The recently born Lanesboro Triathlon Club will host their first Two Province Sprint Triathlon on Saturday next, July 16th and it hasn’t even celebrated its first anniversary yet. After sampling the flavour of completing a Triathlon just over a year ago, a small contingent of local athletes decided to form a club in October 2010. It was a both a healthy and practical choice given that the riverside town contains all the ingredients that Triathlon athletes require when preparing for competition.
“A few of us took part in the Triathlon in Lanesboro last year and we said why not get a club going. Our race is completely separate from the one held last year and so far we have about 100 registered to take part. People can still apply to do it by filling out an application form and pay an entrance fee of 45 euro online at trilanesboro.com” said club secretary and former Rathcline footballer Brendan O’Sullivan. The event also boasts the honour of hosting this year’s All-Ireland Junior Triathlon and Westmeath Triathlon Club Championships so that should provide patrons with an added incentive to attend.
Brendan added that it is critical that all participants attain a one day Triathlon license for the Two Province Sprint Triathlon. Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification. This document is priced at 15 euro or if you’re feeling adventurous and think you could immerse yourself in more Triathlons this year then you can always opt for a 50 euro license that covers entry into Triathlons for the year. And that’s not all you need to remember from the Triathlon rulebook. “At the transition station from the swim to the bike, you have to be wearing your helmet before you even touch the bike otherwise you’re disqualified” Brendan emphasised.
The route is mapped across the Ballyleague/Lanesboro region. Swimmers will dip into the Lough Ree on the north facing side of the bridge that was once occupied by ‘The Floating Restaurant’. The contestants will then travel up a 750 metre channel to the southern side of the bridge and transfer into the cycle section on the laneway leading from the plot that once held the duck sanctuary. Cyclists will be thrilled to hear that their course will run privately on the roads and traffic will be diverted around it. This middle term will be the longest trek with a mammoth 20km of road to cover along the Strokestown road. Their final event will be a 5km run up and down the Rathcline road where traffic re-directions will be in place. Note that all diversions will be maintained for 2 hours. It’s not compulsory to complete the entire event, the relay option is always available and according to club member James Gallagher, that is a choice many anti swimmers take. “Swimming is probably the most unpopular but the relay allows people to enter without having to swim but if you join the club you’d be surprised at how many have improved their swimming. One of the members couldn’t swim at all before he came to the club and now he’s flying it”.
The club are concentrating on incorporating the spectators to make it an all inclusive affair with music by local DJ Kieran Feeney, a bouncing castle and a barbeque. “We want to make it a family occasion and we’re determined to stretch it into a yearly event so it’s important that it has a festival vibe” said another member Andree Gallagher.
To ready themselves for the big day on Saturday next, 16th July, the club have been entering Triathlons and clusters from the group engage in training sessions over a five night schedule. The scattered parties training at different times, is resultant of the members varied lifestyles. “We all have different work hours so there are different sessions on to accommodate everyone. You might think it’s hard to get it all done but you find the time. There’s great support in the team and it’s great fun.” Brendan added.