Irish Elites and Age Groupers Race Chateuroux

While most Irish interest last weekend was centered on the city of Lyon, further to the North-West, the town of Chateuroux was hosting the European Elite Sprint Distance Championships and the European Aquathlon Championships for both Age Groupers and Elites.

An Irish trio of Russel White, Ben Shaw and Con Doherty lined out in the elite men's race. Best of the bunch was White who came home in 16th place with a time of 53mins 06secs. Shaw followed 1min 11secs back in 28th place while Doherty finished in 34th position with a finish time of 55mins 07secs.

Full results here.

Cooper Makes It Two-in-a-Row

In the Age Group Aquathlon Championships meanwhile, Neil Cooper of Peninsula Triathlon Club won his second European title in a row when he finished ahead of a pack of UK and French athletes to win the 55-59 Men's Age Group race in a time of 36min 06secs. Ireland's other representative Nigel Fanning came home in 4th place in the 40-44 Men's Age Group race. 

Neil sent us this race report:

"Chateauroux was best known as the birthplace of Witches, Wizards and Gerard Depardieu. ‘Chateauroux’ is of course French for ‘back of beyond’. The Aquathlon consisted of a 1km swim in the small but picturesque Belle Isle lake, a short transition and a 5km run. The swim had an in-water start from the pontoon that the elites had earlier dived from. But Golden Oldies aren’t trusted with diving.

Nigel had an excellent start, and exceptional swim overall. Neil though claimed that he was enveloped by a maelstrom of Conor McGregor clones and described the start as “frantic as, erm, could be”.

Chatearoux 2016

At the half way point of the swim there was an ‘Australian Exit’ onto a small beach, though with the high number of British competitors it seemed more akin to a Brexit, albeit a Brexit with a quick dive back into the melee.

Nigel came out of the water in second place in the very competitive 40-44 age group, while Neil led the way in the 55-59 age group. After a quick transition the lads (!) started the 5km run and both ran well. Nigel was unlucky to be faced with three very good French athletes and finished 4th in his age group, just 40 seconds off a podium spot.

Neil meanwhile extended his lead on the run and was pleased to retain the title he first won in Cologne last year. While Neil commenced what he called his ‘recovery protocol’ at various establishments in town, Nigel prepared for the Triathlon International de Chateauroux the following morning, where he again placed 4th in his category."

Results from the Aquathlon Championships are on the ITU website.