Chain Reaction Cycles


Race Weekend 16th/17th July (Jam Packed)

📁 Results


Challenge Roth 2016 

On a bucket list of triathlons apparently Roth is placed first and now I understand why. It is an epic event. Set in a small town in south Germany which lives & breathes triathlon.

Arriving on Friday before the race it was ‘business as usual’ for the next couple of days – registration, Expo (too many things to buy), sussing out the transitions and logistics of the whole event. Plus a race briefing and pasta party to attend. Let alone all the pre race stress of ‘what goes in my red bag / blue bag /green bag?  Where do I leave this bag’?

With a split transition and the swim start about 10km from T2, the bike had to racked on Saturday with ‘run bag’ which there was then no access too before the race.

Race morning (Sunday) was an early start. Picked up promptly at 4:40 (it is Germany) and taken out to T1 swim start.  We were going in waves – with the professionals off at 6.30 and then every 5 minutes. All the women went in 2 waves. I was off at 6.55am. It was almost a relief to hear the start sounded.

The swim’s in a canal – 1500m down, 1900m back again then 400 back in. The support was fantastic all along the canal bank. Great swimming so close to the shore and a lot warmer than we are used to in NI.

Out of the water & onto the bike. The first inkling of the support is crossing the bridge over the canal where you have just swam. The Crowds are 4 & 5 people deep both sides. Out into the German countryside with each little village having people out supporting & drinking a lot of beer very early in the morning!

Although I had read about Solarberg & seen pictures nothing can prepare you for the experience of climbing that hill. There were 20,000 supporters on the climb – with bells, horns, whistles, drums & everyone so close  – the noise & atmosphere were amazing.

Coming over Solar I saw Jan Frodeno for the one & only time – a shout from behind and he went past – I was doing 28 mph (it was downhill) & he went past as if I was standing still.

Over 6 hours on the bike (slightly longer than I hoped) & I was into T2. The volunteers (7000 of them) take the bike & help you get changed & out onto the run which takes you through the town and out onto the canal path then back and around and back until after 37km you’re into the town again.

It was very hot & I wasn’t feeling good at this time but knowing you have nearly finished was only thing keeping me going.

I saw John & he made that fundamental supporters mistake of saying “not much further …. Down there & a dead turn…..” even though I knew I still had 2 km to do. Eventually park into the triathlon park and around the finishing stadium & finished!

Slower than I had hoped in 13:37 but faster than IM Mallorca. Awesome event. Highly recommended – if you get a chance – go there.


National Championships – Lanesborough 

Eight Olympians travelled to Lanesborough for the Two Provinces National Championships Triathlon. The first heat was the male Cat 1 race which was won convincingly by local junior, James Edgar – watch out for this talented athlete. Second heat was Cat 1 females which was won by Carolyn Hayes with our own Heather Foley hot on her heels in second place. Both were upstaged by young Oliver Foley who enjoyed himself on the podium. The rest of us were spread out over eight heats with transition getting muddier as the race progressed. Ryan Sharkey put in a super performance coming 1st in his age group and 3rd overall.

*Conor* – (Upon hearing Ryans result I asked him what sort of biking had he being doing – he casually said he had been out the week before doing a couple of hills and that was about it really – these young wipper-snappers eh!)

His dad, Frank followed suite with another podium finishing 2nd in his age group. Clifford also won his age group showing us how transitions should be done, being fastest in his age group in both T1 and T2. The sun also shone on him for the first time this season. Chris Fleming also put in a solid performance in a very competitive age group, whilst Peter Williamson punctured but came back to run a 17 min 5k. Heather Bamford and Anne Mageean got the best of the day with the sun shining and a potentially non – wet suit swim. They both enjoyed the atmosphere of this well organised race. I’d recommend it.

Heather F 1.04.58 2nd

Ryan S 1.02.56 3rd

Frank S 1.11.42 2nd

Chris F 1.07.59

Clifford R 1.05.24 1st

Heather B 1.24.39

Anne M 1.26.23

Peter W 10.23 swim / 17.47 run (we’ll not mention the 1.30 cycle in case any one saw the results and were wondering where he went)

This race was the qualifying event for the World Championships in Rotterdam in 2017 – anyone interested??

ETU Triathlon Cup – Barcelona 

To finish the hatrick of Sharkey competitors was Ryans sister Emma who was representing Ireland over the weekend at an ETU Triathlon Cup near Barcelona.She had a great swim and a steady overall performance finishing in 15th. Good to see her back on the circuit!

The Big Splash – Portglenone 

On Saturday five intrepid Olympian members ventured to Portglenone for the Big Splash Sprint Triathlon, The Swim was set in the river Bann with 50% of the Swim upstream and 50% of the swim down-stream, meaning we felt David Graham fast when swimming with the current and we felt similar to turtles running through golden syrup when we swam against the current. Unfortunately, the lead safety kayaker instructed 130 participants during the pre-race briefing to swim in the middle of the arch under the main street bridge. This caused some congestion and perhaps some ingestion of
the river Bann at the start of the race. The bicycle course was well marshalled and signed posted taking us toward Rasharkin and then turning left to head back toward Portglenone, The return leg was quite lumpy but the organisers had spray painted some words of encourage on the road to help the competitors. Once back and through T2 we had an 5K out and back run on the Gortgole Road. We were able to beat the rain which had been forecast and those who stayed could explore the stalls of the Big splash river festival.


Glenarm Triathalon


The Glenarm sprint triathlon took place in the seaside village about an hour’s drive from Belfast and is the only Midweek triathlon on these isles. Ran by close neighbours Invictus TC this is a well-run race in a picturesque part of the country.


Kids Duathlon:

The kids duathlon is ran earlier in the evening to cater for kids from ages 6-12, and 6 year old Meabh Preshaw took the opportunity to experience her first outing in a multisport activity. After a few tears and tantrums her father composed himself and she was able to take to the start line! The herd of hyperactive u8’s took up the road like it was the Olympic 200m final before collecting their bikes from t1 for a fast flat 1500m cycle, once the bikes were flung to the floor the dash to the finish line was all that was left and all crossed the line having enjoyed the experience! The format was repeated for u10s and u12s with a slight lengthening of the course for the older kids.


Sprint Triathlon:

With that done and out of the way the adults race was to get underway with grey skies closing in and seven OTC members took to the start line along with Heather Bamford acting as race referee. Almost not making the start was Chris McKeown who suffered an unfortunate mechanical before racking his bike with a snapped pedal, fortunately one of the marshals from Invictus was able to loan him a spare set and all was well again! The swim was in the cold Irish sea with a hilly bike route of 23km finished with a fairly flat 5km run with only one small rise thrown in for good measure!


Leading the race from the front Emma Sharkey was the first Olympian to emerge from the freezing cold sea and went on to comfortably win the Ladies Race. Pete Williamson having suffered an untimely mechanical the previous weekend at the Sprint Distance NC in Lanesborough put in a great shift and was hot on the heels of the winner Philip Castles but just ran out of road on the run leg and took an excellent second place overall.

Glenarm had age groups of Junior, Senior, Veteran and Vintage. Clifford Rodgers took the Veteran category placing 6th overall and Dessie McHenry took the Vintage category. Conor Preshaw had his first outing of the season and Chris McKeown and Greg McVeigh had good races as they continue to impress in their first year of triathlon.  The rain held off and there was even a hint of sunshine at the finish where food and refreshements were well needed. The race was well supported and marshalled by the Invictus club and is highly recommended if you have a free Wednesday evening in the middle of July.


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