The Nenagh Triathlon Club celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Hard to believe the club has been around for so long. Time flies when you are having fun. The club was formed back in the winter of ’06 with 2007 being our first race season. Fast forward 10 years and here we are going as strong as ever. We have seen plenty of people come and go during that time. Many of the faces remain the same with 3 of the founding members still going strong (some a little stronger than others!). Every year we welcome in new faces and this helps to keep things fresh and it helps everyone stay motivated.
Throughout the upcoming year we hope to celebrate this milestone. We will be kicking off the celebrations with our Christmas party which is provisionally set for Saturday, December 10th (Celebrating 10 on the 10th). We invite all members past and present to attend this occasion to celebrate 10 years of triathlon in Nenagh. Keith Butler has promised to give a rousing rendition of our club song ‘It’s raining men, Hallelujah!’ We will be joined by Nenagh CC and hopefully the Nenagh Masters Swimming Club. Plans are being made to have a swim gala on the Friday evening (Tri club vs Masters) followed by the 1st round of the Winter Warrior Cup on Saturday morning (Tri club vs Nenagh CC). It promises to be a big weekend so make yourself available.
and now….. a walk down memory lane
How did it all come about? back in the 80s and 90s triathlon started to slowly gain popularity in certain areas around the country. One of these areas was Limerick and it wasn’t long before a few from Nenagh were testing themselves at local Limerick events. Gary Scully was the first local to get big into the sport in the mid to late 90s. He dragged the Melrose and pool crew with him to races for a few years but once the beer years came triathlon was forgotten about. A few others from the town popped up at races over the next 5 or 6 years but there was no official organisation behind it. Nenagh triathletes used to always join the Limerick Triathlon Club back in the day and races like the Joey Hannon and Hell of the West were always the big ones to do well at.
In 2007, the sport of triathlon had grown a lot in Ireland. Kilkee used to be a race where you might have 40 in it and you could enter on the day. In the late noughties things had changed. Shane Scully was working in the pool at the time with Keith Butler (when he used to be twice the man he is today – see picture evidence below). They were out on the bike one day and got talking about starting back doing triathlon. Andy McLoughlin was also roped into doing the Loughrea triathlon with them at the end of 2006. The three boys turned up in their Speedos to the race not knowing that triathlon fashion had moved on since the 90s! These are the non x-rated photos from the race (although Keith is showing a little bit of side boob)
There was no more racing for the lads after Loughrea but at the end of the season big plans were being made to put a Nenagh team together for the 2007 season. Joe Cantwell, Keith Butler, Andy McLoughlin and Shane Scully met for the first committee meeting in Andy’s house and the Nenagh Triathlon Club was formed. Numbers were small in the first year but grew quickly once triathlon became the fastest growing sport in the country.
Joe Cantwell, Shane Scully, Andy McLoughlin, Anthony Sherlock, Majella Moyles and Paul Scully have all served their time as head honcho of the club. Each has helped the club grow in numbers and success. 1000s of training sessions have been organised and 1000s of stories have been written for the website. We were one of the first clubs that made good use of a website to promote activities. Here’s how it used to look.
Every year, we looked to develop the club. Each year we added new training sessions and events to the calendar. Once upon a time there were very few events for fitness fanatics to do in Nenagh. We like to think we have done our bit to change that. In 2017 we have a jam packed schedule in terms of training and racing. It wasn’t always that way……
Reeling in the years
- club formed
- annual pilgrimage to Kilkee starts
- this year consisted mainly of begging and bribing people to join!
- the club host our first big race – North Tipp Sprint
- First official training schedule looked like this
- Monday: running from 6:00 – 7:00pm in the running complex
- Tuesday: swimming from 8:00 – 9:00pm
- Friday: running from 6:00 – 7:00pm in the CBS
- Saturday: cycling from 1:30 – 3:30 meet at Keith’s shed beside the dole office.
- Sunday: 9:30 cycle with the Wheelers.
- First club member to complete an Ironman – Joe Cantwell
- Bertie’s Circuit Training Sessions begin in the complex
- Evening turbo sessions start for the first time
- the standard of racer in the club improves a lot and we start becoming very competitive on the national scene.
