August has been a very busy month for the TUNA Triathlon club, with members taking part in no fewer than 10 races around the country, from sprints all the way up to half iron distance.

Sunday 4th August saw the 2nd Belfast Titanic Triathlon, with both Sprint and Olympic distance races on offer. The Olympic distance race also incorporated the World Police and Fire Games Triathlon, and four members of the club lined out to race against some excellent athletes from around the world. Darragh Corvan was first TUNA across the line in this race, with an excellent time of 2:14:17, shaving a minute off his time from last year. In the sprint distance, Niall Stewart recorded a PB of 1:17:12, with the Portadown man having an excellent bike split on the day. Richard Horwood-Barrett also finished well, despite returning after knee surgery.

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Three hardy members of the TUNA Triathlon Club travelled to Islandmagee on Saturday 27th July to tackle a new event known as the ‘Brown’s Bay Beast’. This 1500m swim, 40k cycle and 10k run claims to be the toughest Olympic distance triathlon in Ireland, and by all accounts, it lived up to expectations!

First TUNA out of the water was Lurgan’s Stephen Mc Conaghy, with an impressive swim of 22:56. He was followed less than two minutes later by his clubmates Sam Upritchard and Gary Mc Donald, who exited the water within 20 seconds of each other.

The windy conditions on the coastal route only increased the challenge ahead of the triathletes, as the bike course covered some very hilly terrain. The TUNA lads were up to the challenge, with Gary getting round the route in an excellent time of 1:13. The Laurelvale resident made a lightning quick transition off the bike to the run course, and was first TUNA across the line in 15th place overall, with a time of 2:18:58. Sam and Stephen also powered around the run course, posting impressive 10k times of 43:21 and 43:23 respectively. Stephen finished the race with a time of 2:24:59, and Sam in 2:31:45; outstanding times all round for such a demanding course.

TUNA are now gearing up for their first ever home event – the TUNA Triple Sprint Eliminator, which is taking place at Craigavon Watersports Centre on Sunday 11th August at 10.30 a.m. This event is open to all comers, from complete beginners through to Olympians, as it is up to you if you want to compete in one, two or all three events. Wetsuit hire is included in the entry cost of £15, so it is a perfect opportunity to sample the adrenalin rush of multisport events. For entry forms or more information, go to, or find them on Facebook.


Roll up, roll up TUNA’s. Pat – Elite Timing Ireland is running this race. He will also be putting on our Eliminator Triathlon at the lakes.

Link to race details and online entry

Sep 282012

August saw TUNA represented at 5 events across the province.

Saturday 4th August was the date for what is widely accepted as the toughest standard distance triathlon on the local circuit. Top of the Mourne Olympic triathlon is a 1mile sea swim was followed by a lung bursting 40k cycle through the mountains, finished off with a very steep 10k footrace.

Sean McIntyre again showed his class by finishing 9th overall in a time of 2.23 for another category win. Close on his heels were Darragh Corvan and Philip Castles. Paul Cullen and Matt Armstrong put in good times despite limited training this year. Leeanne Corvan finished strongly continuing her impressive year.

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Aug 052012

July saw the TUNA Club represented in no less than 7 triathlon events held across the province. With a slight improvement in weather this month the events proved to be much more enjoyable and some great times were posted.

Sunday 1st July saw the annual running of the Titanic Sprint and Olympic distance events in Belfast city centre. 7 TUNA members tackled the short course and 5 chose to go long in the Olympic event.

Some 400 athletes of all abilities took to the start line. A swim in the less than pristine waters of Clarendon dock was followed by a pancake flat but wind affected cycle and run around the streets of the capital. Steven McConaghy showed a great improvement in form to finish 26th overall in the sprint followed by the equally impressive Philip McDonald. Their achievements were overshadowed by Christen McMaster who finished her very first sprint distance event in a time of 1.20.10 for an age group win.

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Hopefully winter 2011/12 has seen a lot more action on the bike & run than last year. Remember the 2 weeks we had in the deep freeze. Lots of club members are taking on some huge challenges in the year ahead:

Leeanne, Sarah & Pamela will be tacking on Half Ironman racing for the first time in Mallorca around the same time Paul Cullen has the Marathon des Sables to look forward to. Later in the year Gary, Lappy and I think maybe Phil (has he mentioned this to anyone?!) will be going for the full Ironman experience in Wales. Ross will be keen to hear their tips as he attempts the full IM distance a few weeks later at a race I have dreamed about competing in – the Elbaman.

