Chain Reaction Cycles


Lough Neagh Sprint and Ironman Dublin 70.3

📁 Results

Lough Neagh Sprint (Conor McGandy)

Ballyronan marina nestled on the shores of lough Neagh was the setting for Hi Elbows Lough Neagh National Series sprint and Super Sprint races.

Olympians transcended into the carpark in their droves like a scene of the final showdown of a spaghetti western. Twenty club members toed the start-line with Jim Cooke returning to defend his Super Sprint title.

The swimming conditions were ideal with flat calm waters. The athletes had to make their way out 100meters to get to deeper water for the swim start. The swim was fast with Rodgers being the first Olympian to exit the water. The swim exit was a boulder minefield requiring the swimmers to be careful to avoid rocks underfoot.

The bike course was undulating and the variation of the two lap course was enjoyable. It was expected that Fleming would be a strong presence at the front of the field but apparently his race was cut short after he had a blow-out 7km in- a scalps a scalp as they say!

The run course was also a two lap route combining trail and road making it interesting and quite energy zapping in places as the athletes maneuvered around the forest trail and kicked up a few hills. The out and back road section of the race allowed the opportunity to eyeball the competition or offer words of encouragement.

Olympians crossed the line thick and fast with some great results reflected in the number of age-group prizes collected.

Special mention to Jim Cooke who turned up nearly as a formality to win the Super Sprint.


NS Sprint

POS Name Swim Bike Run Time
7 Clifford Rodgers M45-49 00:11:35 00:32:59 00:21:04 01:06:56 1st AG
17 Conor McGandy M25-29 00:11:54 00:34:58 00:20:56 01:09:43 1st AG
22 Ciaran Carolan M50-54 00:13:36 00:34:13 00:21:35 01:11:23 3rd AG
25 Eamon Hill M50-54 00:15:09 00:33:49 00:21:31 01:12:15
29 John  McCullagh M45-49 00:14:08 00:34:58 00:21:49 01:13:01 3rd AG
39 Ciarán Hartley M40-44 00:15:38 00:35:50 00:21:08 01:15:04
41 Conor Preshaw M30-34 00:14:30 00:34:35 00:23:43 01:15:17 3rd AG
68 Kevin McCormick M50-54 00:15:49 00:36:28 00:24:16 01:18:30
74 Andrew McCormick M40-44 00:16:56 00:36:19 00:23:56 01:19:33
80 Ricky McMullan M30-34 00:13:26 00:38:10 00:25:47 01:20:18
89 David  McConnell M50-54 00:16:34 00:37:58 00:24:17 01:21:15
98 Alison McConnell F50-54 00:16:50 00:37:48 00:25:28 01:22:34
101 Carl King M50-54 00:14:24 00:37:25 00:29:00 01:23:14
109 Colin Shields M40-44 00:19:38 00:38:17 00:24:44 01:25:37
123 Nelson Tomb M35-39 00:16:35 00:40:00 00:28:30 01:27:58
127 Jane Friel F50-54 00:16:53 00:40:40 00:27:35 01:28:23
130 Anne Mageean F55-59 00:14:31 00:42:21 00:28:30 01:28:53 2nd AG
156 Frances Carragher F35-39 00:19:34 00:46:57 00:30:54 01:40:29

Super Sprint

1 James Cooke M60-64 00:08:40 00:19:55 00:12:14 00:43:21 1st Overall

“Got you this week Hartley, I will not succumb to your mind games!”

Ironman Dublin 70.3- from a novice perspective (Emma Dickson)

Inspired by Anne Meagen , Heather Bamford, Christen O,Neill , Ann Hannan and Ali Mcconells sporting prowess in 2015 , some silly idea made me think I could do Dublin 70.3 in 2016. Not one to shy away from a challenge, once I set my mind on it I enlisted David Grahams help to try and help me reach that goal, and ignored Cliffords remarks at spin about not being serious about triathlon training;)

“ Pictureque seaside villages , rolling mountains and rural hinterland” is what Iron man said to pry me of a good wad of cash from my back pocket. After that painstaking exercise the deal was done and I was poorer in cash and stripped of 6 days a week exercising for the next year. It wasn’t soo bad tho as I found out that Paul Carroll, Pete Williamson , Ronnie smart, Patrick Dewar, and Keith Bradley were doing it, and obviously I knew I could beat them, hands down on the day, so it helped me train harder??

The year of Turbo , running, swimming and repeat 6 days a week with work , flew in and Dublin 70.3 was on the doorstep, and no doubt even more for the guys . As my anxiety levels rose, I wondered what the frig I had signed myself up for this time.My kind friend from Dunloughaire  sent me a message a few days before the event advising of the Killer Jelly fish at sandycove. This was exactly where the Swim was being held, 1900m swim with KILLER JELLY FISH .

