05 September, 2011

Ironman 70.3 comes to Ireland:

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           Ironman 70.3 came to Ireland yesterday and turned out to be an immense success.  I am late posting this article as I was in fact participating in the (relay part of the) event.  It was a gruelling day which was very professionally organised and I am quite confident that this first time coming to Ireland (in Galway) won't be the last.
           The circuit was very challenging.  It comprised a 750m swim in Galway Bay (reduced from 1.5km due to the inclement weather conditions); a 90km cycle through Connemara and finishing off with a 21.1km (half marathon) run through the City of the Tribes.  I personally completed the cycle and must confess that there was no way I could have taken on the run afterwards.
FIRST HOME:  Mike Aigroz of Switzerland in 3:50:12
             The event was in aid of two good causes; with the relay teams participating on behalf of Croí - Irish Heart Disease Charity and Irish Autism Action (IAA); set up to educate and benefit the lives of Irish people suffering from autism.  There were a number of famous faces at the event with former Boyzone 'star' Keeeth Duffy the voice of Autism Ireland.  His 11 year old daughter suffers from the condition.   Radio presenter Ray D'Arcy, RTÉ TV presenters Kathryn Thomas and Gráinne Seoige as well as singer Brian Kennedy also participated.
Keith Duffy completed Ironman for Irish Autism Action
          Athletes flew in from all over the world including professionals from the U.K., USA and the overall winner; Switzerland's Mike Aigroz, with a time of 3:50:12.   The oldest finisher was a 66 year old US native with over a dozen participants completing there first Ironman.  The inclement conditions meant that more than 20% of starters (including some professionals) did not finish.  Compere Mike Reilly, having officiated at some 130 Ironman events stated  "I have taken this event and now this place, to my heart.  This will definitely not be the last Ironman in Ireland."
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