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Dublin City Triathlon Race Report


from Triathlon Ireland Website For once the weather was kind to triathletes, as this Sunday saw the running of the Dublin City Triathlon. Triathletes came from all over the country for what is one of the last big standard distance races of the year. High rainfall resulted in a fast flowing River Liffey, giving a slow out-bound upstream section of the swim, but with assistance of a fast stream on the inbound section. The swim course was shortened slightly, because of the fast flow. Please read on for full race report…..

The race went off on time at 8am, with the first of six waves entering the waters of the Liffey. Some swimmers didn’t read the stream right and ended up working hard in the middle of the river, whilst those who kept close to the banks had an easier time of it. On the way back the current made up for the slow out-bound swim. David Graham (Triathlon Ireland Development Squad), had a good lead of over a minute, on exiting the water. With Gavin Noble not racing, pre-race favourite Brian Campbell (Hi Elbow) was a minute and a half down on Graham. A large group of athletes emerged from the Liffey at around 20 minutes, heading for the Park and the lapped bike course. In this group was Chantal Gibney, part of the Paddy Power Dream team, of past Irish Olympians. Their cyclist was double Olympian Ciaran Power, who set-off determined to make up any gap on the bike course. In the women’s individual race, Barara O’Hanrahan (Belpark) lead the charge, with Elena Maslova (Piranha) and Eimear O’Brien (North West) a couple of minutes back. Whilst the front of the race was taking shape, all the other participants were getting under-way to tackle the standard distance challenge.

On the bike course Ciaran Power was showing his cycling pedigree by putting in the fastest bike split of the day by a few minutes, with Mark Dowling (Pulse) having the fastest ride of non-relay splits. In the second wave, rowing gold medalist, Sinead Jennings was causing a storm by having a good swim, and with strong bike and run form was threatening Elena for the women’s race.

David Graham put in some strong cycling to maintain his lead. Behind him, positions were being traded on the bike, with both Dowling and Liam Dunne (Belpark) having good bike splits, and Art MacManusa (Belpark) close behind. Graham show the extra work he’s been putting into his run by maintaining and extending his race lead on all contenders but Brian Campbell, who claimed the fastest run split of the day. The tape was broken by Catherina McKiernan of the Paddy Power dream team, raising a good sum for charity in the process. Less than a minute behind the race was won by David Graham, who’d held the lead from the swim. Over a minute and a half behind, Campbell had a strong run to jump back into second place. Art MacManusa came in less than ten seconds down on Campbell. With Mark Dowling close behind.

In the women’s race Maslova was having a good run and looked like she’d take the women’s top spot. Crossing the line first, she now had to wait for the dark horse of the women’s race, Sinead Jennings, and the results sheet to decide her place. Jennings crossed the line after a storming cycle section, backed up by a strong run. After some anxious waiting the results sheet was produced, confirming that Sinead Jennings had taken the women’s race by over five minutes. In the process she turned out the fastest women’s bike split by some minutes, and one that would have given some competition to the men. Eimear O’Brien put in a consistent performance and a strong run to take the third women’s spot.

Well done to all that competed, and to Piranha Triathlon Club who all pulled together to put on a great race.

Race Report by Steven Moody
With the Gatorade Dublin City triathlon being one of the last standard distance National series race and a qualifying race for the 2009 worlds – this race was always going to be a popular event on the race calendar. This was reflected in both the number of entrants and the quality of competitor s that the race attracted including big names such as Brian Campbell, Art MacManusa, David Graham , Elena Maslova, Eimear O’Brien, Steven Moody and many more.

There was of course the added excitement of the presence of the Paddy Power Dream team of ex Olympians consisting of Chantal Gibney, Ciaran Power and Catheria McKiernan who would be racing the clock to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society. The triathlon gods for once decided that the Irish race scene had suffered enough rain and over 500 competitors turned up at the UCD boat to find a superbly organized transition area bathed in glorious sunshine. Some superb race organization saw the wave one off at 0800 without a hitch and this was to set the trend for the day.

With the waves divided up on the basis of estimated swim times, it was expected that all of the winners would emerge from this wave and watched keenly as the first competitors made light work of a heavy looking current. David Graham and Stephen Banahan were the clear early leaders from the swim wave and exited the water in 17 mins and 19 mins respectively .

In the ladies race, Barbara O’Hanrahan of Belpark exited a clear leader with a lead of two minutes over Elena Maslova. However, unknown at this stage was that Sinead Jennings, the Irish Olympic rower, had returned to her childhood calling of triathlon and exited wave 1 the female leader in the swim leg, only marginally behind Chantal Gibney of the Dream team in terms of her swim split and then began to make serious inroads on the bike course.

The cycle leg of DCT is reknown for being a technical and fast course, which suits strong cyclists who like to push a high gear. This year was no exception with the stronger cyclists taking advantage of the sun drenched and well marshaled course to clock some serious times. Mark Dowling was the clear leader in the men’s cycle splits with Art McManus marginally behind.

Despite only finishing 7th fastest on the bike – David Graham had done enough to protect his overall lead and entered the run leg in a strong position but would it be enough to hold off Brian Campbell’s traditionally strong finish…. However, with the special day that it was, even the leaders were to experience something new by being overtaken by Ciaran Power in striking pink race gear as the dream team exerted itself on the race ….

In the ladies race, Elena Maslova of Piranha put in her determined bike leg and easily reigned in Barbara O’Hanrahan’s lead. Eimear O’Brien of North West also stormed though the bike course and everyone believed she was in second place chasing Elena ’ s lead. However, chasing hard from her start point in the 2 nd wave, Sinead Jennings would take the lead outright on the bike leg unbeknown to the leaders.

The run course was a 2 lap cross country run which tested the runners who had trained exclusively on hard surfaces. David Graham looked comfortable on the run who not only did enough to hold off Brian Campbell, but also to record a new course record of just under 1 hr and 50 mins. Brian’s reward for registering the fastest run of the day was a 2 nd place finish ahead of Art McManus in 3rd place.

The ladies finish had looked like a simple win for Elena with Eimear O’Brien and Barbara O’Hanarahan with no real ground won or lost on the run course. However, the plot was to thicken with Sinead Jennings building on her strong swim and cycle to take the title by over 4 mins – a fact that was only to materialize later in the day….

The first person over the finish line however had been Catherina McKiernan who posted a cracking 31 min run time to ensure that the Dream team had earned €10000 for the Irish Cancer Society courtesy of the extremely generous support of Paddy Power.

On a whole, the feedback from all the race participants was very positive and as such, a credit to all members of the Piranha club.

The race itself would not be possible without the continued and generous support of the primary sponsor Gatorade and the supporting sponsors of Aquasphere, Cyclesuperstore and Runways. Thanks also to spot prize sponsors Irishfit.ie, Catherina McKiernan’s Chi running and Adrenaline.ie sports training. Plus, the assistance of the Garda, UCD boat club, the Phoenix park, the OPW and Dublin Bus very much added to what was a positive race experience for competitors and spectators alike.