This did not help us in the slightest, and I considered packing an epipen in case I got stung and had an anaphylactic shock (an over reaction for a Doctor I know, but you got to think of the inevitable!). Ironman subsequently then put up a notice to say they would protect the athletes and search for Jelly fish!If you want a funny read, look at the comments on Dublin 70.3 facebook page!! With the knowledge that Ironman were going to hand pick out each Jelly fish from the sea, I was put at ease, and started my week before prep , of surveying the course which was an undulating cycle with a number of speed bumps,  and 3 laps around Phoenix park, with elegant deer in the backdrop.

Registration at the event was a 2 day event, with practice swims, and briefs galore. While Paul , and Ronnie prepped and gently warmed up the day before the race, I sampled the local ice cream and watched “The life of Pets”, taking the whole tapering to a new level . There was even iron man merchandise to steal more money from you.  I got suckered!!  However we got an ironman bag and gentleman molton brown cream, cos only men do Iron man, as a man at the event kindly relayed to me. ( he was close to getting what for!)Interestingly you had to leave your bike at transition the night before, I felt a little nervous about letting my trusty stead stay overnight at Dunloughaire.

The day of the race was an early start the pros starting at 6:50, Patrick Dewar managed to sleep in , and thankfully got there in time ( phew ).  There was a buzz around transition , people flurrying about.  Conditions were perfect. The sea was calm, temperature spot on , and wind speed kept to a minimum. Ronnie was prepared as usual, bike kitted looking good, nutrition on board, while Pete was spotted getting some warm up for the race. Paul Carrol I didn’t happen to spot, likely getting in the winning zone, but his support crew – Alison was providing some expert cheering and motivational support.  You have a real gem there Paul!!

(Ronnie and I getting prepped for the swim.)

The swim started in waves in Dunloughaire, and allowed people to be gently filtered into the sea.

I heard no stories of black eyes compared to Galway half.  The sea was flat, salty and honestly really pleasant.  You got hauled out of the water by lovely iron man volunteers and literally shoved through transition to find your bag and then your bike.  Pete and Pauls swim were amazing, up there with the pros.

The bike, was undulating as I previously mentioned, with little wind , a spot of refreshing rain, and friendly cheers along the way. Ibuprofen became a constant source of nutrition for me, due to knee pain, glad I packed it! By chance I met an Irish man who became my tag team buddy , we spent 56 miles, overtaking one another, it was a perfect arrangement to get me around the course(I would totally advise. )The bike finished in phoenix park . I believe the toughest challenge of the day for Paul Carrol was untying his transition bag due to frozen hands.

The bike to run was a relief , however that relief changed when I realized I HAD 3 BLINKING LAPS to do, especially when I saw Paul Carrol speed past me doing his final lap and I had just started! Round and round…and round again .  Even Ronnie agreed it was tedious. I managed to spot Ronnie, Paul and  Patrick on the run, ( them overtaking me!!)  .  However come to think of it I beat Ronnie in the run , sorry Ronnie I had to mention itJ the one and only time it will likely happen .  The run to the finish line was glorious, purely for the fact that it was finished, you got your medal , a t-shirt to tell all, and a piece of Pizza !!

The final transition was getting the gear from Transition which saw a tired bunch of athletes, shaking the fencing to get in and home. Co ordinated poorly by Iron man unfortunately.

Unfortunately I cannot pass comment on the guys race, as I didn’t see them for dust, however our boys did Olympian Triathlon club proud.

First in age category for superhero Paul Carrol, Peter Williamson second in age category. Ronnie realized his dream in getting through to world championships in Tennesse while Patrick finished a great race.    Up there with the elites!!Remember this is out of 1935 athletes.  The guys should be very proud.  As for me, I am ecstatic, I got 20th in my age group, and 800th overall .  I am totally chuffed , I did it!!I got round and so can all you other ladies too.

It was truly a beautiful day.  One which personally I am proud of, and believe all you ladies out there in the club should do,  naming no names Donna , Jane , Frances, Siobhan , Jacqui, next year …. What do you think??

The superb times are as below. Apologies if I have missed any Olympians I don’t know out , it is not intentional if I have !!

Swim Bike Run Total
Paul Carroll 29:59 2:18:34 1:20:32 4:16:10
Peter Williamson 27:40 2:26:55 1:25:00 4:25:58
Ronnie Smart 38:22 2:29:58 1:54:06 5:10:38
Patrick Dewar 33:51 2:45:50 1:42:32 5:10:13
Emma Dickson 39:57 3:06:20 1:51:50 5:48:04

Up there with the Elites Paul and Pete well done !!

And to Ronnie awesome.   Who knows what he will be up to in the world Champions J Exciting times for the club .

No sign of Olympians slowing down. Good luck to all racing Portaferry Tri on Saturday and to Mark Hanna taking on Ironman Copenhagen on Sunday, smash it!

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