National Aquathon Championships a huge success in Salthill despite driving, wind, rain and wild seas.
This certainly proved to be the case for Galway Triathlon Club’s annual Aquathon Festival where National Championship titles were up for grabs at Long Course, Junior and Children's races along with a short course race. The weather was the main talking point with unrelenting wind adding its destructive force to the day-long sideways rain, a challenging day for athletes, supporters, the race committee and an amazing team of race marshals.
First to face the elements and battle the wild waters of Galway Bay were the children from 8 – 15 years of age. The weather couldn't dampen their spirits, as they charged headlong into the waves eager and enthusiastic as ever even if their parents were a little less so. New champions across all age categories were crowned with a record number of entries in the Children’s Championships
The Short course race, which included the National Championships for Juniors, of 1km swim and 5km run went ahead with challenging swim conditions. The men's race was won by Cillian Tierney in 34:02 and the women were led home by Niamh Corry in 37:50 both taking National Junior titles as well as race honours.
The Long Course swim was hit with a bathing ban earlier in the week resulting in a last minute route change to a 2km race start at Palmers rock. Despite the best efforts of the Race Director, Triathlon Ireland and Galway City Council in facilitating the change of route nothing could have prepared the team for the stormy seas on the day which led to the swim being shortened to 1km due to the worsening conditions. While the sun didn't shine at all on the day, last years winners certainly did with both Rory Sexton and Carolyn Hayes retaining their National Champions titles in fine form with times of 48:21 and 53:14 respectively.
A great day was had by all despite the Clare Hills failing to reveal themselves all day, Galway Triathlon Club will be hoping for more sympathetic and sunny conditions next year to showcase the great work carried out by an exceptional team of volunteers, sponsors and race crew. Roll on 2016!!
Full results are available at www.redtagtiming.com