Westport’s Aichlinn O Reilly scores on the double during tough Ballinrobe Duathlon
The first Duathlon of the season in the West of Ireland attracts over 200 competitors in far from ideal conditions.
Both of last year’s winners were beaten by young up and coming talent, which proves that the standard is rising all the time, the course record was also shattered in conditions that were far from record breaking.
Young Aichlinn O Reilly has shown a rich vein of form winning two of the biggest Duathlons to date in the space of 5 weeks (Claremorris Land of the Giants and now Ballinrobe) Stephen Donnelly Ballina last year’s winner had to settle for second and John Greaney Galway filling the podium for third.
In the Ladies race Barbara Dunne Galway beat her nemeses Marie Boyle Spiddle with a storming last run, the ever improving Catherine Conway Claremorris held on to third.
In the over 40 race new man on the block Donal Mulligan from Longford took the honours from Jimmy Lawlor Westport and Noel Gibbons Partry. In the ladies the ever competitive Betty Walsh from Newport took the honours.
The battle between the relay teams became a local affair with Western Lakes CC providing the cyclist and Westport Athletes doing the run sections, Shane Gilligan & Paddy O Toole team completed the double winning in Claremorris and Ballinrobe, on both occasions Gilligan had the fastest bike legs to help secure the wins, John Conroy WLCC and Brendan Gill Westport were second team on the day and pre race favourites Sean O Malley and Ciaran Horan misfired on the day to role home in third.
For many the weather proved too big an obstacle and instead of hugging their runners and bike helmet they hugged the duvet instead, while this seemed a nice option for some but for others the weather was not the obstacle, the Elites had their fun battling each other but 95% of the participants had their own special goal of either losing weight, setting a faster time, getting a faster split etc; for the special few their Goal was just to finish the course and be proud that they were part of a bigger picture in getting fit.
Two particular women had their own special triumphs, one was recovering from cancer, her time might not set the record books a lit but her joy crossing the finish line a year after been diagnosed showed she has the fighting spirit to beat the deadly disease, another woman celebrated finishing the race only a few weeks after giving birth to her first child, what a great present to give oneself.
Race organisers would like to thanks Western Lakes CC, Lakeside centre, Gardai, Mayo county council, Ballinrobe Tidy towns and all the locals who made it possible. The event sponsors were Marrey Bikes, Ballinrobe Physiotherapy and Vaughan shoes.
1st Aichlinn O Reilly Westport 51:00
2nd Stephen Donnelly Ballina 52:09
3rd John Greaney Galway 52:48
Over 40 Donal Mulligan Longford 54:56
Junior Sean Flynn Westport 55:41
1st Paddy O Toole and Shane Gilligan Western Lakes 51:07
2nd Brendan Gill and John Conroy Western Lakes 52:37
3rd Ciaran Horan and Sean O Malley Western Lakes 58:01
1st Barbara Dunne Galway 1:00:26
2nd Marie Boyle Spiddle 1:01:27
3rd Catherine Conway Claremorris 1:04:08
Over 40 Betty Walsh Newport 1:08:52
Junior Nessa Gibbons Partry 1:21:56
1st Run Aichlinn O Reilly 11:06
Bike Shane Gilligan 26:28
2nd Run Aichlinn O Reilly 12:50
Full results on www.redtagtiming.com