Two in a Row for Mintern

Men's Podium Harbourman 2019

Mintern Wins Two in a Row

Eight days after he climbed the top step of the podium at the Middle Distance National Championships, Chris Mintern added a second national title to his list of achievements with an assured victory at Base2Race Harbourman Triathlon.

For the second year running, the Wicklow Triathlon Club organised event hosted the Standard Distance National Championships and with a stacked field, the race didn’t disappoint.

Mintern led from the gun to win by a margin of more than 3mins but the extent of his victory only tells part of the story of a race that was hard fought throughout the field.

To read how Orla Walsh won the her title in the women's Standard Distance National Champs, see our account of the women’s race.

Harbourman 2019 Swim 1

Rolling Start

For the second year running, Base2Race Harbourman was treated to near perfect race conditions from the weather gods: flat calm seas, light winds and temperatures hovering around 18-21c throughout the day.

Competitors were afforded a rolling start with the leading men self seeding themselves towards the front. Before the swimmers had reached 150m, Chris Mintern had begun to pull clear of a swim field that was otherwise in tight formation .

Mintern extended this gap to more than a minute over the chasing pack of Con Doherty (18mins 18secs), James Walton (18mins 23secs), Eoin Lyons (18mins 50secs) and Michael Moran (18mins 52secs).

Bike 

Showing little signs of fatigue after last week’s race, Chris Mintern continued to push hard on the 40km bike, putting in an impressive 54mins 17secs split. Behind him Irish IRONMAN record holder, Bryan McCrystal was making in his customary charge through the field to move from 21st after the swim to second place at T2 thanks to the quickest bike split of the day, an incredible 52mins 06secs.

On the way, McCrystal passed Con Doherty and younger brother Aaron and the trio had little to separate them as they approached T2.

Con was the quickest through transition and opened up an immediate gap at the beginning of the 10km run. McCrystal and Aaron Doherty went on to the run fighting for the final podium position but hunting them down was the famously fast finishing Eoin Lyons (second at last week’s Middle Distance National Champs) and Aquathlon National Champ James Walton.

Harbourman 2019 Generic Run 2

Mintern: Suffering Like a Dog

Despite holding a comfortable lead, Mintern raced as if he was neck in neck with a formidable competitor, ending up with the quickest run split of the day (34mins 54secs) to cross the line the winer and to claim his third Standard Distance National Champs in four years.

Mintern said afterwards that he was delighted with his performance:

“I was like a dog all week preparing for this race, I just recovered as much as I could,” he said.

“I knew there would be good guys racing today, I know these roads, I knew every corner, I knew exactly what I had to do today.”

Mintern added: “I was dying, I was suffering like a dog the whole way through the run but I knew if I could get a gap at halfway they weren’t going to close it.

Bittersweet for Doherty

Next quickest (and just two seconds slower than Mintern on the run) was Con Doherty, who crossed the line in 1hr 51mins 06secs for second place, a bittersweet result for the athlete who came to defend his Standard Distance title but had been laid-off with injury in recent weeks.

“I came up to defend my title, I was a bit under the weather and I don’t know if it was the right decision as I have a World Cup (race) next week.”

He added: “Unless you are in top form, nobody was going to beat Chris today but I put up the best fight I could do.”

Lyons: Screaming to 10km

Third over the line was Eoin Lyons who moved up from 5th over the course of the 10km run, despite feeling the full effects of his silver medal performance at last week’s Middle Distance Champs.

“On the run I found it really hard to get to a  rhythm but I could see I was closing on Bryan (McCrystal) and a few of the other guys."

Lyons added: “Some stupid part of my brain pushed myself deep at 4.5 km and then I was screaming the while way to 10km to try and hold on.”

Results and Pics

Provisional Results, including all the Age Group National Champions are available on coretiming.ie and keep an eye on Triathlon Ireland’s facebook page where hundreds of pictures from the race will be uploaded shortly.