Sunday 5 July – Tri Athlone Middle Distance Champioships

TUNA were ably represented by Malcolm Bourke at the TriAthlone Middle Distance Championships in the County Westmeath town. This race attracted international professional triathletes as well as amateurs and locals. Malcolm impressed in this highly competitive field, with an overall time of 4hrs 39min for the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile cycle and 13.1 mile run. This time placed Malcolm 2nd in his age group – a fantastic achievement! As you can see, Malcolm left it all out on the course, and gained such an amazing finish time and position as a result.




10/11 July – Tri Limits Triathlon Festival

Friday 10th July 2015 saw the beginning of the Tri Limits triathlon festival, with a sprint race distance on the Friday night. The organisers and competitors were blessed with a lovely summer’s evening for the event, with a nice head wind on the bike to add to the challenge.

TUNAs were out in full force for this event. We had five club members participating in the race, with a great mixture of established and new club members completing the 750m swim, 20k cycle and 5k run.

1st TUNA home, and first athlete across the line as well, was Waringstown’s Philip Castles in 1hr 1min. “I really enjoyed this race”, Phil commented. “Tri Limits always organise a fun and friendly race, and the race was very well organised too.”

Next TUNA over the line was Richard McCartney, with a great time of 1hr 15min. He was followed shortly by Chris O’Carroll and Alfie Donnelly, who finished strongly in 1hr 17 mins and 1 hr 18 mins respectively.

They were soon cheering Adrian Woolsey across the line, who finished the race in an excellent1hr 25min. “I have been working hard on my swimming recently, and enjoyed getting back into the open water for this race”, commented Adrian.

Ryan Rainey turned out for the TUNAs at the half Iron distance race on Saturday 11th July. Ryan has been training hard, and racing both locally and internationally, with an appearance at a half iron distance race in Salou earlier this season. The Tandragee man’s incredible fitness and endurance was evident in his performance here at Eskragh Lough, coming in 2nd overall with a time of 4:50:21for the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile cycle and half marathon run. Ryan commented, “I have been sticking to my training plan and it’s good to see the times coming down and the work paying off.”  Great going, Ryan!

Sunday 12th July Gunnaway Swim

On Sunday 12th July a few members were up early to take part in the Gunnaway swim – a sea swim from Rostrevor to Warrenpoint. The race began at 9:30 am, with competitors bravely lining up on the shore of Carlingford bay in Rostrevor to begin the 4800m challenge.

The race was open to skins and wetsuits categories, and TUNA had a representative in each, with Jason Thompson donning his wetsuit, and Francie Haughey forgoing the extra buoyancy and warmth to take part in just his swimming shorts – a brave man!

Both TUNAs gave a great account of themselves, with Jason Thompson placing 21st with a time of 1hr 20min for the 3 mile challenge. Jason later remarked, “There was a strong current, and I was sure I was going to end up in Carlingford rather than Warrenpoint at one point, so I was just glad to see the shore in Warrenpoint!”. Francie Haughey followed very closely behind, in 22nd place with a time of 1hr 21min – a great achievement!

Sat 18th July Top of the Mourne Triathlon

The promised good weather failed to make an appearance for this Olympic distance race, which is arguably one of the toughest in the country. Starting and finishing in typical ‘summer’ rain, this just added an extra dimension to the challenge.

TUNA were represented by Francie Haughey, Sam Uprichard, Edward Cantley and Adrian Woolsey in the individual race, and a highly motivated and specialised relay team of Jason Wilson (swim), Paul Mc Manus (bike) and Jason Thompson (run).

Jason had the third fastest swim of the day, finishing his component in 0:24:59, putting the relay team in a fantastic position for the rest of the race. The Portadown man commented, “It was one of the hardest swims I have ever done – there was a strong current and I just wanted to put the rest of the team in a good place.”

Francie Haughey also had a great swim, with a time of 0:30:17, and roughly a minute later, Sam was also up and out of the water, ready to face the arduous climb up through the Mournes on the bike course.

Paul put in a great performance on the bike, with his split coming in 10th overall time out of the 200+ competitors. He noted, “The wind was coming from all directions on the bike course, and the descent from Spelga Dam was pretty hairy too!” Paul proved he was more than a match for this challenging bike course, and passed the baton to Jason Thompson, who stormed the hilly 10k run in a time of 42:35, to put the TUNA relay in first place out of the relay teams, with an overall time of 2 hrs 29 minutes.

Soon Sam was also on the run, and ran up the nasty little hill to the finish with 02:51:26 on the clock. Edward was next TUNA home, with an excellent time of 03:11:24. He was followed by Adrian, who completed the beast of a course in a time 03:13:05. Francie Haughey also finished strongly, crossing the line with a time of 03:32:33.

Soon they were all enjoying the fantastic hospitality put on by the Newry Triathlon club, including delicious food and alcohol-free beer – what else would you serve to such dedicated athletes?


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