The fourth Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon was held in County Galway, Ireland on Sunday (24 May), with nearly 1,200 competitors taking part in eight races, including the brand new Starter Sprint. Once again the Olympic distance was a Triathlon Ireland National Series race.
>>> Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon 2014 race report
The longest race was The Gauntlet, a tough half iron distance with 200 hardy souls competing for the title. First male home was Kevin Thornton from Galway Tri Club, leading from the swim exit and smashing the course record with 4:15:08. A tight race for second was won by Mariusz Olejniczak of Naas Triathlon Club pipping UK elite Matt Leeman by just 30 seconds. Siobhan Gallagher (Donegal) led the women’s race home in a time of 5:11:39 followed.
“I really enjoyed the course”, said Kevin Thornton after the race, “The lake was fresh but I was happy with my swim. I really loved the bike course through the Burren, it’s a very honest course and I absolutely loved the two hills. The trail part of the run was especially great, I’d done the Olympic here a few years back and think it’s a great venue for triathlon”.
Aichlinn O’Reilly, winner of the Olympic distance race
First over the line in the Olympic distance was young Aichlinn O’Reilly of Westport Triathlon Club in his very first standard event, his time was 2:05:15. He was third out of the lake but moved into first place about 12km into the cycle and held pole position all the way to the finish.
Second home was Max Hazell (Wiltshire) with last year’s runner up Aaron O’Brien (Limerick Tri Club) in third and Brennan Townshend of Loughborough in fourth place. Kitty Perle (3D Tri Club) was a clear winner in the women’s event in 2:32:37 followed by Olivia Ross-Hurst (Ful-On Tri) in 2:36:21 and Joanne Flanagan (Ennis Tri Club) in 2:37:08.
An elated Achlinn O’Reilly spoke in glowing terms after the race, “I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure what to expect in my first ever senior race, I’d hoped to finish in the top three but winning was absolutely amazing, particularly against some overseas competition”.
Trevor Woods from Cork Tri Club won the Sprint Plus race (800m/44km/8km) in 01:53:46. The women’s race winner was Rachel Clancy of Limerick Triathlon in 02:10:50. The Super Sprint was won by Kieran Jackson – (1:01:38), with Claire Scott (Peninsula) winning the women’s race in 01:18:36.
The Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon is the first of the five Castle Triathlon Series weekend events to take place over the course of this year in Ireland, England and France this year. For more info head to www.loughcutratri.ie.
The Gauntlet (1.9km/90km/21km)
1: Kevin Thornton – Galway Tri Club (4:15:08) 2: Mariusz Olejnicza – Naas Tri Club (4:25:29) 3: Matt Leeman – Hockley (4:25:59)
1: Siobhán Gallagher – Donegal (5:11:39) 2: Adele Neill – Hi Elbow (5:27:35) 3: Maire Fox – 3D Tri (5:38:01)
The Lough Cutra (1500m/44km/10km)
1: Aichlinn O’Reilly – Westport Tri Club (2:05:15) 2: Max Hazell – Wiltshire (2:07.18) 3: Aaron O’Brien – Limerick Tri Club (2:09:09)
1: Kitty Perle 3D (2:32:37) 2: Olivia Ross Hurst – Ful-On Tri (2:36.21) 3: Joanne Flanagan – Ennis Tri Club (2:37.08)
The Prendergast – (800m/44km/8km)
1: Trevor Woods – Cork Tri Club (1:53:46) 2: Mark Nolan – Cork (1:55:54) 3: Martin Divilly – Team Collinamux (2:01:56)
1: Rachel Clancy – Limerick Triathlon (2:10:50) 2: Katherine Sherry – Dublin (2:33:13) 3: Caroline McMenamin – North West Tri Club (2:35:48)
The Viscount Gough (400m/22km/4km)
1: Kieran Jackson – (1:01:38) 2 Darren Dunne – Nenagh Triathlon (1:03:36) 3: Ronan Dirrane – Predator (1:09:18)