Jackson and Foley Win Pulse Port Beach

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Jackson and Foley Win Pulse Port Beach

Kieran Jackson and Heather Foley have finished off their seasons on a high with victories at Pulse Port Beach Triathlon.

The draft legal sprint distance event in Co. Louth was the final race in the 2016 Triathlon Ireland Super Series race and caps off a long season for both athletes that began in the winter with the Duathlon National Series.

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First Super Series Victory for Jackson 

After recording the quickest swim of the day (9mins 22secs for 750m), Jackson claimed his first ever Super Series victory convincingly by carving out almost one minute of a lead during the 5km run on a pack of four other men who had all entered T2 together. Jackson ran the 5km in 15min 22secs to win with a time of 56mins 24secs.

Second place went to Limerick teenager Cillian Tierney who had exited transition slightly ahead of Jackson’s but was overhauled in the first kilometre of the run. Tierney covered the 5km run in 16mins 16secs to claim second place with a time of 57mins 19secs.

Sebastian Helga from South Coast Triathlon club had a breakthrough performance by finishing on the podium for the first time at a Super Series race, largely thanks to a 16min 48secs run that allowed him edge Rory Sexton in to 4th place.

Targeting Victory

Speaking just after he crossed the line, Kieran Jackson said he had been targeting victory from the start:

“it’s a long time coming, but the races throughout the year were fairly hard and there was tough competition but today just kinda panned out right for me.”

Jackson had emerged from the water alongside Brian Harris but said he waited up for the main pack of athletes during the bike leg rather than spend too much energy attempting to stay away.

“I dropped Brian coming out of T1 and I got a good gap but I kept the power down because there was no point in going on my own so I waited up.”

“Last year I finished 12th so it was nice to come back and win it this year.”

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Foley Wins With Strong Run

In the women’s race, teenager Erin McConnell showed her promise by completing the 750m swim course in 9mins 49secs - the quickest woman by more than 30secs and just 27secs short of the quickest of the men’s field.

Behind her however was last year’s winner Carolyn Hayes and teenagers Niamh Corry and Orla Walsh. The 20km bike was to see the leaders change substantially however as Ailbhe Carroll and Kirsten Huysamen  made the lead group, and McConnell, Walsh and Corry dropped off. Before long Heather Foley made contact with the leaders and the pack of four - Foley, Hayes, Carroll and Huysamen all came in to T2 together.

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Last year’s winner Carolyn Hayes was quickest through transition but she was unable to respond to the Foley’s pace on the 5km run. Foley ran the quickest run split of the day (16min 57secs) to win her second Super Series race of the season in 1hr 3mins 18secs. Hayes crossed the line in 2nd place, 39seconds later while Kirsten Huysamen recorded her best ever performance at a Super Series race to come home in 3rd place with a time of 1hr 4mins 54secs.

Hectic September

The victory caps off a hectic two weeks for Foley, who won the Middle Distance National Champs at the start of the month before competing in the Rás Na mBan cycling stage race last week.

Speaking after the race, Foley said she was planning a break from racing:

“I finished Rás na mBan on Sunday, that was six stages in five days so I’ve sore legs but I really enjoyed it and it was great to be on a team for once.”

 “It was hard today but in my head I was determined to do well so no matter how tired you have to keep going.”

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Results and Images

In all, more than 600 triathletes raced at Pulse Port Beach. Piranha Triathlon Club's Tom McEnery won the men's AG race with club mate Ivan Eustace 2nd and Noellie Kavannagh 3rd.

The women's age group race was won by Brianne Mulvihill ahead of Michelle Brennan in 2nd and Amy O'Keeffe in 3rd.

Provisional results are available on http://chipit.ie/ and keep an eye on Triathlon Ireland’s Facebook page where pictures of all the competitors will be posted.