Two local councillors will join more than 2,500 participants in competing in this coming weekend’s TriAthy.
Now in its seventh year, TriAthy is one of the premier triathlons on the Irish calendar.
And this year, for the first time ever, Colrs. Thomas Redmond and Martin ‘Junior’Miley are teaming up to take part in a relay. The pair only decided last Thursday night.
Cllr. Redmond will do the swimming bit and Cllr. Miley will take care of the rest.
Cllr. Redmond told the Leinster Leader that while he may not the the fittest person around, he swims twice a week, hadn’t had a drink in over a year and didn’t regard himself as being ‘unfit’.
“It’s my first time doing it and I see it as a personal challenged for me.”
“Martin and I are not the first public representatives to do it. Cllr. Ivan Keatley did it last year,” he said.
Cllr. Miley said they were doing it in support of Tri-Athy “which is a fantastic event and has 2,500 participants”.
Cllr. Miley explained that he’s not in bad shape. “I’ve lost a bit of weight in recent months and I’ve been making a point of moving more, doing a few 10km runs and that sort of thing.
“I’m not the strongest swimmer, so Tommy said he’d do it with me. We’ll be a bit of a team.”
Planning for the first TriAthy started in Summer 2006 when Athy was identified as the ideal town to host a major Irish triathlon. The scenic backdrop of the River Barrow, coupled with the intimate surroundings of Athy’s Emily Square made an Athy triathlon a possible, desirable and achieveable prospect, the organisers say.
TriAthy was first held in June of 2007, with 740 contestants taking to the Barrow and cycling and pounding the roads around Athy for what was then one of the largest triathlons ever held in Ireland.
It has grown every year since then. The following year, it jumped to 1,400, and tha’ts a trend which has continued to now.
In 2010, a second day was added to the event, and extra races.
The seventh TriAthy, which will be held next weekend, will boast four different races.
And its considered to be a great spectators sport, with family and friends joining locals in watching the expected 2,500 contestants.
There are several different rances taking plance - ranging from the tough Double Olympic tri, which includes a 3,000km swim, an 80km cycle and a 20km run, down to the introductory TryAthy, with its 400m swim, 13.6km cycle and 3.6km run.
Probably the most popular is the ‘spint’ version with an 800metre swim, a 20kms cycle and a 5km run.
With upwards of 2,500 participants and 10,000 visitors to the town overall, it’s expected that local business will once again benefit from the event.
Restaurants and bars will cater to hungry and thirsty tri-athletes and onlookers.
A new concept introduced last year was the “6 Weeks To Try” which was a campaign by the organisers to encourage people of all ages, sizes and fitness levels to take on the challenge of a first beginner friendly triathlon - the TryAthy.
The organisers chose five people from across Ireland to champion the campaign and over the course of the six week build-up they shared knowledge and experience through online training programmes and tri camps.
The “TryAthletes” all blogged their experiences along the way and these can be read online at my.triathy.ie.
- Conor McHugh