Triathlon Ireland Premier League
Sat. 25th June
Hell of the West Triathlon
Premier League Race 1
1500m Swim, 45k Cycle, 10k Run
Eanna McGrath and Lisa Horgan win the 21st Hell of the West Triathlon, the first Premier League race of 2005, and in so doing take top spot in the National rankings.
1. Lisa Horgan (Limerick) 2.32.35
2. Rachel Beck (3Dtri) 2.34.22
3. Aoife O’Connor (Belpark) 2.36.28
4. Elena Maslova (Piranha) 2.37.24
5. Mary Horgan (Piranha) 2.39.05
Full Results have been added to Downloads:
Click Here for Race Photos
Some race photos courtesy of Cyclesuperstore:
Photos by Cyclesuperstore
On Saturday the 25th June the triathlon community celebrated the 21st anniversary of the now legendary race, the Hell of the West Triathlon in Kilkee, Co. Clare. The race is also the first Premier League race of the season. There was a record turnout with over 400 athletes taking part, the largest field ever for a race of this size in Ireland.
There was something of a party atmosphere in the transition area before the start. Athletes, their friends, families and quite a few local holidaymakers had all congregated around the bandstand on the seafront. At about 9am the Dj started to spin the tunes. You could feel a buzz in the air. At 9.45am we had our race briefing and made our way down to the waters edge. During the briefing weaker swimmers were advised to stay near the back for the start and I hope they heeded it. At 10am the gun went off and 350 swimmers made a dash for the first buoy as if their lives depended on it. The first hundred metres is spent fighting for your own piece of the Atlantic, there is miles of open water out there but we all want the one spot. Things had calmed down by the first buoy as we turned out towards the open sea. It got a little choppy here with some small waves trying to hamper any progress we were making.
To the Elite swimmers this was nothing, they got around the course as if it was a paddling pool. The first swimmer out was part of a relay team and completed the 1500+m in 23mins08secs. Next out was the Irish International and 2004 National Series Winner Trevor Woods. Neil Bolger, a 17 yr old junior from Dublin was hot on his tail. Eanna McGrath, from Wicklow was next to make his way up the beach and back into transition to prepare for the next leg, a 45km cycle through the ‘undulating’ countryside of west Clare.
After the first kilometre the front of the race took shape. Trevor Woods took the lead with Eanna McGrath always close behind, never leaving Trevor take too much of a lead. Tomás Kelly of Piranaha settled into 3rd spot but was being chased down by Brian Crinion of Belpark who despite being 3mins behind the leaders after the swim managed to put in the fastest bike split for the individuals and got within a minute of the 2 leaders. Dave Tilly and Tomás Kelly of Piranha were the next fastest on the bike, all beating the leaders but never catching them. The two in front were having their own private battle and knew it would come down to the run.
Trevor was first back into transition but Eanna was only 2 secs behind. Trevor ran hard out of transition to stay ahead of his younger rival and like a lot more after him started to cramp on the first hill. Eanna past him here in the first section of the run and kept a good steady pace throughout the rest of the 10k. He put in the fastest run split of the individuals, doing the 10km in 34.11. Tomás Kelly was in 3rd spot off the bike but got overtaken by Brian Crinion on the run. Brian had bike problems last year and was unable to finish the race. He more than made amends this year with 3rd spot. Tomás Kelly’s winter training has certainly paid off, finishing in 4th spot, much improved from last years 20th and a definite contender in this years Premier League.
The winner Eanna McGrath, is a 29 yr old professional triathlete from Laragh, Wicklow. Eanna who now holds top spot in the national rankings recently signed for Cesson Sevigne Tri Club in France where he will spend the summer racing with and against some Europes top triathletes.
In the Ladies race (which is run with the mens) It was relative newcomer to the sport Esther Bayon of Belpark who set the pace, exiting the water first in 25mins 44secs. She was followed by clubmates Aoife O’Connor and Susan Griffen about 10 secs later. Local girl Lisa Horgan was next out about a minute later after taking a detour on the swim course. Mary Horgan and Rachel Beck followed suit.
The lead changed a number of times on the bike leg. It was Elena Maslova of Piranha who put in the fastest bike split and she made her way through the bike and into 3rd spot. It was Rachael Beck and Lisa Horgan who had their own battle in the front. Both making their way through the pack and into 1st and 2nd spot. Rachael had put in a faster bike than Lisa but it wasn’t fast enough. Lisa had got into first place and wasn’t giving it up. She put in the fastest run off the bike with 40.28 mins. Aoife O’Connor was next fastest, she overtook Elena Maslova on the run to put herself into 3rd place on the podium. Rachael Beck was 2nd with Lisa Horgan first.
Lisa Horgan is a member of Limerick Triathlon Club, is one of the top triathletes in the country and a favourite to win the Premier League this year. Lisa’s profile can be seen at http://www.triathlonireland.com/staticpages/index.php?page=LisaHorgan
The Club competion was a closely fought contest but it ended being a clean sweep for Belpark Triathlon Club of Dublin. Brian Crinion, Liam Dunne and Mark Gill took first in the Mens Club prize from Piranha and Limerick. Aoife O’Connor, Tara Nolan and Esther Bayon took first in the Womens Club prize, with Limerick and Piranha again the runners up.
That was just a summary of the top spots, some of Ireland top athletes who were finishing the race in just over 2 hours. Triathletes of all ages and abilities were battling the Hell of the West on Saturday, some took over 4 hours to complete the race but they did it. They can wear their t-shirt with pride and tell all; they conquered the Hell of the West.
The organisers, Limerick Triathlon Club put on a well run race, thanks to Niall, Eamon and all the Limerick Tri crew (and many other volunteers from the other clubs) who made it work. The prize money was very good and they had special ETU medals for the age-groupers. We got quite a full goody bag too, long sleeved H o t W t-shirt (you’re not a real tri-athlete until you get one apparently), a customised water bottle (a collectors item in time), a pump and the all important recovery food and drink. As is usual a lot of the clubs made a weekend out of it celebrated the race’s 21st in style on Saturday night, and are still recovering from that, not to mind the race.