Athlone welcomes 2,000 athletes to triAthlone weekend
By Maria Daly
This weekend will see the town welcome over 2,000 athletes who will participate in the seventh annual triAthlone along with some 15,000 spectators who are expected to line the streets to watch the event.
Ireland’s largest triathlon event will see participants try their hand at try-a-tri, sprint, and Olympic distances as well as accommodating relay teams. Waterways Ireland triAthlone will also host the first ever Irish Paratriathlon Championships.
A large number of participants will come from Athlone’s very own triathlon club, and members of the Defence Forces will also be racing on the day.
Speaking to the Advertiser, Defence Forces Triathlon Association’s Head Coach, Derek Nugent, said that while athletes should have spent yesterday, Thursday, resting, some light practicing today, Friday, is advised.
“If you’re swimming, cycling, and running on Saturday you should do a light session on Friday consisting of a short circuit of about 15 minutes on the bike, and 12-15 minutes of light running, as well as the practice swim in the Shannon on Friday night at 7pm,” he said.
“People shouldn’t do any last minute training either, change equipment, or try new gels or food, stick to what you know,” he added.
Derek has put up training advice on the triathlone.ie website for anyone thinking of trying out next year.
“If you’re in the Defence Forces and interested in trying next year come along to one of the training days. Otherwise find your local club and they’ll guide you. Just remember to enjoy it and be safe,” explained Derek.
There will be plenty of celebrities in town for triAthlone including Kathryn Thomas, Athlone Rose Aisling Baker and five other Roses, as well as five para-athletes from around Ireland and UK. Michael Portillo from the BBC will also be filming in and around Athlone on Saturday morning.
Information on road closures and race times can be found on page 17.