On Saturday 13th August, the Tobermore Lough Neagh Triathlon, hosted by Hi Elbow Triathlon Club, will once again descend upon its namesake’s shores in Ballyronan, Co. Londonderry.
Returning as a Vodafone National Series race within Triathlon Ireland’s calendar, the Tobermore Lough Neagh Triathlon will cover a sprint distance: a 750m swim taking place in the tranquil waters of Ballyronan Marina, which will be followed by a 20km bike in the countryside surrounding the town, before culminating in a 5km run.
There will surely be some big footsteps to follow the winners of last year’s event: elite Irish international triathlete Russell White took the top honours in the men’s event; and dual-Commonwealth Games athlete Heather Foley taking the win for the ladies. Hundreds of competitors will take part in the non-drafting event, with competition expected to be fierce in order to gather coveted National Series points.
The Tobermore Lough Neagh Triathlon promises to be an exciting event for all involved, whether they are elite athletes or complete novices – all abilities will be welcomed with open arms.
Councillor Trevor Wilson, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, sponsor of the event said: “We are pleased to support this fantastic event here in Mid Ulster on its 16th year. It always receives a great turnout of both competitors and spectators and I’m sure this year will be just as successful. I’d like to wish all who are taking part good luck.”
Ken Vance, Race Director commented: “It’s great to see the excitement from athletes across all of Ireland talking about this event. It speaks volumes about the quality of the event we put on and the local community in Ballyronan have been great supporters of the event in recent years, which is tremendous to see.”
Claire Doyle, Marketing Manager at Tobermore, said: “We are delighted and proud to support the Lough Neagh Triathlon. We are also looking forward to seeing the impressive range of talent on display in this exhilarating sport.”
The largest lough found anywhere in the British Isles, Irish folklore tells us Lough Neagh was formed when the legendary giant Fionn mac Cumhaill scooped up a handful of earth and threw it at his Scottish rival Benandonner. Fionn’s throw wasn’t powerful enough, as it fell into the Irish Sea, which created the Isle of Man. The hole that was left behind filled up with water over the years, and has now helped provide a truly legendary setting for some of Ireland’s top triathletes.