THE 26th annual Hell of the West (HOTW) Triathlon took place last weekend in Kilkee, and yet again Limerick Triathlon Club (LTC) put on superb event. The event attracted over 700 athletes to the town and needless to say the town was buzzing for the weekend. The race was part of Ireland’s National Series race calendar and it’s a race everyone wants to win whether or not it’s the Irish National championship, as it is viewed as Ireland’s most prestigious triathlon race. The big names on the Irish triathlon scene came to Kilkee last weekend to see if they could take the title.
This event is regarded as one of the toughest Olympic Triathlon races in Ireland and it’s a date that all triathletes are eager to take part in. The race is Ireland’s oldest running triathlon. It first took place in the summer of 1984 when approximately 40 athletes came from far and wide to Kilkee to compete in this gruelling race. The race has a great history attached to it. Limerick Triathlon Club members who took part in the original event still take part in it today and some of them still race today with their children and extended family now taking part. One of the founding members of the club Tom O’Donnell has taken part in every race since 1984.
A daunting swim, a daunting cycle and a daunting run. There is nothing easy about the HOTW. The race consists of a 1500m swim in Kilkee Bay, a 45k cycle over the west Clare hills to Doonbeg and beyond and finally a 10k run up around the cliffs in Kilkee via the Dunlicky Road. It’s one of the biggest triathlon challenges in the country. Ask anyone who finishes
the event; they don’t call it the Hell of the West for nothing.
LTC club member Colm Turner took the title this year with a superb victory smashing David Grahams course record by over a minute with a time of 2.07.40 hours. This is the first time in over a decade that the overall title returns to the Limerick Club. Cork Tri member Amy Wolfe kept up her winning form of recent times with another victory today over the grueling Kilkee course in the Female category setting a new course record (by almost three minutes) of 2.20.26 hours. Lisa Horgan had a great race to win the new perpetual trophy for first Limerick female home.
Colm Turner 02:07:40
Mark Nolan 02:09:42
Bjorn Ludick 02:11:06
Amy Wolfe 02:20:36
Noelie Kavanagh 02:20:27
Elena Masalova 02:21:39
Well done to all who participated in HOTW 2010 and special thanks to all marshalls, organisers, volunteers and sponsors. We hope that you all enjoyed the day and we look forward to greeting back all clubs and competitors in 2011.
Photographs by Gordon Thomson.
(Courtsey of Limerick Triathlon Club)
kilkee clare people 2010