Race Report: Sheephaven Middle Distance Triathlon

Sheephaven Half_Swim

It was another glorious day for the first running of the Sheephaven Middle Distance race on Saturday. Thanks to organisers Letterkenny 24/7 Triathlon Club for sending in the following race report.

The inaugural Sheephaven Middle Distance Triathlon took place in Downings, Co. Donegal on Saturday, June 30th. Hosted by Letterkenny 24/7 Triathlon Club, it was a sell-out race. The first middle distance race hosted by the Donegal club, the race was a huge success. Weather conditions were testing for competitors with temperatures soaring from as early as the 7am swim start at Downings Pier.
Swim conditions were almost perfect, just the sun coming up making it slightly difficult for competitors to sight. First out of the water was local Triona McMenamin, closely followed by Siobhan Gallagher - both team relay members. David Sheridan was first male individual to exit the water and eventual female race winner Laura Wylie, who led from the off with her superb swim, was first individual female. First into T1 was relay team member Fergus Callaghan with a superb 2:27:21 bike split. His run partner Damian McBride went on to run an impressive 1:26:15 half marathon to take the relay team first place prize.

Sheephaven Half_Bike

David Sheridan held his lead in the individual race, coming into transition in second place followed by Sean Mc Fadden of 24/7 triathlon club and Brian Sexton. David held onto his lead on the first lap of the half marathon run with Sexton putting in a massive second lap performance to eventually take the lead and cross the finish line in 4:37:24. David Sheridan held onto 2nd place (4:38:14), despite McFadden running him close. Indeed Gavin Crawford also pushed his club mate McFadden to the wire out on the run. Despite Gavin posting the fastest individual run split of the day, a fantastic 1:26:40 in blistering heat, Mc Fadden held on to take 3rd place in 4:40:16.

Laura Wylie of Hi-Elbow held her lead from the swim into T2 after the 90km undulating bike course around Sheephaven Bay. Despite the heat on the run course she put in a huge effort with a brilliant 1:39 run split taking first place on the podium with a finish time of 4:56:46,some 14 minutes ahead of second place. Katie Hickson, Cork Tri Club was second placed lady. The Lost Sheep race director was swapping Cork for the Hills of Donegal. Katie had a very strong performance throughout finishing in 5:10:23. Jackie Kelly of Athlone Tri Club completed the podium in third position with a super time of 5:20:22.

Sheephaven Half_Swim Start

The atmosphere throughout the race was electric. 24/7 Triathlon Club had the course well marshalled and the locals from Downings and the surroundings all came out along the course to aid competitors with food, hoses, water guns and cheering them on with words of encouragement. The run course went through the village of Downings making it very spectator friendly and hundreds lined the streets to cheer competitors over the finish line! Roll on Sheephaven 2019.