Connolly in 3rd. Names we hope to see more of in the future.
With prizes awarded across the Age groups, we were delighted to be joined at the Prize giving by Gina Hannan and Joey’s niece Tara.
Full provisional results are available here
Photos by our own wonderful Gordon Thomson can be viewed here
No event can happen with out a huge voluntary effort as well as our members, Volunteers and friends, we are indebted to the Red Cross and the Gardaí for keeping us safe, Triathlon Ireland, UL Arena, UL Security, UL Ground and Estates, Dean at SportsTining, as well as our sponsors Castlecabin & O’Neil’s Mace William St. Hats off to our Race Director Richard Chapman, Race Secretary Willie Carey, Club Secretary Kristi Hogan and all the team for a super event today.