Chain Reaction Cycles

Race Reports – w/e’s 26th May & 2nd June

Race Reports – w/e’s 26th May & 2nd June

The season has well and truly kicked off which is evident from the amount of race reports this week.

Thanks for everyone who contributed, hopefully you enjoy hearing about your club mates adventures and experiences of different races.

As always feel free to email ‘’ with any of your exploits, always interesting to hear from the new members and how they are enjoying the sport.


Lough Cutra – Galway (Aoife McKeown)
Saturday 27th May saw the start of the weekend of 19 races at Lough Cutra for the Castle Triathlon Series races. For the first year the racing was split up over two days. The SS and NS races together with the other sprint distances were on day 1 with the Olympic and Gauntlet distances on the Sunday.

Three Olympians- Heather Gould, Chris McKeown and Aoife McKeown- made the journey down to respectively compete in the Olympic, Sprint Plus and Super Sprint distances. Despite the Mediterranean weather we had experienced it rained solidly from 5pm on the Friday and continued until midday on the Saturday.

Despite the cold and wet the water temp was a warm 16 degrees. The water remained warm for the Sunday race for Heather. This has been a well traversed course by Olympians in the past but for those who haven’t tried it before, the bike is an undulating and challenging loop around Lough Cutra. Two loops for sprint plus and above and one loop for the sprint. The run is 1-2 laps of a route that goes through the forest & fields of the estate & finished in front of the beautiful castle. The conditions were difficult throughout the weekend on the ascent and descent into transition and on the XC run- both of which resembled a tough mudder event.

Conditions improved on the Sunday and made for a much more pleasant day’s racing for Heather who was relieved when she woke up on Sunday morning to see that the sun was shining after the dreadful rain on Saturday!

All in all a great weekend racing. It was well organised with plenty of marshalls & officials & a great family atmosphere catering for spectators of all ages! No obligatory photo though due to the car getting stuck in the muck!

Heather Gould: 2:53:32 (olympic distance: 8th female)
Chris McKeown: 2:10:57 (sprint plus 4th)
Aoife McKeown: 1:26:04 ( super sprint 4th female)


James McManus – Cavan (Cathal Quinn)

Brackley Lake, Co Cavan, marked the location for the Triathlon season of 2017 to kick off in style for the most serious and dedicated Olympians Conor Preshaw, Conor McGandy and myself of-course.

A sprint distance event, it started with a boxing match when the klaxon went off, thankfully we all made it through the first round, I mean the swim, with McGandy having to endure a sucker punch, it definitely wasn’t me….(Tactics!) Performance of the day has to go out to Preshaw who did a fantastic swim time, the hard work in the pool is playing off, one day he might not even need a pull buoy.

Onto the 20km out and back rolling bike course. It was my first time using the shiny new TT bike, not that it made much difference, with McG ripping the course up on his roadie, and putting in the fastest bike split of the three for the day. At 30 years old he isn’t showing any signs of slowing, infact, he’s getting quicker! He was also gaining on me, meaning it was all going to come down to the run.

Everyone had a great run performance. Preshaw has been carrying a niggling Achilles problem, but he ran through the pain to put in an excellent split of 22.11 for the 5k, great running! I had to dig deep on the out and back run course with McG literally breathing down my neck. I still gave him a high five at the run turnaround though, but not to show support, comradeship or anything remotely like that, it was just so I could gauge by the pain in his face if he had enough to catch me on the final 2.5k, but poker face McG gave nothing away …So onto the final results.

Cathal – 1:05:22 (5th overall)
Conor McG – 1:06:46 (6th overall)
Conor Preshaw – 1:13:38

Post race we all enjoyed the chicken curry and craic from all the competitors and race organisers. A few of us even picked up some age group prizes & a cup cake! It’s a great event, and one to consider for next year. Great family atmosphere and highly recommend it.


Tri-Athy – Kildare (Chris Fleming & Adam McCormick)

Athy is a great place for a triathlon, closed roads, a narrow river with the majority downstream and always good support. The only real negatives being the run course and the 4 hour drive it takes to get there on a Friday afternoon on bank holiday weekend, I hate the M50.

We were staying in the Forest farm B&B. Great place to stay. Ciaran decided to take 5 hours to get there as he needed oil before his car blew up.

First port of call was to get food. Due to the lack of restaurants or possibly the fact we couldn’t really be bothered looking too far, the local pizza takeaway was visited as the pre race meal. After some great chat from Ciaran with the local ladies (well one) it was time to leave and dine in the beautiful surroundings of the front seat of my car.