Good luck to all the folks ‘going long’ this year. Alongside these largely mental challenges most of us will be just plugging away at a few local races. We have had a whole bunch of new recruits join in recent months and now is a perfect time to pick out a short triathlon to aim for and get trained for the summer.

The club caters to all abilities.

See you soon

Aug 302011

You may not have heard as he keeps it very quiet but Darragh did a rather impressive IM time in Germany. Congrats to the big man who has really stuck to the task over the last 12 months to boost his IM time. His attention is turning to the short course next year and I think the top order in TUNA could see a shake up.

Darragh’s press release….

On Thursday 4th of August, TUNA member Darragh Corvan flew over to Regensburg in Germany to participate in the annual Ironman triathlon. The event held on the Sunday the 7th comprises of a 2.4mile swim followed by a 112mile cycle and then followed by a 26.2mile run.

At 7am, the TUNA stood at the Guggenburger See outside of the Bavarian city to launch his adventure with 2400 other competitors. The clacson sounded at 7, the race was underway and the athletes ran down to the beech for what turned out to be a very aggressive swim. “The tight start made the swim very crowded.” Said Darragh, “the competitors were all ontop of on another and no one was willing to give up their place. I had to constantly watch for openings.” The athlete came out of the water in an unbelievable time of 1hour and 6 minutes. All of those Tuesday nights swimming in Craigavon Lakes seem to have paid off. Continue reading »

Jul 182011

This is now going to be a regular in-season training session. It will run on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday night of each month – so the next one is this week (20th). Now we have some baseline times it will be run as an Australian pursuit, basically a race designed to put everyone on the finish line at the same time depending on previous performance – it keeps everybody racing the whole way. It starts at 7pm from the roundabout at the top of Garvaghy Rd. All welcome – there is no cost.

Google map of location

Near perfect conditions for racing developed in Portrush the day after the race! Although the skies were dark and wet the sea was calm enough and the 1hr swim times of last year where slashed in half. The Chairman hasn’t been beaten yet within the club and all eyes where on Paul Cullen to see if he would dare topple our noble leader. Stevie exited the swim in his customary position but Paul appeared less than a minute later, 30 seconds of which he gained in T1. We knew Paul was strong on the bike but the fastest split of the day was still a suprise – nice one! After an effort like that most of us would struggle to walk but he went on to put in the fastest TUNA run split of the day. Under the 2:10 barrier and 14th overall.

Stevie still managed to avoid being chicked – something the rest of the TUNA lads (self included) continue to aspire to in any of their races and under 2:20 ain’t too shabby. Erik managed to complete the entire course with a huge smile on his face – his wife’s advice I’m told. Sarah hammered her time from last year to win her category and even a cash prize – don’t stop pulling teeth just yet! Pamela managed her first olympic trithlon and even stopped for an interview with Alan Simpson on the beach after lap 1 of the swim.



Jun 222011

A few TUNA members feeling not quite ready for the Olympic distance at Portrush opted for this new event at the Dalriada festival. It was rather strange distances  (1/8th Iron) and more of a bike race with a short swim and run thrown in for good measure. The early swim exit was welcome relief as the water was bitter – felt sorry for those with a proper swim 50 miles up the coast the next day. The bike on the other hand was brutal and beautiful in equal measure. Along the coast road all was going well but then a left turn into one of the glens and a 4.5 mile granny gear climb. What goes up must come down so there was free speed on the way back. The run was short but the off-road terrain was pretty soggy and the finish line was welcome.

The race includes two free passes to the festival which is a great day out for the whole family. One to watch out for next year – Paul Cullen for the win with his now legendary bike speed! The effective clash with Causeway Olympic is unfortunate as it takes competitors out of both races. Come on Tri Ireland and Real Triathlon – work it out! Triathlon is too small for these conflicts, if that is what you are after I hear there is some real action to be had up the Short Strand!



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