As predicted , the TUNAs have been out in full force all over the country – here’s a flavour of what has been happening.

Tri An Mhi Middle Distance – Saturday 13th June 2015

TUNA’s Malcolm Bourke made the journey to Lough Lene, Meath to take part in the challenging Tri and Mhi half iron distance race, involving a 1.9km lake swim (2 laps), 93km challenging and hilly bike with some villages to navigate through ( 2 laps) and an 21.1km undulating run.

Malcolm made his mark on the results board, with an excellent 23rd place out of 186 finishers. Malcolm covered the race in 05:09:19, with a swim time of 39:41, a nippy 02:50:08 on the bike, and a very quick half marathon time of 01:36:51. Excellent work Malcolm!






Blackrock Sprint Triathlon – Sunday 14th June 2015

TUNA were also well represented at this race in County Louth, organised by Setanta Triathlon Club, who certainly know how to put on a well organised and friendly race. The race suited both beginners and experience athletes as the course was fast and flat, and the sea swim was chest deep.

Fiona Murphy showed out for the TUNA females, and Francie Haughey sported the new TUNA tri suit in style as our male representative.

Fiona proved that her dedication and training this season is paying off, finishing 6th female overall in a fantastic time of 1hr 3min. This resulted in an age group win, well deserved with Fiona clocking the second fastest swim out of all 115 competitors in a lightning fast 9:26.









Francie Haughey also had a great swim, exiting the water in 10:55, setting him up for an impressive finish time of 1hr 12 min.







Derry Firmus Energy Sprint NS – Sunday 14th June

The ‘National Series’ Triathlon comprised a 750m open water swim in the River Foyle followed by a 20km closed road cycle culminating in a 5km flat run, taking in key attractions around the City including the iconic Peace Bridge.

There was an early start for the competitors, due to tides in River Foyle, resulting in them entering the water for 0815. Luckily, there were perfect conditions for racing, with the sun making an appearance and only a slight breeze.

TUNA was represented by Waringstown’s Phil Castles, now notorious on the triathlon scene for his tendency to mark the fastest bike split on any course he graces. This race was no exception, with Phil once again claiming the fastest time over the 20k bike course.

Phil finished 6th out of the 391 competitors with the fantastic time of1hr 6min, giving him the age group win. It will be very exciting to see how the rest of the season unfolds for this superstar of the TUNA club!

Causeway Coast Olympic Triathlon – Saturday 20th June 2015

The TUNAs were out in full force for this year’s incarnation of this popular and friendly race, with nine club members making the trip to the north coast. For a change, the sun was shining for this event, which is often blessed with our typical summer weather of wind and rain. On the day, the weather was very sunny and hot, with a light breeze on the bike. The sea was choppy for the swim start, so getting out to the first buoy proved to be challenging for all competitors. This involved a double lap exiting onto the beach each time which was interesting, and at least gave people a chance to catch their breath before facing into the second lap.

On the bike course, there were no surprises who proved to be the fastest wheels in the North, with Phil Castles once again claiming the honours of the fastest bike split of the day. This set the Waringstown man up for a great finish time of 2hrs 5 mins, and 4th place overall.

Roughly 10 minutes later, a flurry of TUNAs crossed the finish line in quick succession, with Paul McManus finishing strongly in 13th place with a time 2hr 14min, Craig Harrison in 20th at 2hr 16min, Gary McDonald  26th in  2hr 17min, and Jonathan Walker 29th in 2hr 19min. That’s 5 TUNAs in the top 30 – a great result for our modestly sized club!





They were soon joined by Sam Uprichard, in a time of 2hr 39min. The Lurgan native has struggled with an injury of late, but still didn’t want to miss out on this great event.  Christopher O’Carroll was the next TUNA home in a strong time of 2hr 47min, which bodes well for his training for Ironman 70.3 Dublin in August.

The TUNA contingent were soon cheering fellow club mates Jason Holmes and Adrian Woolsey across the line, with times of 2hr 58min and 3hr 1min respectively.



Around the Rock – Sunday 28th June 2015

This popular event consists of a1.5km sea swim around the Gannaway rock in Carlingford bay, Warrenpoint. Again, the club was well represented, with six TUNAs turning out on the beach in sunny conditions at Warrenpoint to take on the challenge.


First TUNA out of the water was Paul McManus, with an impressive time of  22.47 for the 1500 metres.

He was soon joined by Francie Haughey in 24.04. Next in was Jason Thompson, in 28.08, with Joe Hendron following soon after in 28.53. Alfie Donnelly and Chris O’Carroll stuck together for the swim, and finished in an excellent 29.20. These two are shaping up well for their trip to Ironman 70.3 Dublin in August.



Peninsula Sea Sprint Triathlon – Sunday 28th June 2015

In the north of County Down, four more TUNAs were taking part in the Peninsula Sea Sprint Triathlon, organised by Peninsula Triathlon Club. Ballywalter was also basking in sunshine, with a nice head wind for half the cycle to give the competitors a bit of a challenge. The sea swim was also challenging, with the swimmers having to contend with a strong current.

First TUNA out of the water was Phil Castles, smashing the swim in an excellent time of 12.51 for the 750m course. This set the Waringstown man up very nicely for the bike course, where once again he recorded the fastest time over the 20k distance, with a blistering 32.43 bike split. This was topped off  with a 18.49 5k run, placing him in 3rd place overall, with a finish time of 1:06:27.

Craig Harrison was the next TUNA over the line, recording an excellent time of 1:12:49 – this placed the Lurgan native in 15th place overall. Craig is becoming a permanent fixture in the top 20 of local races, proving that his training and dedication is paying off.

Craig was followed by Paul Skelly in 1:15:59 and David Mc Cready in 01:26:46, both superbly representing the club with their strong finishes.

July will see even more TUNAs in action in even more races, with great challenges such as Top of the Mourne and Brown’s Bay Beast, as well as the ever popular Titanic Triathlon in Belfast.

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