As you are all aware, Ras na mBan has finally come around with only hours to go to the first race of six stages….over five days. Even though our ladies have being busy preparing themselves for this women’s international stage race, and with increasing nerves of anticipation, they managed to take time out to put together a small profile on themselves. Nenagh CC Women’s Race Team – Sinnead Oakes, Rachel Clancy, Majella Moyles, Sinead Kennedy and Monica Marconi (check out The Guardian & Tipperary Star for a featured piece on our women’s team).
Sinnead Oakes (39)
Originally a native of Cork I have been competing for Nenagh Triathlon Club since moving here in 2010. Following completion of the Ironman in Sweden last year I have turned my full attention this year to bike racing for Nenagh CC. I have spent the season gaining valuable experience competing along with my team mates in a number of both women specific and open races throughout Ireland including the National Championships in Omagh in June. This is my second appearance in Ras na mBan and I am hoping for a safe race with some personal bests.
Rachel Clancy (27)
I am a former international/professional basketball player who now spends endless hours each week swimming, cycling and running. My biggest triathlon achievement has been competing at the Ironman 70.3 World Champs (2013). Surviving Mizen-to-Malin with Nenagh CC is my cycling highlight. I raced in the inaugural triathlon Super Series from May until August and am now focused on Ras na Mban. I’m sure I’ll develop a more specific goal after stage one… but for now, it’s to stay safe and finish as close to the main bunch as I can.
Majella Moyles (44)
My interests in keeping fit started over 10 years ago. I joined Nenagh Triathlon/Cycling Club in 2011 and since then have completed numerous triathlons, marathons and the acclaimed Ironman Kalmar last year. Since last October, I have been training between 14 – 20 hours per week on the bike. Along with 20 club members, I completed the Mizen to Malin, 3 day cycling challenge in July. However, my focus for 2015 has being to take part in the Ras na mBan. After a year of minor racing incidents, my ultimate goal is to complete the Ras…safely.
Sinead Kennedy O’Meara (38)
Coming into this commitment I definitely felt the weakest link in the team. I was just back on my bike after a year out from exercise after having my first child Aoife. Prior to having Aoife I had cycled for about a year as part of triathlon training. When I was asked if I would be interested in being part of a team that would enter into Ras na mBan in 2015 I instantly agreed and it gave me great focus for my 2014/2015 season. I have spent on average about 10-12 hours a week training since last October. It has been a very steep learning curve trying to get fitness back and also learning how to race at the same time. I have really enjoyed the hard training the club provides and I have developed a new love for bike racing. I know that the experience I will take from this year’s RAS will make me a better rider for next season. My goal for this year is to complete all 6 stages and safely!
We also have a 5th rider – Monica Marconi from Orwell Wheelers in Dublin. Monica is guest riding with us as her club are not entering a team this year. Monica is a very experienced cyclist and has completed Ras na mBan on a couple of occasions. She will bring the much needed experience to the team.
Five days…five women…..the team have informed us here at HQ, they will be sending on a daily race report accompanied with loads of photos. The club would like to wish our ladies the very best of luck, they have all put the hours, commitment and focus into their training over the past twelve months…all they can do now, is their very best. The ladies would also like to let all club members/supporters know, who intend travelling to Co Clare to cheer them on, that they would be very welcome to call into their rented house in Ennis for cuppa, biscuits and who knows there might be a few homemade flapjacks also.