TWELVE hundred triathletes battled through a 1500 meter swim, 44 kilometre bike and 10 kilometre run this morning for the 31st annual Kilkee ‘Hell of the West’ Triathlon.
Cork professional, Bryan Keane laid on a demonstration in the men’s race as he crossed the line in a time of 1:59:42. Keane, ranked 35th in the World Triathlon Series and targeting the European Triathlon Championships in two weeks’ time was using the race as preparation, entering on the back of a heavy block of training.
“It was a really tough race, the headwind on the bike and the out and back run makes it a good honest test and good preparation for the European Championships.”
“I don’t get to race at home very often so I really enjoyed it here in Kilkee.” Commented race winner, Keane.
Triathlon Ireland Development Squad athlete Aichlinn O’Reilly emerged from the water in 3rd place on the toes of Harry Speers but posted a fantastic bike and run split to finish 2nd in a time of 2:06:35. Rory Sexton claimed the final podium place in a time of 2:09:04.
In the ladies race, Carolyn Hayes defended her Hell of the West title in style as she led from start to finish, crossing the line in 2:15:57. Hayes is set to make her European Cup season debut on July 4th at the Holten European Cup and looks in good form ahead of that test.
“I’ve had some broken training as I’ve been focusing on exams so I was delighted with the result today.”
“I managed to get a good start in the swim and just kept pushing on from there. I’m really looking forward to the European Cup race and getting a little more training done so I’m prepared for it.”
Eimear Fitzmaurice made up a deficit out of the water thanks to a strong bike and run leg, coming home in 2nd place in a time of 2:23:02. Rachel Hawker from Kenmare TC used a strong run to move from 4th up to 3rd during the 10 kilometre run, finishing in a time of 2:30:03.