Tramore’s Kieran Jackson (Waterford Triathlon Club) on his way to victory in the Airpower Hook or by Crook Triahtlon. Photos: Damien Jackson.
Waterford Triathlon Club hosted their annual Airpower Hook or by Crook Triathlon in Dunmore East recently. Almost 350 triathletes descended on the seaside village for the 11am race start. Amongst the favourites for the men’s race was Tramore Triathlete Kieran Jackson. Kieran is a member of Waterford Triathlon Club and is also part of Triathlon Ireland’s High Performance Squad.
The race consisted of a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. The swim started on the beach at the Strand Inn out around a course of buoys and the athletes exited the water at Councillors Strand. Jackson’s swim of 8:38 gave him a 20 second gap coming out of the water over last year’s winner Sebastion Helka from the South Coast Triathlon Club in Youghal. Junior Triathlete Cian O’Keefe from also from Tramore had a fantastic swim exiting the water in fith position overall.
The athletes ran up the ramp to the car park to mount their bikes for the 20km cycle out and back the course along the Waterford road. Jackson made a decisive break on the bike course and pushed his lead out to over two minutes from Helka and came into Transition Two with a comfortable lead.
The run course was changed this year under Race director Martin Condon and it followed a route from Councillors Strand Car park through the Golf Course along the cliffs and finishing in front of the club house. Jackson completed the hilly 5km in a little over 17 minutes to win by almost four minutes in 59:57, followed by Sebastian Helka in second and Enda Bagnall from Edenderry Triathlon Club in third place.
Junior athlete Cian O’Keefe put in a tremendous performance finishing in eight place overall and winning the Junior Men’s category. Cian was followed in the junior category by Kalle Young, with Waterford Triathlon Club’s Jack Flynn finishing third.
Over 70 triathletes took part in the women’s race which followed the same course as the men. First out of the water was Nuala Carroll from Wexford in a time of 10:40 followed by Aoife Trihy from Tramore. On the bike course, Cathy Drinan from Cork Triathlon Club, who had exited the water in 11th position, blitzed her way through the field and took the lead going into the run to win by two minutes from Nuala Carroll and Eimear Mathews from Trilogy Tri Club in Laois in third place.
The main event was followed by a kids fun run and lots of activities, food and live music at the golf club complimented with a beautiful sunny day.
In all 17 athletes from Waterford Triathlon Club took part in the event with some great individual performances on the day. The club would like to acknowledge the sponsors of this year’s race, without their support it would not have been possible to run an event of this size. The partnership with Dunmore East Golf Club this year provided a unique location for the run, finish line and afternoon entertainment.
Kieran Jackson (21) had his first European Cup race of the season last Saturday, July 1 against some of Europe’s best triathlete’s in Holten, Netherlands. Next weekend he’s off to Tartu, Estonia.