THE National Aquathon Championship was held in Galway last weekend and two of the Ennis Triathlon Club athletes came out on top in their respective age categories.
Ray Hynes took the national title in the long distance competition in the 40 to 44 age group and Pat Rutherford took the over-70s title. This event featured a 2km swim in Galway Bay, followed by a 10km run.
This national success coincides with Ennis Triathlon Club’s hosting of their inaugural triathlon this Saturday at Ballyalla Lake. The event is sponsored by Pat Keogh Construction.
Speaking after last week’s win, Ray Hynes said he was absolutely delighted with his Galway success and that it provided the best possible encouragement and motivation for him in his preparation for his first Ironman competition in Barcelona in October.
Pat Rutherford was equally elated but admitted he was very glad to put his foot down on Grattan beach at the end of the swim.
There are a number of events being promoted by the club on Saturday, the main competition being the Tri-Sprint. This involves a 750m swim from where the river exits the lake. Participants will go out into the centre of the lake before returning to the slipway across from the Lake View Stores on the Ruan Road. Next is a cycle to Crusheen and back, followed by 4.5km road race, which ends back at the roadside by the lake. The start time is 1.30pm.
The other event is a Try-a-Tri, which is an ideal race for newcomers to triathlons, involving a 200m swim, a 20km cycle and a 4.5km run.
According to race director, John O’Brien, “This will be a very important stage in the club’s history. We are all very excited and looking forward to a successful event. We will have well over 200 entries for the sprint race and around 50 entries for the Tri-a-Tri competition, plus a small number of relay teams. We would have high hopes that Paddy Quinn, who was first Irishman last year in the World Championship in London in the 30 to 34 age category, will feature strongly in the Tri- Sprint.”
Paddy, as a member of the Irish squad, is finetuning his preparations for the European Elite Duathlon Championship in Weyer, Austria, on August 23. Marie Lynch will carry the hopes of the club in the women’s race.
Jim McHale, head swim marshall, said, “We are delighted with the numbers coming to Ennis to compete in the main event. There will be 28 clubs from all over Ireland, with strong representation from Dublin, Cork, Sligo, Meath and Wicklow. There will also be representation from the UK and the Netherlands.”
The club has also organised a junior race for children, which will take place before the main races, with entry available on the day. In conjunction with the event, there will be face painting and music at the finish area, all of which will, it is expected, lend a festival atmosphere to this inaugural event.
The nominated charity for the event is Home Share Clare.