Male Winner Harry Speers from Invictus Triathlon Club (Bangor) and Siobhan Gallagher from 24/7 Triathlon Club, Letterkenny, powered to victory on Sunday in this year’s firmus energy City of Derry Triathlon, the biggest triathlon event to take place in the City to date.
Thousands of people enjoyed the sunshine as they cheered on a record number of over 400 competitors from across Northern Ireland, ROI, GB and further afield as they completed the sprint triathlon course, comprising of a 750m open water swim in the River Foyle, a 20km closed road cycle and culminating in a 5km flat run around the City.
The overall event was won by Bangor’s Harry Speers who crossed the finish line with a time of 1:03:21. He was closely followed by Lorcan Healy from Omagh, who finished in 01:04:32, taking third place with a time of 01:04:38 was Neville O’Neill from Olympian Triathlon Club, Belfast .
In the ladies’ category, Siobhan Gallagher from 24/7 Club Letterkenny came in first completing the course in 01:11:22. Naomi Drakeford from Hull, Barracuda Triathlon Club, got silver coming in at just before 01:12:28 . Laura Wylie from Antrim’s High Elbow Triathlon Club, who finished in 01:14:02.
This year saw a unique element to the firmus energy City of Derry Triathlon, which ran alongside the main event - the Para-Triathlon. The Para-Triathlon over the same course saw triathlete Jennie McBride competing for Action on Hearing Loss Derry, finishing in first place in her home City.
As organisers, the North West Triathlon Club (NWTC) didn’t take part in the Club Championship but was delighted with its biggest and most successful event to date. Paul McGilloway of the NWTC and race director said: “This has always been a special race but this year was something else. Only in its third year, the firmus energy City of Derry Triathlon really has taken off with the 2015 event being awarded the prestigious National Series status by governing body Triathlon Ireland. We have also been working on introducing the other additional elements for some time so were delighted to be able to make the race more open and inclusive this year by introducing the first ever para-triathlon race into a main triathlon and spicing up the competition by including an Ulster Club Championship.
“We couldn’t be happier with how it has turned out and are so grateful for all the support that has been shown to us over the years. It has been a massive team effort and I would like to thank everyone who helped make it happen, including the committee, firmus energy, Triathlon Ireland, Disability Sport NI, Foyle, Search and Rescue and all our volunteers.”
Des Brown from firmus energy added: “Congratulations to everyone who took part in this gruelling challenge – it definitely looked tough going from the sidelines! With the 2015 race awarded National Series Status and the addition of the new para-triathlon element, it is no surprise that even more people turned out along the route to cheer on all the competitors which really added to the atmosphere. Demand was also up this year and it was great to watch the novices give the professionals a run for their money.
“We are delighted to have supported this exemplary event since it began in 2013 and it is great to see the firmus energy City of Derry Triathlon grow year on year. There has been an exciting programme of activity leading up to this main event which included many local children taking part in a kids’ TRYathlon, including the first ever junior para-triathlete in Ireland. I would like to take this opportunity to commend NWTC for their dedication and progressive planning - they are really taking the sport to the next level and making it more inclusive which is very important. It is good for the City and for the sport of Triathlon in Northern Ireland.”
A full list of competitors and finishing times is available on www.firmusenergyderrycitytriathlon.com