The 35th edition of Kilkee Hell of the West took place Saturday June 29th in idyllic conditions. Light winds and a calm Atlantic in the sheltered Horseshoe Kilkee Bay put even the most nervous of swimmers at ease. The town of Kilkee was buzzing – from early morning 500 athletes prepared themselves for a 1500M swim, 44 km cycle and a panoramic 10km run. We had athletes with us from Mexico, Texas, Michigan, the Middle East, Germany and all over Ireland.
The first in the water were the female athletes, with Aoife Donnelly (Activ Multisport) first to run up the beach followed by Celia Davin (Trilakes TC) and Joanne Flanagan (GoTri). The 44km bike took the riders out towards Loop head – its an exposed route and they faced into a stiff breeze on the return leg. Celia with the day’s fastest Female bike split (1:19), was first off the bike, with Ann Marie Power (Cork TC) some 4 minutes back. Ann Maire chased hard on the undulating out and back Cliff run, over taking Celia to win. Further back the field Limerick TC’s Hilkka Kontro in her Rookie season and first Olympic distance outing, came through the bike field hitting out on the run in 6th, but her fantastic 41:29 run split saw her running her way to 3rd spot on the podium – our own Flying Finn!
On the Men’s side, first out of the water with the fastest swim of the day was Ross Higgins, Limerick TC (21:15),followed by Trevor Woods (Cork TC) and Stephan Teeling Lynch (GoTri), but it was Ronan Costelloe (Limerick TC) who was the first off the bike with the fastest bike split of the day (1:07:52). Previous winner Colm Turner (Limerick TC) and Jason Fahy (a Sixmilebridge native, training and racing in the Middle East) had made up places on the bike, and both set off running hard. Colm’s 34:25 run saw him overtake everyone and win Hell of the West for a second time in a finish time of 2:09:22. Jason Fahy like wise ran 35:28 to put him in second. Trevor Woods’s consistency across all three disciplines saw him round out the podium as 3rd placed finisher.
There were some mighty battles in the popular relay event with the Banner Boys retaining their title, closely followed by Aaron O’Brien’s team and that of Stephen Bourke.
Huge well done to the organising committee in particular Mark Kennedy and Kristi Hogan.
It was a fantastic day for the club – Thank you to our volunteer marshals, the people and businesses of Kilkee, Clare County Council, the Irish Red Cross, the Coast Guard, An Garda Síochana, Castlecabin, Sports Timing, our Triathlon Ireland Technical Officials on the day. Thanks also go out to the people and businesses who help put the final touches on the day – SignZone, Fitzgerald’s Flowers, PJ Matthews, The Bike Shop, The Hub, Bikeman, the Kilbaha Gallery and Deesigner Balloons.
Full results are here
There are some amazing videos and drone footage on the HotW Facebook page, and I think the fabulous Gordon Thomson managed to capture nearly every athlete finishing – thanks Gordon.
You can see his gallery here