2016 Reviewed - Women's National Series

Lizanne Barwall Two Provinces

Barnwall Wins 2016 Vodafone National Series

A total of 982 women scored points in the 2016 edition of the Vodafone National Series. Of these more than 270 reached the minimum four race requirement and qualifed for the overall and age group categories in triathlon's premier age group competition.

This year's National Series saw 25 great races staged all over the country with competitors clocking up points from way back in mid April at the pool based North Tipp sprint.  It would be more than five months later before the last chance to grab points was reached at the Pulse Port Beach triathlon in mid September. Along the way National Series athletes got the chance to test themselves across 14 Sprint, 9 Standard and two Middle Distance races.

The winner of this year's overall title for the National Series, Lizanne Barnwall finished on 471.258 points from her performances at Carlow Sprint, Westport Sprint, Hell of the West Standard and Lanesborough Spring distance races, keep reading on to see how Lizanne managed to finish on top of the league table (below).


Marie Boyle Powerman 2014

Marie Boyle (Trísport) finished second overall and won her 45-49 Age Group in the National Series with a total of 463.167 points - just enough to outscore 3rd place overall finisher Mairead Elliot of GoTri by 1.005 points - a 0.001% points difference.

Mairead Elliot Connemara Duathlon 2016

Special mention also to Michelle Brennan of Athy Tri Club, who on the way to finishing 4th overall raced in no fewer than nine National Series events!

Awards Night 2016

All the winners in each age category of the National Series will receive their medals at the Triathlon Ireland Awards Night 2016 in Dublin's Marker Hotel on November 26th. Tickets for the non-race highlight of the year will be released through the events section of our website soon. In the meantime, you can read about the night here. 

Lizanne Barnwall 2016 2

Lizanne Barnwall's 2016

We asked National Series winner Lizanne Barnwall about her season and what she's planning for 2017.

Q: What does it mean to you to win the NS?

A. I’m really happy thanks, it wasn’t an easy road! I had been struggling with an ongoing back injury all winter and other injuries. I had a bad bike fall and knee injury last April with a lot of tissue damage, which had me out of running for 6 weeks. My goal then was to try placing top three overall in the National Series but I wasn’t too confident about this. Despite training six days per week with two sessions most days, I only started swimming in 2013 when I started triathlon so my swim is still weak. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get out of the water on time to close the gap to the other girls. I worked really hard on my bike all year so I think that’s what made up for the time. I’m delighted and surprised that I got first overall :-)

Q: How did you feel the season went for you/what was your highlight of 2016?

I’ve never come first overall in a National Series race (still haven’t!) but I placed top three in my category a few times. This year for the first time I came 3rd overall at a NS race (Carlow).

The highlight for this year was coming 1st in the National Series race at the National Sprint Championships (Two Provinces Triathlon).

While the NS season went really well, my aim was to finish the season with my first Ironman branded event (Ironman Dublin 70.3) in a really good time. It would have been my second Ironman 70.3. However, I got a chest infection the week before it and ended up on antibiotics. I decided to start the race anyway as all my “long training” was geared up to this one race! Alas, I had a really bad fall off the bike on wet roads in the race, cracking open my helmet (and head!) so that race didn’t work out unfortunately!

Q: You did six races in the NS - did you plan them out with a view to gaining maximum points or was it just happenstance?

I didn’t pick the races necessarily thinking of points – I chose the races that I really liked and had done before as they were lovely locations, and a huge part of the decision was dates availability (eight weddings to attend this year!) Kilkee has always been our annual Pulse Triathlon club race too and a great weekend, which happened to be the National Champs this year. Second to this, I wanted to just do the best I could in the NS and keep improving my times. These are how my NS races ended:

  • Carlow (sprint) - 3rd overall.
  • Westport (sprint) - 4th overall.
  • Hell of the West (olympic) - Super Series & National Champs, came 2nd amongst National Series.
  • Two Provinces (sprint) - Super Series & National Champs, came 1st amongst National Series.
  • Top of the Mournes (Olympic ) - 4th overall
Q: Any plans for the off-season?

A. Focus on work (Looking after my clients & closing out sales at LinkedIn) and planning our wedding which is happening next May!

Q: What are your race plans for 2017?

A. I’d like to continue racing but to try races that I’ve never done before and see new locations. There are so many races in Ireland that I’ve heard about but have yet to try so 2017 will be the year!

See where you rank in the 2016 National Series on the Series Rankings section of our website.

Read about the men's National Series including our interview with overall winner Tom McEnery