Callaghan and Foley Win National Middle Distance Champs

NOTE: Amendments have been made to this article to reflect Heather Foley's re-instatement to the women's field. More information on the re-instatement can be found here.

Lost Sheep 2016 Swim

Aidan Callaghan and Heather Foley are the new Middle Distance Champions for 2016 after coming through very difficult conditions to win the Lost Sheep triathlon in Kenmare, Co. Kerry.

More than 350 brave competitors lined out in heavy rain for the start of the popular race just outside Kenmare, Co Kerry which in common with last year’s edition had a top class field including last year’s winners Bryan McCrystal and Aileen Flynn.

Nichols First Out of Water

European Ironman 70.3 Champion Ritchie Nichols was first out of the water with a superb 24min 10sec 1,900m swim but was followed close behind by 2015 Super Series winner Aidan Callaghan.

McCrystal emerged from the water four minutes later alongside National Duathlon Champion Heather Foley.

Lost Sheep 2016 Men's Podium

Disaster was to befall McCrystal on the bike however, when he crashed and damaged his bike on the treacherous descent of the Healy Pass 25km in to the bike. With McCrystal out of the race, Aidan Callaghan was first in to T2 with a large lead over the second man. Callaghan never relinquished his lead, running a 80minute half marathon to win the race in a time of 4hrs 7mins and 35secs.

Back in the field ex-ITU elite athlete Ritchie Nicholls was pulling out a hugely impressive run leg - completing the hilly course in 1hr 13mins 55secs to move from 8th to 2nd and cross the line less than a minute behind Callaghan, recording a time of 4hrs 8mins 26secs. Mariusz Olejnicjak crossed the finish line five minutes later, completing the podium for this year’s National Championships.

Speaking on the finish line Aidan O’Callaghan descriebd the feeling of being crowned National Champion as brilliant.

“I’ve had a good season so far. When Bryan McCrystal’s on the start line you know it will be a tough race and it was unfortunate what happened to him but once I found myself in first I just started pushing and pushing and held on.” 

Heather Foley Lost Sheep 2016

Foley Wins From the Front 

In the women’s race, Foley was putting in a dominant performance, recording the second quickest bike split of the women's field to give her a comfortable lead at the front of the race. Despite incurring a four minute penalty for accompaniment on the run, she finished the clear winner with a time of 4hrs 46mins 51secs. Meanwhile, 2013 winner Joyce Wolfe was running her way from 4th off the bike in to second place, finishing in 4hrs 48mins 30secs. Winner from 2014 and 2015 Aileen Flynn ran the quickest run split of the day and finished third in 4hrs 50mins 50secs.

Lost Sheep 2016 Finish Line General

Provisional Results are available on SportsSplits.com and a gallery of hundreds of images from the day is available on the Triathlon Ireland Facebook page.