Chain Reaction Cycles


Omagh, Sligo and Lisburn Race Reports

📁 Results

Omagh Tri the Lough – Saturday 6th August 2016 

Tri the lough in Loughmacrory situated just outside Omagh required an early start Saturday morning leaving Belfast where the sun was splitting the stones. Over in Omagh however there was no sign of the sun just grey skies although this did not deter David McConnell from the picnic he had diligently packed into the boot of his car! As the morning drew on it would appear that only Conor Preshaw and David would be the sole Olympian representatives at this race although there was a rumour in t1 that Ciaran Carolan had acquired a late entry, and ten minutes before the race briefing he appeared ready for action and taking the “Tim Brown” approach to timekeeping! As the race briefing got underway the heavens opened and while that has no effect on the swim thoughts were turning to the fully inflated tyres back in transition and technical bike circuit that lay in wait. Former Olympian member Conor McNally was making his only appearance of the year and was decked out in his Olympian tri suit, mostly due to the fact that post honeymoon his Omagh kit was a little more snug than he would have liked!
The 750m swim went in 2 waves and was not at all congested with transition moved this year to an adjoining grassy patch closer to the lake, rather than the hard surfaced handball court used in previous editions, a shorter run to the bike on grass was welcomed once out of the lake. The bike course 20km on closed roads was well supported with the local residents of Loughmacrory out in numbers cheering on the competitors on the cycle route. The back end of the bike course had received a bit of a soaking from the earlier shower and there were a few nervous moments with the back wheel twitching and the corners that can be taken without slowing on a dry day were approached with a bit more diligence this time. The run course is a single lap of trail path around the lake followed by an out and back section which gives you the chance to gauge where you are on the course in respect to the others followed by a final 400m back to the finishing line under the spectator stand of the GAA club. Ciaran Carolan was the first Olympian to cross the line in 13th place overall taking 2nd place in the 50-54 cat followed by Conor Preshaw in 19th with David McConnell in 59th both finishing4th in their respective age group categories. The post race facilities provided were first class with a piping hot shower and one of the best post race feeds in the country and a special mention must be given to whoever baked the banana bread which was outstanding! All three now go to Lough Neagh next weekend a few lbs heavier thanks to the folks in Omagh Triathlon club!


13 Ciaran Carolan  1:10:48 13:14 0:50 34:480:55 20:58

19 Conor Preshaw   1:12:48 14:34 1:0234:07 0:49 22:15

59 David McConnell 1:21:43 16:37 1:39 38:55 1:12 23:19


Hazelwood Triathlon – Saturday 6th August 2016

Hazelwood Triathlon was the fifth of the nine National Series standard distance races in Ireland in 2016 and also hosted the fourth of the six Super Series races for the top Category 1 athletes in the country. The triathlon was hosted and run by Sligo Triathlon Club.

Location: Hazelwood is a small community area approximately 4km east of Sligo town. The event took place at the very scenic and idyllic Lough Gill with Hazelwood House and forest park in the background.

Race Types:  Two triathlons were on offer. Either the National Series standard distance event open to all, or the Super Series sprint distance event open only to select Category 1 athletes. However the overall numbers were very disappointing for such a premiere event (National Series numbers: 56 males, 30 females and 9 relays) (Super Series numbers: 17 males and 8 females).

Race Administration: Once obtained the race briefing was fairly informative and well written. However my pet hate are those race organisers who keep their events open to mere days before the event itself in the hope to attract more entrants. In my view all this does is infuriate those trying to make race day arrangements, especially in this case for an inaugural event some distance from home.

Parking at the event was plentiful (probably due to numbers!), though was circa 2km from the lake itself due to substantial parts of the surrounding roads being used to host both races.

Course: The standard distance swim was two clockwise laps of a 750m triangular course in Lough Gill (Named locally as Half Moon Bay apparently!). Thankfully no one had to exit the water in true ITU style after the first lap! Water temperature was quite nice and the course was well marked out and marshalled. The Super Series sprint competitors did the same course though completed only one 750m lap.

Transition thereafter was right at lake side which made for some very fast transitions times.

The standard distance cycle course can only be described as scenic – it really was! You followed the banks of Lough Gill towards the village of Dromahair (circa 17km) where you did a 180 degree u-turn up into the hills! (not quite Alpe d’huez – but similar!!). Following completion of the climb (6 km) the remainder of the course was largely downhill to the finish and back into transition which was circa 1km down a fairly wide lane which the organisers made a no-pass zone; the penalty, an immediate disqualification (?). The cycle was on open roads.

