Foley & McCrystal are 2018 Middle Distance National Champions

The Lost Sheep 2018 Swim Start

The BMW Triathlon National Series headed south this weekend to Kenmare for Cork Triathlon Club's 'The Lost Sheep' Middle Distance triathlon. Over 400 athletes took to the calm waters off Kenmare Pier on Saturday, 1 September vying for both a National Championship title and BMW Triathlon National Series points. Only two races remain in the series, Dublin City Triathlon and Pulse Port Beach Triathlon.

strong showing from foley

The women's race showcased some competitive racing from the top women in the field. Amy O'Keeffe showed her continued strong form with a fast swim of 25:38 to emerge within the top ten overall after the swim. Heather Foley was 55 seconds back at this point and Ellen Vitting 90 seconds behind her. 

It was all to play for out on the challenging bike course crossing the Healy Pass. Foley and O'Keeffe swapped first and second a few times on the course with Amy coming into transition just ahead of Heather. However Foley was quickest through the transition, with O'Keeffe hot on her heels at the start of the run course. It didn't take long for Heather Foley to find her stride and cement her lead on the run, where she was never in danger of being caught, winning in 4:40:36. The battle for the other two places on the podium was now between Amy O'Keeffe, Aileen Flynn and Ellen Murphy. 

Flynn and Murphy were seconds apart at the second transition with the former having put in the fastest bike split of the women's race for 2:34:31. Ellen Murphy ran into second place, overtaking both Amy O'Keeffe and Aileen Flynn in the latter stages of the run and posting an impressive split of 1:36:05 on the undulating course. Aileen Flynn completed the women's podium, finishing in 4:49:57 with Amy O'Keeffe 31 seconds behind in fourth.

The Lost Sheep 2018 Womens Podium

Bryan Mccrystal dominates in kenmare

In the men's race, national long distance triathlon record holder Bryan McCrystal moved up one podium place from second last year to win this year's National Middle Distance Championship. 

Looking out over Kenmare Bay from swim exit it was clear that two athletes had an impressive lead over the rest of the field, Aichlinn O'Reilly and David Sheridan. Covering the 1.9km swim in 23 minutes, the pair had a 2:30 lead on third and fourth placed Guillermo Lopez and Bryan McCrystal.

The 83 kilometre bike course is one of the toughest on the domestic circuit, suiting strong cyclists McCrystal and O'Reilly. McCrystal worked hard on the bike to ensure his substantial lead of eight minutes coming over Westport Triathlon Club's O'Reilly. Bryan McCrystal continued to run one of the quickest splits of today's race to become 2018 Middle Distance National Champion in impressive style. Of note is McCrystal's superb bike split of 2:04:16, over ten minutes faster than any other triathlete on the hilly course.

In third coming into T2, No. 1 Fitness' Mariusz Olejniczak looked fresh and strong heading on to the 21km run and it showed in his quick run split of 1:18:53. Out on the run course Olejniczak overtook Aichlinn O'Reilly to cross the finish line in second and a time of 4:05:15. Aichlinn O'Reilly finished the day in third place and a time of 4:10:53. 

The Lost Sheep 2018 Men's Podium

Live Coverage & Picture Galleries

If you missed the coverage from the event you can catch up on the Triathlon Ireland Facebook Page to see all the action throughout the day. Picture Galleries will also be posted here shortly.

Next up in the BMW Triathlon National Series is Dublin City Triathlon next Saturday, 8th September.