Galway's Kevin Thornton took a podium finish in the Dublin Ironman on Sunday, claiming third place despite suffering a puncture during the 90 kilometre bike leg.
In what was a successful weekend for the Thornton family - his cousin Gary claiming the Streets of Galway - Kevin was the first Irish man home in this first Ironman to be staged in the Irish capital.
More than 10,000 spectators turned out to cheer home the 2500 triathletes over the 1.9km swim, 90km bike, and 21.1km run.
Frenchman Denis Chevrot, who posted the second fastest bike split of the day, won the event in 4:01:35 - a comfortable margin over second place finisher, Markus Thomschke of Germany, who completed the course in a time of 4:06:18. However it was Galway's Thornton, who had targeted a top five finish, who was delighted to make the podium with a finish time of 4:08:34.
“I got on the toes of Fraser Cartmell [Scottish professional] in the swim, but once on the bike I pushed on and was in the lead until I got a puncture just before Dunboyne,” says Thornton.
“The support out there was amazing and I managed to change my tyre and get back on my bike and come into T2 in third and then just brought it home on the run.”
The women’s race was won by Susie Cheetham from Great Britain in a time of 4:27:09, followed by Samantha Warriner from New Zealand in 4:34:39. The leading Irish female was Aine Donegan in seventh place (4:53:00 ) followed by Ireland’s middle distance national champion, Derval Devaney, 39 seconds behind in eighth place.