Sun 24 Oct 2010
Lost in Transition
By Dermot Mathers
The Model Duathlon took place last Saturday with a strong field taken part in this the events third year. A large crowd of supporters swarmed to Bessbrook to enjoy one of the highlight races of the year and one of the hardest Duathlon courses in the country. The Brainchild of designer Gerry Patton, the 2.3 mile run, 9.6 mile cycle and 2.45 mile run takes in High Street, Derrymore Road, Convent Hill and McClenghans Hill – not for the faint hearted.
It was a race that had a lot of pre-race hype involving some of Newry’s strongest athletes that included Newry City Marathon winner and defending champion Don Travers, ex International cyclist Barry Monaghan and 2008’s winner Ross Collins. What followed was an epic encounter that lived up to all expectation. Right from the off all three were inseparable with Kevin Donagher the only athlete to stay in contention with the blistering 11.44 on the first run lap.
However, as can happen with these sort of events, transition is an essential element that catches many and this is where mistakes can happen with Collins and Donagher both experienced Triathletes, quicker by 10 seconds going into the cycle.
The 3 lap cycle section couldn’t separate the athletes with the experience of both Monaghan and Travers showing with only slender lead going into transition over Collins but a large gap had now opened with Donagher. Again transition proved vital with Collins pulling back important seconds leaving it 3 way race going into the final run.
After a back and forth encounter on the final lap eventually a determined Ross Collins won the race with a excellent finish(53.48) despite Monaghan having the fastest final run out of the three. Barry Monaghan (53.53) finished second only 5 seconds behind with Don Travers settling for third (54.08) with Dublin Marathon now in his sights. Kevin Donagher took fourth place in 54.38 but came back strong with the fastest run times in both laps and Jim McCannon finished 5th in 57.47.
Only six other athletes finished under the magical hour mark NCR’s Martin O’Hagan (6th 58.24), Peter McConville (7th 58.38), Peter Tomany (8th 58.47), NCR’s Dermot Mathers (9th 58.57), Aidan Cunningham (10th 59.17), Newry Tri’s Ciaran Hughes (11th 59.23) with Maurice Harte just missing out finishing in 60.06.
Mary Laverty won the ladies race by a mile with a very impressive 60.20 and 14th position overall. Angela Burns came second in 69.14 with Teresa Fearon (69.47) and Sonia Rea (70.47) third and fourth respectively.
A lot of credit has to go to the organisers for this event that was brilliantly staged and stewarded throughout and now along with the Newry City Marathon and Crooked Lake Triathlon has become one of the areas finest events.