Cara Gribben Aug 26, 2015 0 Comments Posted in: Blog

Heather Foley from the promoting Hi Elbow Triathlon Club and Banbridge native Russell White were the clear winners at the recent Acti Snack Lough Neagh Triathlon, held at Ballyronan on 15th August.

The race made a return to hosting a round of the Triathlon Ireland National Series and held round 4 of the Super Six Series for the top Elite triathletes in Ireland.  Competitors waded into the water for the start of the race, having travelled from all parts of the country.

Irish International White emerged from the swim in first place, followed by 19 yr old James Walton from the Triangle club.   Commonwealth Games representative Harry Speers from Invictus was a close third as they headed out on the tight technical cycle course.  Walton showed his future potential at this level, as he recorded the fastest bike split of the day to close the gap on White to just 28 secs.

Behind, a real fight was taking place between Speers, Letterkenny’s Aidan Callaghan and Tipperary’s Darren Dunne.  White held on to claim his first win at the Acti-Snack Lough Neagh Triathlon, with Walton able to hold on to second despite twisting his ankle.  Dunne showed he possesses a strong run as he took third place. At the finish, White commented: “The Acti-Snack Lough Neagh Triathlon was a great day out. It was my first race back in Ireland since 2013 so it was good to come back and enjoy the local support.”

The women’s race was won by former Irish Triathlon Champion and former Irish International cyclist Heather Foley.  Making a return to competition after marriage and starting a family and barely out of breath at the finish line, Heather commented: “I was definitely happy with my performance today and it’s always good to win – but I was more pleased to get the best out of myself.”

It was juniors Jemma Speers and Niamh Corey from Swords who led the female race out of the water.  Kenmare’s Rachel Hawker was next out with Foley down in 5th place just over a minute behind the leaders.  Foley took control during the bike section, with Hawker also putting in a good show despite crashing at one of the technical corners on the course.  Foley controlled the run, with Hawker showing little ill effects from her crash to finish in 2nd place, with Eimear Fitzmaurice from Dublin putting together a good bike and run combination to claim the 3rd spot.

Triathlon Ireland CEO, Chris Kitchen attended and praised the event: “The Acti Snack Lough Neagh Triathlon is a fantastic addition to the Triathlon Ireland Super Series.  Ballyronan is the perfect venue for a major triathlon and it really showed, attracting some of the country’s top talent from as far afield as Kenmare, Co Kerry.  It also had other prize winners from the mainland from as far away as Norwich and Dundee.

Ann Woods, Product Manager from title sponsor Acti Snack said:

“The 2015 Acti-Snack Lough Neagh Triathlon was a spectacular display of both talent and tenacity, from some of Ireland’s most impressive triathletes. We are delighted to once again have come on board as title sponsor and to have kept participants’ energy levels up by providing nutritionally balanced Acti-Snack products on the day. Congratulations to the organisers and everyone who took part.”
Race Director Ian Lyle was quick to thank the large band of volunteers and key race sponsors who made the race possible, “Hi Elbow Triathlon club would like to thank their race partners TABBDA and Mid Ulster District Council for their assistance in organising the event.  Special thanks to Ballyronan Boat Club, Mid Ulster Canoe and Kayak Club, Ballyronan Vintage Club, EMS and the PSNI who all helped to ensure a safe race.  Thanks are also due to Sunstart Gluten Free Biscuits, J.C Stewarts, Magherafelt, NI Water and Sportique, Magherafelt for their support of the event.”