The first ever Lough Derg Sprint took place on Saturday out in Dromineer. It turned out to be a beautiful morning for racing with sunny conditions and barely a puff of wind. 158 triathletes from all over the country entered this race but with the usual race day no shows we were left with 132 on the start line. There were clear favourites in both the men’s and women’s race with Irish triathlete Aaron O’Brien in the mens filed and Rachel Clancy in the women’s field. The home club, Nenagh, also had a keen interest in the podium finish with Darren Dunne and Michael Browne looking to finish at the pointy end.
The race started shortly after 9:00am. There was just one wave start and it wasn’t long before Aaron had opened a sizable gap on the rest. Darren Dunne was on his own in 2nd and then came a well strung out pack. Aaron exited the water in 9:06 with Darren 1 minute behind. David Shelley was 3rd in 11:12. In the women’s race the swim was led by Aoibhe Reidy fron Limerick TC. She exited the water first in a time of 13:07 with pre-race favourite Rachel Clancy exiting close behind in 2nd place. Denise Compton was 3rd out of the water in the women’s race. Could these top swimmers hold or better their positions as they hopped onto their bikes?
Out front, Aaron O’Brien was pushing along nicely. He stretched his lead over Darren Dunne on the bike by another minute thereby giving him a 2min lead exiting T2. Darren did well on the bike, recording the 5th fastest bike split of the day (which we in Nenagh know he will be happy with!). A wrong turn from a fast moving Brian Campion would destroy his chances of finishing on the podium. David Shelley came into T2 in 3rd meaning there was no change at the top of the men’s field, although Alan Kenny’s bike split had given him a chance of catching David.
Rachel Clancy took control of the women’s race on the bike. Her time of 30:09 was the fastest female time of the day by some distance. The battle was now on for 2nd place. Claire Devitt moved through the field on the bike and moved into 2nd place. Denise Compton was also looking strong at this stage and she held onto her 3rd place. This meant that Aoibhe had been forced out of the podium placings and would need a fast run leg to get back into the prizes.
Onto the run and Aaron O’Brien was the first to experience the opening 1km hill. It might as well not have been there as both himself and Darren both bounded up the hill with the greatest of ease. Aaron would go onto win the race quite comfortably. He was finished two minutes before Darren Dunne crossed the finish line with the fastest run split of the day 17:09. In the race for 3rd David Shelley had to use all his energy to hold off the fast finishing Alan Kenny with just 6 seconds between them at the end.
Rachel Clancy continued to move away from the rest of the women’s field. A strong run time of 20:27 gave her a final winning margin of over 5 minutes. Claire Devitt from Tipperary TC put in a solid run effort to just about hold onto her 2nd place from a fast finishing Aoibhe Reidy. The gap in the end was just 2 seconds. So close but yet so far! Unfortunately for Denise she couldn’t quite hod onto her 3rd place on the run.
In the junior event, Darren Dunne was the first male junior home, but as he featured in the more lucrative overall prizes the top junior prize went to Limerick TCs Eoghan Beary who finished as 2nd junior and also finished in 9th overall. The male O/40 prize went to Michael King for Activmultisport TC who finished in 8th overall. The female O/40 prize went to Denise Compton from Tipperary TC who just missed out on the overall podium finishing in 4th place overall. The male O/50 prize went to Liam Liddy from Limerick TC who finished in 19th place overall. The female O/50 prize went to Linda May from Activmultisport TC who also finished in 28th in the women’s race.
It must be said that Dromineer made for a great triathlon venue. It is a very scenic part of the country and plenty of triathletes took the opportunity to stay the night beforehand. With the local cafe opening at 7:00am for your quick coffee hit, what more could you ask for!! The Nenagh Triathlon Club would like to thank the locals for their hospitality. The local committee and yacht club were very helpful in organising this event. Hopefully we can repay that generosity by growing this triathlon into something even more special.
The club would also like to thank all our club members for helping out. It is very much appreciated. The food mountain was a big one and we should have enough leftovers to cover the rest of our club events till the end of the year! The club would also like to thank the Gardaí and the Order of Malta for their help. Tipperary Water came up trumps once again with the sponsored water. SwimCycleRun.com were terrific race partners and we were delighted to have their help.
We hope you all enjoyed your trip to Tipp and look forward to seeing you all in 2015.
Final Results >> click to view final results
Race Photos >> click to view race photos
Male Overall Female Overall
1st Aaron O’Brien 1st Rachel Clancy
2nd Darren Dunne 2nd Claire Devitt
3rd David Shelley 3rd Aoibhe Reidy
Junior: Eoghan Beary, No female junior
O/40: Michael King, Denise Compton
O/50: Liam Liddy, Linda May
Prizes will be posted out to the winners early this week.