Saturday September 24 saw the first duathlon race take place in Newport, and what a race it was.
The Wild2Wild duathlon was set up to help raise funds for a much needed community centre for the Burrishoole parish. The race started off at Newport Harbour along the Wild Atlantic Way watched by special guest, 96-year-old Jim McMamanon, whose family have given great service to Burrishoole through sport.
The first leg of the race was a 2.5km run along the Wild Atlantic Way and on the Great Western Greenway to the first transition on the Shramore road. Then it was on the bikes for an 11km cycle to the Wild Nephin Park in Letterkeen to the second transition, passing through the breathtaking views of Lough Furance and Feeagh and the Nephin Mountains.
Racers then undertook a 6.5km adventure run through the forest, which began with an 4km uphill and a final 2.5km downhill run back to transition. Many stopped to enjoy the views of this beautiful, isolated, landscape at the water stations provided by Sheridan's Centra of Newport, and even the wild mountain sheep got in on the act as they joined the leaders down the forest run back to the transition area.
From here it was back on the bikes for a return 11km cycle to transition one, and on to the final 2.5km return run to the finish at Newport Harbour where the finishers were greeted by large crowds. Each finisher received a beautifully designed medal featuring Newport's iconic railway bridge and church. Also at the finish everyone had more that their share of some of Newport's finest foods with Keane's white pudding, Kelly's black pudding, and Gerard and Rita Chambers' homemade boxty. After all the finishers had passed through it was off to Hotel Newport for the prize-giving, and soup and sandwiches courtesy of the hotel.
Peter Tuohy was the first male home in a time of 1:28:39. He was followed by Richard Meaney in second, and David McGrath in third. Lorraine Carey was first female home in a time of 1:39:29. She was followed by Mary Mulchrone in second and Ann Maire Meaney in third. The prizes for fastest on the bike splits went to fastest male Tojo Lazzari, who is a member of Irish para triathlon team, and fastest female Celene Sands. Dwayne Flynn picked up the prize for the fastest on the 6.5km forest adventure run. There were also prizes awarded to Jonathan Nangle, Pauline Moran, Daniel Coughlan, Carol Herron, and Eamonn O'Malley.
The Wild2Wild committee would like to thank all who helped make this day possible, especially sponsors, stewards, and all who were out to support the event and made it such a success.