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Tri an Mhi Trim Castle Duathlon Series Race 1
On Sunday last, the majestic Trim Castle provided the backdrop for the first in a two race duathlon series for host club Tri an Mhi. A cool but dry morning offered a gentle reminder that while it may indeed be Spring, it could well be a few more weeks before Mother Nature decides to show it as air temperature managed only 7 C for race start at 9:30am.
The run portions offered competitors an interesting mix of trail and grass surfaces over an undulating course before entering transition for the first time aside the impressive Trim Castle walls.
At the head of affairs, a group of three (Killian Heery, Richard Doyle, Michael Reilly) detached itself from the chasers with all three getting through transition without a hitch and swiftly away to continue their battle over the fast bike course.
Local man Kevin Gileece was a few seconds behind on the run but was unfortunate to suffer a non bike related mechanical. Taking second place last year in the same race, he was one of the favourites to take outright glory this time around. His glasses broke with the impact being that he was undecided about whether he would be capable of continuing or not. A helpful marshal offered her own glasses which he gladly accepted and so continued to race albeit with a delay of more than two minutes.
The women's race was also shaping up to be a closely fought affair. Bronagh Adams who took fourth place in race two of last year’s series was showing the early pace by entering transition 23 seconds ahead of the Pulse pairing of LizAnne Barnwall and Laura Ward.
The bike course is flat for the first 8km before turning left onto a very gentle rise to Rathmolyon village. Another left turn onto some gentle downhill twists on a good road surface always generates plenty of speed for those willing to push on before heading back into Trim via Laracor junction.
When the Triathlon Ireland motorcycle marshals returned to race HQ, they highlighted a number of transgressions and so offender’s race numbers were quickly written up on the penalty board.
Meanwhile, the second run was now well underway and definite gaps formed throughout the 99 entrants.
Entering the finishing straight, Killian Heery from Muckno triathlon club was well out on his own and striding confidently to break the tape in 54 minutes 51 seconds. Despite a quicker second run spilt, Richard Doyle had to settle for second place 33 seconds adrift with Michael Reilly over a minute further behind.
LizAnne Barnwall (Pulse Triathlon) maintained her pressure and in the end was rewarded with her effort by taking the win from Bronagh Adams by a sizeable margin of 98 seconds. Former professional cyclist Geraldine Gill from Bohermeen has been making good progress of late on the Duathlon scene. Her strong bike background and good race management paid off with a fine third place finish just 4 seconds back.
As touched on earlier, five competitors were issued with bike drafting penalties, two were issued with blocking penalties and two were issued with DQ's.
As host club, we compliment the race officials on a job well done throughout the day. We thank our volunteers, civil defence, Meath County Council and An Garda Siochana for ensuring that competitors can race in a safe environment.
See you all again on April 12th for the second race in the series.
Men - 1st Killian Heery 54mins 51sec, 2nd Richard Doyle 55mins 24sec, 3rd Michael Reilly 56min 38sec.
Women - 1st LizAnne Barnwall 62mins 51sec, 2nd Bronagh Adams 64mins 29sec, 3rd Geraldine Gill 64mins 33sec.
A great set of photos from the race can be viewed here