Northerners show true grit at Brown’s Bay Beast

David Graham and Alison Cardwell won the Brown's Bay Beast Olympic distance race which was staged recently in Co. Antrim. In this guest post, Hi Elbow Triathlon Club describe a tough day out on what sounds like a very tough course. 

Brown's Bay Beast 2

Hell of the West. The Lost Sheep. 

Add Brown’s Bay Beast to that list. The Beast has been slowly making a name for itself as one of the most arduous triathlons across Ireland.

Organised by Antrim’s Hi Elbow Triathlon Club, the event takes place on the county’s east coast, on Islandmagee. The standard distance event has become renowned for its punishing cycle, as well the course being at the mercy of the elements.

Strong winds and bouncing rain were testament to that, with the sea being so severe that the TI officials made the call to shorten the swim distance due to health and safety concerns.

Graham Leads from the Start

First out of the sea was Invictus Triathlon Club’s David Graham. David, who continued to pull away from the field for the remainder of the race, was the first to conquer The Beast where he added to his recent string of impressive race victories nationwide. Athletes must get their running legs working quickly once out of the water, as they climb a set of steps taking them into transition.

Brown's Bay Beast 1

The cycle course of The Beast takes in the entire peninsula of Islandmagee, with 1,700ft of climbing over 37km. It includes fast descents, rolling hills and sharp hairpins, as well as the breath-taking scenery that the famous Antrim Coast Road is renowned for.

Once bikes were racked in T2, competitors took to the road for the 10km run. The run leg also includes rolling hills, which certainly set the legs on fire – as if they weren’t already.

Second and third places went to Graham Barr and Stefan Treacy respectively.

Cardwell Wins Women's race

The first woman home was Alison Cardwell, followed by Emma Wilson and Elizabeth Dawson.

Andy Payne, of the race organising team, commented: “Faced with challenging weather conditions for competitors, marshals and spectators alike, The Beast has certainly lived up to its name. Everyone who crossed the finish line certainly deserved their medal. Many thanks to all those involved in many this year’s event a great success, including our supporters: The Rhinka; Islandmagee Community Development Association; and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council.”

Full results can be accessed via Champion Chip; images can be accessed via the Hi Elbow Facebook page.