Athletes travelled from across Ireland and beyond to enjoy a weekend of racing across swim bike and run. Swimming in the privately owned lake, adventuring on the rolling roads of the scenic bike course of South Galway and the Burren in County Clare before taking to the magical woodland track and trails of the run course around the Castle Estate to finish at the front door of the Castle it really was a majestic weekend of racing.
Saturday morning saw a number of Sprint Plus and Sprint Triathlon races kickstart the weekend before athletes took on the Sprint Aquathlon, Aquabike and Duathlon events. Rounding out the morning with the Super and Starter Sprint Triathlons, the afternoon saw all attention shift to the privately owned lake as swimmers took the water to complete a 5k, 2.5k or 1 mile swim in the newly designed out and back swim course.
Sunday morning as the sun shone high in the sky, athletes prepared for the feature event of the morning; the Gauntlet middle distance race, where participants completed a 1.9k swim, 96k bike and 21k run. Getting underway at 8am it was just before lunchtime when Conor Quinn of Active Multisport crossed the finish line in front of the Castle in a time of 4:41:57. With a little over 7 minutes separating the top three males on the day, it wasn’t long before John Whelan crossed the line in 4:46:50 to claim second place with Stephen Chambers of South Coast TC rounding out the men’s podium in 4:49:03.
In the Women’s race it was Sian Egerton from Cork TC who took the top step of the podium in 5:33:00. Caroline McLoughlin crossed the line in 5:41:44 to take second place with Nicola Hickey Crowe from Piranha TC rounding out the Women’s podium in 5:49:19 to take third place.
Sunday also saw the popular Olympic Distance race take place along with the Standard Distance Aquathlon, Aquabike and Duathlon events. The Run Only events also took place on Sunday with runners taking on a Marathon, Half Marathon or 10k around the Castle grounds.
The feature events of the afternoon were the hotly contested youth races where young athletes aged from 9-15 raced their hearts out swimming, biking and running to the finish line much to the adoration and adulation of their families and friends who cheered them on in front of the castle. The racing was fast and fun, enjoyed by everyone who witnessed the tenacity and determination of the young athletes who took to the course to race their best race all whilst having fun.
Speaking about the event Race Director Brian Adcock said “This was an exceptional weekend in Galway, we always look forward to returning to Lough Cutra each year, it kick starts the race season for us and this year with the 10th anniversary it was a very special weekend. Thank you to everyone who raced, spectated, volunteered supported and helped to make this weekend such a super success, the sun even shone, all weekend! I can’t wait to come back next year and start working towards the next big milestone in the history of racing at Lough Cutra Castle.”
The spectacular setting of the castle and lake at Lough Cutra provided the perfect backdrop for a superb weekend of racing, coupled with the fabulous weather and festival atmosphere it was a fantastic weekend to round out a special decade of racing in Galway.
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