Foley and McCrystal Crowned Duathlon Champions

Women's Start Mondello 2016

Foley Does the Double

Heather Foley from Lisburn Triathlon Club made it two in a row over the weekend, as she claimed the women's Duathlon National Championships for 2016. 

With extremely though conditions of constant rain, wind and temperatures in single figures, the field of 29 women lined out at Mondello Race Circuit for the culmination of the duathlon season. As well as being the National Championships, the race offered extra points towards the 2016 Duathlon National Series, making it crucial for those contesting places in the competition.

While the National Series still has a few races to take in before it's officially decided, the outcome of the Championships was in little doubt as Heather Foley put in a commanding performance throughout, arriving in to T1 in 1st place, putting in the quickest bike split of the day and the second quickest Run-2 split to finish the winner with a time of 1:53:18.

Lorraine Carey from Liquid Motion Triathlon Club took the silver medal thanks to the second quickest bike split of the day, which for the most part, she rode solo. She also put in the quickest Run-2 of the field to finish with a time of 1:56:59.

Carey was clearly delighted with the result as she told us after the race: "I can't believe it, I am delighted. It was tough going out there, very technical. I was looking to try to win my age group so to get on the podium is amazing."

The bronze medal went to TI Development athlete Carolyn Hayes, who came from the middle of the field after the first run to pull back time on the bike and especially on the second run. She finished with a time of 1:59:35.

Men's Start Mondello 2016

McCrystal Powers to Victory

In the men's race, Bryan McCrystal put in a characteristically strong bike performance, making up a deficit of 2mins after the first run to overhaul the leaders on the bike and go clear to take victory. A total of 93 athletes lined out for the men's race, and with multiple duathlon race winners, former national champions and TI High Performance development athletes present, the field was extremely strong.

Four men - Chris Mintern, Kieran Jackson, Cian O'Reilly and Eamonn McAndrew arrived in to T1 within seconds of each other and formed a pack on the first of 12 laps of the bike course. Before too long, four became three as Mintern, Jackson and O'Reilly worked together to build a lead over the rest of the field, with a chase pack of 15 or so riders following about 90secs behind for much of the race.

Men's Bike Pack Mondello 2016

But by around lap six, top domestic road cyclist and current Irish Ironman record holder Bryan McCrystal began to make inroads on the leaders. Riding solo, he moved steadily towards Mintern, O'Reilly and Jackson, carving out 20-30secs per lap until overtook the leading trio who found themselves unable to stay on his wheel. By the time he reached T2, McCrystal had carved out enough of a lead that his second run of 13:02 saw him win the race by just over one minute.

O'Reilly & Jackson Complete Podium

Meanwhile the lead bike group of three began to splinter with Cian O'Reilly pulling a minute clear of Kieran Jackson by T2, as behind them former Duathlon National Champion Liam Dunne and TI Junior Development athlete Aichlinn O'Reilly broke clear of what at that stage had become a splintered main bunch.

In the end, Cian O'Reilly crossed the finish line 1:04min behind McCrystal to claim the silver medal while Kieran Jackson came home just 20secs later for bronze. The quality of the racing was clear in the results with just over 2mins separating 1st from 5th after 1hr 40mins of racing.

Junior Men Finish Line

Junior and Youth Races

In the Youth Male race, Cian May came home in 1st place, with Ben Ryan 2nd and Cian O'Keefee 3rd. Dani Cunningham won the Youth Female race while 1st and 2nd places in the Junior Female race went to Caron Ryan and Grainne Hanley.

Provisional results are available here and will soon appear on triathlonireland.com once confirmed.