Saturday 19th July saw  Salthill being  invaded by an army of triathletes, swimmers and runners from across the country with their sights set on competing at the Galway Triathlon Club Aquathon Festival, including a quartet of TUNAs, who also happen to be in an even more exclusive club – the Hendron family. Joe, Iarlaith, Ros and Blathnaid joined hundreds of athletes who swam and ran their way over varying distances in Galway Bay and on the prom to eventually cross the finish line in Celia Davin Park.

The three elder Hendrons took part in the Standard event of a 1km Swim and 5k run. Iarlaith took the bragging rights in the household, crossing the line in an excellent time of 0.54.56, although Joe was first Hendron out of the water with a great swim time of 23.11 for the 1k. Ros was soon joining them, with a great time of 1.02.08. “It was a great experience, and I was glad the young ones didn’t beat me out of the water!” said Joe. Blathnaid took part in the Junior Aquathon, and put in a great swim and run to finish in 29.42.

On Saturday 26th July, TUNA was represented by no less than 6 triathletes in the infamous ‘Browns Bay Beast’ Triathlon in Islandmagee, billed as one of the toughest Olympic distance races in Ireland. The event comprised a 1.5K swim followed by a very undulating and demanding 40K bike and 2 lap hilly 10K run.

Top of the heap of TUNAs was once again Philip Castles, who came 7th overall, with an amazing time of 2.09.06 in total. The race was then on between Sam Uprichard and Gary Mc Donald, who came out of the water almost at the same time. Gary demonstrated that training for longer distances does not always mean sacrificing speed, as the Laurelvale Ironman smashed the bike and run course to finish 15th overall, with a time of 2.21.12. Gary commented, “I’ve been working hard on the bike over the last few months, and have been struggling with an injury when running, so I was delighted with the time”.

Another TUNA who is going long distance this season, but still boasts great speed over the shorter distances is Stephen Mc Conaghy. Stephen finished ‘The Beast’ in a time of 2.26.12 – all eyes on the Lurgan man for his Ironman debut in Mallorca in September – he is sure to impress!

Next TUNA over the line was Paul Skelly, with a great performance in a time of 2.34.58. He was then joined byDromara’s David Mc Cready, who finished strongly in a time of 2.48.53. David commented “I fancied the challenge of completing this race, as it is known for being a tough one – I’m glad to say I beat the beast in the end!”.

Finally, TUNA was also represented by Jason Wilson at the ‘Great Ulster Swim’ in Camlough Lake, County Armagh. 176 competitors from 8 – 80+ took part in this 1 mile swim. Lurgan man Jason demonstrated his talent in the water, coming 14th overall, with a time of 25.19 for the mile. Well done Jason!


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