- Running success – County Senior Cross Country Club Champions, County Intermediate Cross Country Champ – Gary Scully, County Novice Road Champion – Shane Scully
- End of Year Swim from Youghal to Garrykennedy starts
- First triathlon race win for the club – Shane Scully
- Nenagh Run Series begins – a young Darren Dunne rocks up to it, age 14, and runs 20:12 on his first attempt. Thats where it all began for him.
- Dromineer duathlon and triathlon series starts
- Someone allows Ronan O’Driscoll join the club – a new low.
- National Championships 2nd Place – Shane Scully. National Championships 14-16 age group winner – Darren Dunne
- Running success – 2011 County Road Relay Champions, County Intermediate Road Club Champions, County Intermediate Road Champion – Shane Scully, County Novice XC Club Champions Womens, County Intermediate XC Club Champions Womens, County Intermediate XC Champion – Shane Scully, County U/15 & U/16 XC Champion – Darren Dunne, Munster U/15 XC Champion – Darren Dunne, County Novice B XC 1st place – Sinnead Oakes
- Epic club training/drinking weekend in Lahinch
- Club Time Trial Series started
- New club website
- National Series Individual Overall 2nd Place – Shane Scully, National Championships 40-45 2nd place – Keith Butler, National Championships 35-39 3rd place – Sinnead Oakes
- 3 club members do the Outlaw Ironman, new Ironman record set by Kevin Sherlock.
- Darren Dunne and Killian Cullagh run for Ireland. Darren wins a Munster silver cross country medal U/18.
- Darren Dunne makes it onto the Irish Junior Development Programme
- 3 club members take part in Ironman Zurich and 1 in Copenhagen
- Nenagh CC is formed by Shane Scully, Kenneth Kennedy, Kevin Sherlock and Gary Scully.
- Nenagh CC junior cycling begins
- Nenagh swimming pool closes (for 3 months – ends up closed for far longer)
- Running: senior team are 2nd in the county cross country
- Lough Derg Sprint is born.
- Nenagh CC take part in the An Post Rás for the first time. Gary Scully becomes 1st club cyclist to become an A1 rider after coming 2nd in Rás Dún na nGall.
- Nenagh Summer League begins
- 9 club members compete in Ironman Kalmar, Sweden. New Ironman record set by Keith Butler.
- Nenagh CC compete in Rás na mBan.
- Epic 3 Day Mizen to Malin trip
- 2 members take part in Ironman Barcelona
- Nenagh CC organise the Nenagh Youth Race in Toomevara
- Winter Warrior League races begin
- Darren Dunne represents the club in the Junior World Championships in Mexico. Darren was also 2nd in the National Champs.
- Two new Try a Tri events are organised in town
- Nenagh CC compete in the An Post Rás for a 2nd time. Denis Allen takes part in the Junior Tour of Ireland. Daniel Yon Hin takes part in Rás na nÓg.
- Nenagh CC host the Tipp Road Race champs
- Nenagh Masters Swim Club is formed.
- We had competitors at Ironman Zurich and Challenge Galway
- big crew heading over to Ironman Barcelona and 1 to Copenhagen
- expect more big results from Donkey Dunne
- a few oldheads back racing the tri circuit
- surely we can get a run team together for 2017?!!
- junior cycling members making a big name for themselves
- plenty of promotions in cycling and perhaps another crack at a rás
- the usual club events and training sessions
The last 10 years have come and gone in a blink of an eye but I am sure we all have great memories to cherish from our time in the club. We have all gotten to know a huge amount of new people through the shared pain and joy of triathlon racing and training. We have seen plenty of new relationships blossom over the years. Thankfully, there hasn’t been any divorces to date!
What will the club be like in 10 years time? I shudder to think of how people will cope with a 54 year old Keith Butler. He is bad enough as it is already. There have been a lot of club babies born over the years so hopefully they will be part of the next generation of the club. We see plenty of sons and daughters coming through already but the old guard are still ruling the roost. That won’t always be the way so Little Hitler better get used to that. Half the people currently in the club will probably leave, to be replaced by new fitness fanatics. Who knows, in 10 years time we could even have an Olympic triathlete joining us for training sessions every now and then. Personally I would love to see a senior running club blossom in town. The town is too big not to have a very strong senior running club. We already have a tri club, cycling club and swiming club so a proper senior running club just makes sense.
Whatever happens, if the next 10 years are as enjoyable as the last 10 years then we will be doing alright. Let’s all work together to make this year our best year yet.
Reeling in the years……