Once back at the B&B we decided to do some last minute checks to the bikes before hitting the hay. This was to prove slightly problematic for one of us. On inspection of Ciaran’s bike and in the process of putting on the back wheel the rear brake became loose. Not exactly what you need 12 hours before a race when you are stuck in the middle no nowhere (cable disintegrated, not really but had to make it dramatic). Luckily with the help of the guys at the B&B we got it fixed only for it to then go again. One last time and it was sorted. Best advice I gave to Ciaran, “don’t use your back brake.” Nothing like stating the obvious.

I frequented the presidential suite (the name given to it by Ciaran as it was twice the size of his room). I did offer it to him but he refused!

Ciaran left at about 6am to go and take on the double Olympic, I lay in my bed. Heading down to breakfast for 7am and there was our host Mary getting the sausages on. Fair play to her, she had been at a wedding the night before, on the rip, and still up to make the punters breakfast.

Now the race bit

From my point of view it went well, with a rolling start in to the river and then not too much traffic on the bike and run course. The only problem with the run course is the terrain, it’s all over the show, very tough on the legs. Results below, but pleased with 14th

Ciaran had double my distance and by all accounts from his phone call once he got home (endorphins must have still been flying about) he had a great race with the bike leg being a highlight of the day. He also was able to beat fellow Olympian Mark Hanna (along with little wing Andrew McCormick), which was another scalp for the wee man that can.

Great day had by all  – Now time for Adam’s bit


On Saturday I got up at 5.30am wondering what came over me to book my first race of the year in Athy. I dragged myself out of bed and am very glad I did as TriAthy is a lovely race and the atmosphere and people were great. The race is a lovely one and the area is very flat which made it enjoyable. I managed to take 10 minutes off my time which I’m delighted about. Many thanks to the club and all the coaches who have worked hard to help me make this progress. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the races this season and getting stuck into training again for next year.’

  Place Total Swim T1 Bike T2 Run
Double Olympic 59th Ciarßn Hartley OLYMPIAN TRIATHLON CLUB 05:02:50 01:04:09 03:35 02:20:55 02:51 01:31:20
Double Olympic 80th Mark Hanna OLYMPIAN TRIATHLON CLUB 05:11:34 01:11:13 03:02 02:16:37 01:49 01:38:53
Double Olympic 104th Andrew Mccormick 05:17:51 01:05:54 03:06 02:22:54 01:51 01:44:06
Olympic 14th Chris Fleming Olympian 02:14:32 23:28 01:50 01:06:55 02:02 40:17:00
Sprint 57th Adam Mccormick Olympian 01:18:28 15:21 03:52 35:12:00 01:54 22:09

Crooked Lake, Camlough– Newry

Well done to Ali who won her age group at Crooked Lake Triathlon- a very handsome £30 for the pleasure – and 9th female home. A great day racing with fellow Olympians Aoife MckChris McKeownGerard MulhollandGary Hazlett and Colin Shields



Gran Fondo – Belfast (Conor McGandy)

Sunday 04th June saw the third and final instalment of the Giro d’italia legacy sportive event.

Some 4,631 riders, set off from Belfast’s Stormont estate yesterday and took part in two routes, a main one which took in the Mourne Mountains while the other travelled to Strangford Lough.

Conditions where ideal and the closed roads made for a great day in the saddle. Not a triathlon but worth a mention as there was so many Olympians on the course – Must be a few more Ironmen in the making!

Well done to Brian Loughridge, Bill Rafferty, Emma Dickson, Michael Rodgers, Dave Morrissey, Carl King, Kevin McCormick, Nelson Tomb, Dessie McHenry, Eamon Hill, Ciaran Carolyn, Mark Harvey, Will Miscampbell, Frances Carragher.

Sorry if I missed anyone I’m sure there were more on the course.


An Post Rás – All Ireland N.S.E.W

Special mention to former chairman and current club member Neville O’Neil who became a man of the Rás last week.

The An Post Rás is an annual, eight-day, stage race around Ireland. The race is Ireland’s number one cycling event.

The Rás has a worldwide reputation of being a gruelling challenge in the elite, international calendar. Neville battled through week as an amateur club rider pitting himself against domestic and international professionals finishing very strongly in a start-studded field – Chapeau! (Now back to the pool and track!)

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