The first ever Westport triathlon took place on Saturday May 29 last when more than 60 participants took to the sea, swimming from the Quay up to the Point before cycling a 20k round trip to Croagh Patrick and finishing up with a 10k run up and down the Railway Walk.
The sight of so many shiny wet-suit kitted swimmers making their way around the harbour made for a wonderful sight, although having to keep outside the markers in the bay proved an endurance test for many.
The inaugural event marked the first occasion many local fitness fanatics got a chance to try out the three-discipline race. This weekend a full triathlon taking place at Louisburgh presents double the challenge to particpants who have to cover a 1,500 meter swim, 40k cycle, and 10k run.
Weather conditions proved perfect for the Westport event, organised by swim coach Sebastien Lochteau who runs his own sebfitness.com website offering details of other upcoming triathlon events.
The race organiser said he was pleased to note that the response from entrants was overwhelmingly positive, with many noting Westport as a very popular destination for sports tourism. He is confident the event will grow even bigger and better in future years.
“The support of the local community is what makes an event like this happen and we were fortunate to have an excellent team behind us headed up by the Westport Swimming Club,” he said. “Local authorities and race partners were also instrumental in the event running so smoothly, and thanks go to Mayo County Council, Westport Gardaí, Westport Coast Guard and water safety teams, the Red Cross, and staff and management of the Westport Woods Hotel and Westport House, as well as Murrisk Development Authority.”
The race was won by local athletes with Padraig Marrey of cycling fame claiming the men’s first prize and Deirdre Kelly taking the ladies’ star podium position.
“Triathlon is a sport of endurance and we extend congratulations all who took part no matter where they featured on the results list. It was a wonderful feat to complete such a physical test,” said Mr Lochteau.
A full series of triathlon races based in the west of Ireland will take place over the coming months. For further information visit www.sebfitness.com