Hayes and Sexton Win Hell of the West 2017


Carolyn Hayes and Rory Sexton have won the Hell of the West triathlon in Kilkee, Co. Clare.

The 33rd edition of the race, which is one of Ireland’s longest running and most prestigious events - was held in challenging conditions, with a strong westerly wind challenging riders throughout the 40km bike course and making for less than ideal swimming and running too.


Women’s Race

The women’s field was first in the water for the 1,500m swim, with last year’s winner Carolyn Hayes first to emerge from the choppy water ahead of her Limerick Triathlon Club teammate Laoise Griffin in 2nd and Belpark’s Maeve Maher McWilliams chasing close behind.

Hayes had a considerable lead heading out on to the bike and she arrived back in to T2 with a lead of more than five minutes on her nearest rival - Rio Olympic rower Sinead Lynch. Lynch had come out of the water in 12th position but moved her way steadily through the field thanks to a very impressive 1hr 14mins 30secs bike leg - the quickest of day by almost four minutes.

Lynch arrived in to T2 in second place and went on to run the quickest 10km of the day. But it was not enough to catch Hayes, who controlled matters comfortably from the front and arrived back to the finish line to win her third Hell of the West title in a time of 2hrs 21mins 41secs. Lynch crossed the line in 2hrs 25mins 25secs while third place went to Maeve Maher McWilliams who came home with a time of 2hrs 33mins 03secs. 


Men’s Race

About 20mins after the women entered the water, it was the turn of the men, and here there was little to separate the leaders during the swim, with Rory Sexton and Limerick’s Ross Higgins shoulder to shoulder running up the beach to transition.

During the bike, Stephen Donnelly moved up through the field, catching Sexton shortly before the pair descended in to Kilkee. Sexton had less than a single second's lead over Donnelly heading out on to the run but his position was only strengthened, as she carved out a 57second lead over the course of the 10-km to win his first Hell of the West title in 2hrs 09mins 24secs.

Donnelly crossed the line second in 2hrs 10mins 21secs while the fast finishing Brendan Murphy claimed third with a time of 2hrs 10mins 47secs.

Sexton said afterwards that he was delighted to finally win the event, having raced it a number of times.

"There's no easy race in Kilkee so it's great to have my name on the cup. It's a great buzz, I've been racign this a good few times so I am delighted to finally win it."

Results and Images

Provisional results from Hell of the West are available on Sports Timing 

There are also three galleries of images from the day on the Triathlon Ireland facebook page