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Joey Hannon


from triathlon Ireland website The Triathlon Season is upon us, and this weekend saw action in Limerick at Joey Hannon Triathlon (both in a novice race, and the standard distance), and at the newly combined Northwest Sprint/Liam Ball Triathlon. Some great racing was complemented by the best weather of the year so far. Well done to all race organisers, and competitors.

A good crowd and well over 300 competitors gathered down at UL on one of the warmest days of the year so far. With an equal number of people tackling the novice event, a lot of new faces to Triathlon lined up for the first time, alongside experienced competitors. Registration and other organisation were handled smoothly and the excellent facilities at the University of Limerick offered a great venue for the race.

The novice event had a wide range of ability, from those aiming to breast-stroke their way through their first swim triathlon leg, to more experienced swimmers. First out of the water was Claire Connor, attending the race as part of the Triathlon Ireland Development Squad training weekend, and she was quickly on her bike. Many people in this race were doing their first race. Claire returned back to transition first and took off at a storming pace on the run. The race came down a battle between Paul Dunne of Liquid Motion and Claire on the final hill, Paul powered up the grade to take the victory. The real story of this race was the large number of people new to the sport, many racing for the first time. The smiles after crossing the line reminded many people of why they started Triathlon in the first place.

The standard distance race had a strong field, with Brian Campbell coming off a great cross-country season, last years winner Mark Dempsey, and several other strong athletes warming up for the season ahead. Brian was first out of the pool, closly followed by Aileen Morrison, also attending as part of the Triathlon Ireland Development Squad training weekend, the rest of the lane were close behind. Eight headed out onto the bike course. The other favourite in the women’s race, Elena Maslova was almost five minutes down on Aileen after the swim. Again, many in this race were doing their first Olympic distance. A very fast bike put Eoghan Considine of Galway into the lead coming into transition, but he was run down by Campbell, and later by Brian Jenkins and Colin Bolger (TI Development Squad). The women’s race had turned into a battle between Elena and Aileen, with a big gap to the rest of the field. A strong bike, making up the 5 minute swim deficit, put Elena in front by about a minute. Aileen came into transition and took off strongly, soon catching Elena. The run section was over varied terrain, and included some of the beautiful trails around UL, many competitors commenting that it was one of the most beautiful runs on the Irish race circuit. Campbell ran home strongly, followed by Jenkins, then Bolger. Aileen won the women’s race with one of the faster runs seen on the women’s triathlon circuit in recent times, Elena, and Kiera-Eva Mooney took second and third respectively.

Limerick Triathlon Club put on a great day’s racing, in one of the heartlands of Irish Triahlon. For a bit of background on who Joey Hannon was and the race, please read below:

Limerick Triathlon Club was formed in 1984 and held its first race in 1985. One of Limericks finest athletes, Joey Hannan was tragically killed while cycling to work and since then Limerick Triathlon club have hosted the Joey Hannan memorial Triathlon from St Enda’s Sports complex for around 12 years.