Galway Aquathon Festival on the Final Countdown to the National Championship this Saturday 11th July
Galway Aquathon Festival is the flagship event and feature race of Galway Triathlon Club. Now in its 5th year, the event this Saturday features the National Long Course Aquathon, The National Children’s Aquathon as well as a Standard distance event. The Festival is expected to attract over 600 athletes to Galway shores for what has become a hugely popular event on the triathlon racing calendar for athletes of all abilities.
Swimming in the crystal cool waters of the bay, from the iconic diving board in Blackrock to Grattan Beach, the 2 km swim set against the back drop of Salthill promenade is the perfect setting for the Long Course event. The 10k run takes in the historical Grattan headland and popular running route in South Park to finish under the gantry to much delight of the gathered crowds.
2011 saw the inaugural Ironman 70.3 come to Galway and with that an influx of athletes jumped at the chance to swim and run on a generous section of the middle distance event that made up the Long course event. The short course that year saw swimmers take in a 750m looped swim in the bay at Grattan beach following the same run route as the long course. The 2* 2.5km looped run was perfect for spectators and athletes alike with plenty of support for the participants as they ran along the coast. The children’s events that first year were very much a local affair with neighbouring club Predator taking a lead role in the delivery of the races for the young athletes on the day.
2012 was the first year that Galway Triathlon Club successfully hosted the National Long Course Aquathon Championships which was won by elite Irish Athlete Bryan Keane. Cork’s Lizzie Lee took gold on the day in the Women’s race with a blistering run to claim her first National Championship Title. Lizzie Lee went on to successfully defend her title in 2013 and was joined on the top spot of the podium with Limerick’s Aaron o Brien. The bookies favourites in 2014 went onto to take the Championship titles, the formidable duo from Go Tri Racing of Rory Sexton and Carolyn Hayes bringing the silverware back to Limerick to add to their already burgeoning cabinets of trophies for what was a fantastic season for both athletes.
Following on from the success of hosting of the National Long Course Championships and with the ever increasing demand and success of the Children’s Aquathon over the first 2 years the Children’s event was granted National Championship status in 2013 and 2014.
Since 2012 the Standard distance event has increased to a 1km swim from Palmers Rock to Grattan Beach and when the tide is working with the athletes the race times are fast and furious. Beginners nervous about taking on the either swim distance of 2km or 1km for the first time can rest assured that they will exceed their own expectations and cruise to transition in record time.
Fast forward to 2015, the 5th year of the event in Galway and entries are already well up on previous years across all events. This year’s festival as always is proudly supported by a number of long standing local Galway based sponsors, they have plenty of reasons to call Galway the City of the Tribes with a great family of sponsors gathered for the event; Western Motors and Ocean Fitness leading the way in the sponsorship stakes with Amphibian King and Pure Athlete joining the ranks as associate sponsors once again this year. All of these businesses as well as many other local companies have supported the event since 2011 providing the financial and logistical support required to roll out the show that is the Galway Aquathon Festival.
Speaking about this year’s event, GTC Club member and Race Director Brian Clancy said ‘It is fantastic to have such wonderful sponsors on board again this year, their continued commitment is testament to the success of the event not only for Galway Triathlon Club, but for Galway as whole. The opportunity to race in the stunning surroundings of Salthill on a Summers’ day is not to be overlooked, it’s rare that you can travel 5 minutes away from a large city and host a National Sporting event that can incorporate all that it’s environment has to offer. As a club we are very grateful for the support shown to us by the people of Salthill and the City officials who have embraced our event and helped us not only put Galway Triathlon Club on the map but also to welcome and encourage athletes from all over Ireland to our beautiful City’.
The Children’s races will start at 12pm, the standard race will start at Palmers Rock at 1pm with the feature race of the National Long Course Championships starting at 2pm from the diving board in Blackrock.
Entry for all events is now available on www.triathlonireland.com and will close at Midnight Thursday 9th July across all events.
For more information or to register please log onto www.galwayaquathon.com. Enquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the event on Facebook Galway Aquathon Festival