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The weekend of the 19th and 20th of August has become a focal point for so many in the triathlon community, preparing for what was to be a festival of triathlon, Ironman branded racing in the greater East Cork area. Mallow Tri club was no different, with over 35 athletes participating across the Full, Half and Relay and with Youghal being the epicentre of all things Ironman.
That weekend was building up in so many triathletes minds from as far back as 2021. For some, this meant coming to triathlon and learning the craft of racing triathlon with the club and into 2022 when the entries went on sale. In the days leading up to the event, the excitement and atmosphere was palpable with everyone on a high in anticipation of the race start on the Saturday morning.
As Friday unfolded and athletes registered, racked their bikes and their bags ready for the following morning, Storm Betty decided to show up and have her say on proceedings. Before daylight broke across East Cork on Saturday morning, Ironman crews went to review the damage caused by the storm. Only with daylight broke did the full extent of the damage became apparent. The branches of trees down, and gravel and mud washout across the roads required the council with JCB crews and road sweepers to clean the course. As the bike route check time at 6:30am rolled on it became more apparent that the 70.3 race would not proceed in the allotted time frame despite local bringing out their machines to help clean the road of debris. Saturday’s 70.3 race was postponed until Sunday – a sigh of relief for some as it was not cancelled.
Mallow Triathlon Club would like to extend its deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased triathletes Brendan Wall, and Ivan Chittenden. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families at this time.
May Ivan and Brendan rest in peace.
Ironman Results Cork 2023
Kathryn Costello Aherne
Kathy-Jean Horgan Casey
After delays in the race start time, the athletes entered the water and took on a shortened swim course and out onto the bike course.
On the bike course, some 2,300 athletes weaved their way through the east Cork roads for either 1 or 2 loops. The main attraction is not the long drag from Midleton to Dungourney or up to Leahy’s petting farm but rather the now infamous Windmill hill climb that tests hearts, lungs, bike skills and determination of all who take it on..
With supporters up to 10 deep in parts, the turn and climb on Windmill hill could only compare to that of a gladiator entering a colosseum hearing the roar of the crowd. With the deafening noise levels of support, the crowds creating a channel for the athletes to cycle through, similar to the climbs on the Tour de France.
On returning back to transition and racking the bike the run was awaiting the athletes, either a full or half marathon. Again, the atmosphere in the streets was almost carnival like with supporters lining the streets, cheering on their clubmates and family cheering on their loved ones. All the way to the finish line.
A huge well done to all from MTC who participated and supported on the day. A great achievement for all out athletes but still a sobering moment about the effects of endurance sport on athletes.