The Dublin City Triathlon kicked off on Friday evening at 6pm with a constant stream of athletes registering for the race and checking out the new course. You could feel the nerves, the excitement and the tension in the air as Irelands triathletes prepared themselves for the 2006 National Championships and the final triathlon of the year - it was time to go out with a bang!
As the organisers worked into the night the athletes went home and prepared themselves for what was to come.
With the first wave kicking off at 8am it was an early start on Saturday and while the early morning brought sunshine there was a nip in the air and the mist rising from the liffey instilled an eerie feeling. The race went off in ten waves with 15 minutes between each one and the fastest swimmers first. First out of the water in 22:04 was Brian Campbell, Irelands 2006 National Sprint Champion followed closely by the Bolger twins and UK PRO athlete Clayton Payne. Christine Johnson was first lady out of the water in 21:01. Transition was laid out over nearly 500m along the Chapelizod road which was closed one way to traffic. The athletes made their way across the road, out of transition and into the Phoenix park where they faced 5 laps on the bike, slower swimmers Colm Cassidy, Liam Dunne and Brian Crinion made up good time on the bike with Cassidy putting in the fastest split of 56:28 almost four minutes faster than Campbell but it wasnt enough to close in the difference. Campbell, Payne and Cassidy were first out of T2 in that order. There was no catching Campbell who put in a run split of 33:50 to take the title of Irish National Champion 2006, followed in second place by Clayton Payne, Cassidy burned out with over 1km to go and couldnt keep up the pace letting Dunne pass him out and take 3rd place. Dunne was looking for any excuse throughout the race to pull out but staying ahead of clubmate Brian Crinion and the fact that his dad, Mr. Dunne was taking part in his first full triathlon gave him the incentive he needed to keep going and he was thrilled to take third place.
In the ladies race the overall winner Nicki Barron was in the second wave, as a slower swimmer, she was 6 minutes slower than Christine Johnson but put in a run of 41:33 to beat Johnson by only 19 seconds, shame they werent in the same wave! Aoife O Connor had the third fastest time in the ladies racing finishing in 2:21.22 and as the first two ladies were not members of TI Aoife O Connor won the female title of Irish National Champion and received the Caroline Kearney Perpetual Cup.
Well done to both Colm Cassidy and Aoife O Connor who raced in Kenmare last weekend and still put in fine performances at this weekends race.
We also had some very strong relay teams racing, with team Brian Heffernan Fergus Ryan and Noel Murphy winning the relay race in 1:58.29 followed by UCD team Enda Gallery, Gavin Haberlin and John Courell in 2:03.46
Well done to everyone who took part in yesterdays race and a big thank you to Piranha tri club and all the volunteers who gave up their time and worked late into the night and were up again well before dawn to make this race the success that it was.
Brian Campbell HiElbow 1:58.41
Clayton Payne UK 2:00.54
Liam Dunne Belpark 2:02.58
Colm Cassidy 3Dtri 2:03.30
Brian Crinion Belpark 2:04.46
Nicki Barron UK 2:19.26
Christine Johnson UK 2:19.45
Aoife O Connor Belpark 2:21.22
Elena Maslova Piranha 2:22.06
Mary Daly Midlands 2:25.53
For more info check out www.triathlonireland.com