Two Wins in Seven Days for Carolyn Hayes

2018 Irish Sprint and Standard Distance National Champion Carolyn Hayes has had her second win in as many weekends at the 2018 Dakar ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup.

Carolyn has kindly sent us in the following report on her last international races of 2018.

Carolyn Hayes_Dag

"I went to Africa hoping to gain points to race the 2019 ITU World Cup races.

Race 1: 2 December, Dakhla

The first stop was Dakhla, Morocco with Ben Shaw and James Edgar along with the TI support of Stephen Delaney. I had a good swim, biked solidly and I ran well taking the race lead at 3km. Running for a win versus running for 11th place as I did in Hong Kong is a very different feeling. I was delighted to cross the line and take my first ITU win. It is something I always aimed for but didn’t think I’d reach so soon having only started back racing in July this year.

Race 2: 9 December, Dakar

The next stop was Dakar, Senegal. It was just myself Ben Shaw travelling for points. We had a few days to acclimatise to the heat and shake off the travel before racing again. This was a beach start with a split transition. I had one of the best swims ever thanks to some advice from the experienced Shaw. My bike was also strong, and I finished with a steady run. A smaller field meant the race was either going to be all together or split apart; I rode hard and ran smart. I crossed for my second win in a week and thankful to get the job done for Team Ireland.

Taking the win in Dakhla and standing on an ITU podium for the first time ever was special. To back it up a week later with a win in Dakar was an immense feeling. Knowing that only a handful of Irish female triathletes have stood on the top spot of an international podium is humbling and hearing the national anthem play because of something I’d achieved was a very unforgettable moment.

The aim of these races was to provide me with some international exposure and the chance to earn points for the 2019 ITU race season. I managed to maximise my points collection and I look forward to putting those points to good use next year. I want to say a massive thank you to my coaches Gavin Noble and Eanna McGrath for all the hard work they put into making sure I get to a start line fit, healthy and ready to race; my Wicklow family [triathlon wouldn’t be possible without them minding me and keeping me sane]; my HupHup teammates and to Triathlon Ireland, whose support is essential to getting around the world to race.

First trip of 2019 will be to some sunshine for winter miles :) "

You can follow Carolyn's journey on her Instagram and Twitter accounts.