Last weekend, soaring numbers took part in the annual Letterkenny Try a Tri hosted by 247 Triathlon club at the very popular Aura Leisure center.
From the crack of dawn a flurry of the hard working volunteers were putting the final touches to the race course and competitors from the four corners of the country were rolling into a welcoming 24/7 tri-club registration.
With nervous competitors making final adjustments in warm ups, it signalled that the moment had finally arrived - this is it my first ever triathlon.
All those hours of training have all come down to this, you could feel the energy it was palatable, courageous and contagious.
Under the careful supervision of Karl Vekins and Conor Eannetta of Triathlon Ireland the 10.30am hooter sounded, and they were off.
In what was a still calm swimming pool was now awash of colourful tri-suits. A total of 200 meters was the distance before leaving the pool to take on the 13km bike course. The adrenaline was flowing making the pace frantic from the 50 competing competitors. Support from family and friends on the day was just amazing for the newbies to the sport and the cheers of pride were surly welcoming as they entered transition for the final time, changing from cycling to running for the final 3k to the finish line, which is not an easy task.
First in and winner was 24/7 club member Philip Browne followed by Liam Wilson and third was Joseph Stunks, both representing Northwest triathlon club.
First in for the ladies and impressively 4th ove all was a young letterkenny junior Shauna McFadden followed by fellow junior member Emma Tinney.
Next up was the turn of the more experienced as 85 triathletes took on the super sprint course.
With a quality field, it wasn't long until the strong athletes established themselves at the head of the field seeing Derry triathlete Sean Mc Laughlin winning from local man Fergus Callaghan, following in 3rd was also local native Ronan Dorrian.
First lady home, after a lengthy lay off with injury was Christine Russell ,who was solely using the test to establish her fitness and dip her toe back into racing after a lengthy layoff. It was great to see 24/7 club member Christine back in action. Following her in to 2nd place was club member Ita McGettigan and 3rd was fellow club member Martina McDaid both with a hugely impressive first super sprint, but deservedly so as Ita and Martina have worked so hard to get competitive this season.
By way of thank you, the club would like to acknowledge the support of the help/volunteers on the day the kind sponsorship and use of the facilities at Aura Leisure Centre, St Eunans Gaa for the use of the car park and Glenard Plant for sweeping and of course the 50 club volunteers who made sure the event ran smoothly.
The competitors from our own club, 46 in total, who along with the club coaches and mentors worked extremely hard. Be proud and huge congrats to all.
Full results can be found on chipit.ie as all eyes now focus on the main triathlon event in July at the very beautiful Gartan outdoor centre.
New club members are always very welcome, simply join on www.triathlonireland.com nominate Letterkenny 24/7 as your club and you simply become a triathlete.
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