The cycle course for the Super Series participants was much more civilised and draft legal. The 20km bike encompassed five laps of the main road into the park itself which was closed to all traffic for the duration of both the male and female Super Series events which went off at just over one hour intervals.

The run for both separate events consisted of 3 laps around the Hazelwood Forest returning to the transition area at the end of each lap. Unfortunately for both separate races the outward leg of each lap had a slight incline across a surface which consisted of sizeable, newly laid stones (bloody boulders!!) Not ideal for flat, unsupportive race shoes!

Post Event Matters: Post event food was hot and very welcome. However, what was slightly disappointing for standard distance prize winners was the wait at transition until well after 2.30pm until all races were finished and prize giving commenced. This made for a very long day bearing in mind the standard distance race started at 9am! However, for poor Heather Foley her day was about to get a lot worse when the drug testers decided she was the target of today’s exercise!! I am sure as a result of that experience she’ll not be rushing to win another race anytime soon!


Unfortunately only Heather Foley and I entered this race from OTC. Mind you I feel Heather’s phenomenal bike split on the day to reel in and pass the race leaders will certainly make all aware of the OTC presence – not to mention my own race leading performance until we hit Alpe d’huez!!! A nice little warm up for the Lisburn Triathlon for both of us!

  Total Swim T1 Cycle T2 Run Pos.
Super Series Race:              
Heather Foley 1.08.22 12.20 0.46 34.37 0.34 20.03 1st
Standard Distance Race:              
Clifford Rodgers 2.10.20 23.36 0.24 1.06.05 0.37 39.36 4th


Lisburn Triathlon – Sunday 7th August 2016

Sunday 7th August saw 18 Olympians head to Lisburn for what is definitely the best value race on the Triathlon Ireland race calendar. At 25 euro for race entry, it would have been rude not to participate.

The weather gods were reasonably kind to us – dry and sunny but very blustery, which made for hard work on the bike course.

The race was a pool swim with 3 waves, 2 male waves, and the third wave all female. The bike course was one loop which avoided the traffic light issues of previous years. The run was a mixture of road, grass and tow path.

The race comprised a wide mix of standards, from Commonwealth games triathletes to beginners starting out in their first race.

From Olympian, our competitors spanned 5 decades in ages – from Ryan and Emma Sharkey in their early 20s through to Gerard Mulholland, now in his 60s. And the rest of us falling somewhere in between – some of us closer to Gerard in age than the youthful Sharkeys.

Glenn Pollock made a come back and raced his first tri of the season. Manus O’Reilly and Katherine Yarr made their first appearance for Olympian

The men’s race saw Olympian taking 1st 2nd 3rd and 5th place, while the women’s race saw Olympian taking 1st, 2nd and 4th place. As ever, we saw superb performances from Paul Carroll, Ryan and Emma Sharkey, Pete Williamson, Clifford Rodgers and Heather Foley, all of which blew the rest of the field apart.

I had the somewhat dubious honour of swimming in the same swim lane as Emma Sharkey and Heather Foley. That proved to be a very interesting ??? experience. However they spread some of their magic on to me, and I finished 4th in the ladies race.

Tim Brown almost missed the start of his wave which resulted in him swimming the whole 750m with the back zip of his tri suit down. – as if it isn’t hard enough!

Thanks to the supporters who gave up their time to cheer us all on


Paul Carroll 1:00:32
Ryan Sharkey 1:03:09
Peter Williamson 1:04:37

5. Clifford Rodgers 1:06:08
6. Heather Foley 1:06:10 (1st female)
10. Emma Sharkey 1:09:24 (2nd female)
20. Glen Pollock 1:16:38
23. Gareth Osborne 1:17:38
24. Jim Cooke 1:18:56
32. Ali McConnell 1:20:58 (4th female)
39. Greg McVeigh 1:23:24
42 Tim Brown 1:25:13
47 Manus O’Reilly 1:26:28
67. Donna McElhill 1:32:11
71. Siobhan Skates 1:33:39
81. Katherine Yarr 1:39:19
87. Jacqui Donnelly 1:42:14
93. Gerard Mulholland 1:51:53

Good luck to all the troops racing Ballyronan sprint national series event and special mention to those taking on Ironman Dublin 70.3. Race Hard!

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