The fog cleared just in time for 300 competitors from all over Ireland to descend on Blacksod for the highly successful Blacksod Point Challenge triathlon, which was won by Kevin Thornton of Base2Race who left the field behind him and broke the course record.
Thornton’s time of 2:00:54 was over six minutes ahead of second placed Cormac McGarry (2:06:58 ), and Liam Dolan (2:07:08 ) in third place. For the winner it was an important victory after a disappointing outing to the London World Championships.
“It was important for me psychologically to finish the season with a winning performance,” Thornton said. “I have a lot of decisions to make over the coming weeks and months as I consider my next steps in the sport.”
The first woman home, in a time of 2:24:32, was Tamara Maxantova, also of Base2Race. She was followed in second place by Maria Boland (2:25:44 ) and Deirdre Hough (2:29:52 ).
The Blacksod Point Challenge, which is organised by the Kilmore Triathlon Club, is a gruelling event involving a 1,500m Atlantic swim in Blacksod Bay, a 43km out-and-back road cycle to Belmullet town, and a 10km all-terrain run across the sand dunes of Falmore, finishing at Blacksod Lighthouse.
The event, now in its sixth year, is supported by Erris Beo and is part of the Vodafone National Triathlon Series. It is sponsored locally by Corrib Natural Gas, Senaca Group, Broadhaven Bay Hotel, Uisce, Gateway Leisureplex, Rubex, Reilly’s Chemist, Belcross, and Belmullet Adventure Centre.
Race director Thomas Geoghegan, who looked after the triathlon this year, was delighted with the event and the huge interest shown this year.
“I'm delighted with how the event went this year,” he said. “We sold out the race two weeks before race day which has been a first for this triathlon. I think our new website has made a huge difference in marketing the race and the event itself has shown everybody how beautiful the area of Erris is.”