Cornyn and McConnell Show Late Season Form

Pulse Port Beach Triathlon 2019 Generic 1

Niall Cornyn and Erin McConnell showed their late season form by winning Pulse Port Beach Triathlon in Clogerhead.

The popular race in Co. Louth hosted the second to last round of the BMW Triathlon National Series and the 2019 Paratriathlon National Championships (which you can read about here).

Cornyn won the race with some comfort - crossing the line more than a minute ahead of Sabian Kulczynski and newcomer Matthieu Proffit. The women’s race could scarcely have been closer however, with just six seconds separating Erin McConnell from Hillary Hughes at the end.

Niall Cornyn Pulse Port Beach 2019

No Fatigue for Cornyn 

A chilly start gave way to near-perfect conditions for Pulse Port Beach with the thermometer reaching in to the high teens, perfect calm water and just a gentle breeze out on the bike.

The first of almost 600 athletes entered the water just before noon. Exactly ten minutes later a sole leader emerged in the form of eventual women's winner Erin McConnell, swimming a full 21seconds quicker than the quickest man - Sabian Kulczynski.

Kulczynski was followed seven seconds later by Harry Cunningham but more than 30secs would pass before the main body of athletes flooded in to T2 led by Oran McGee, Jack Bingham and the second and third quickest female swimmers Rachel Vaughan and Ester Bayon.

Matthieu Proffit Pulse Port Beach 2019

Men Swap the Lead

On the bike, Proffit - racing his first triathlon since arriving from France to study in Ireland - moved to the front of the field thanks to the 4th quickest split of the day. But right behind him was Cornyn. Both Proffit and Cornyn had yielded more than a minute to Kulczynski during the swim but came in to T2 battling for the lead.

Once on the run however there was little doubt whose day it would be. Despite having just days to recover from a long haul flight from China (where a week earlier he had finished just off the podium at the 2019 Wenzhou ITU Duathlon World Cup), Niall Cornyn recorded the quickest split of the day to come the winner home in 58mins 43secs. 

Next up was teenager Kulczynski who recovered his second place from Proffit thanks to a 15mins 40secs 5km. He crossed the line in 59mins 43secs, the latest in a series of promising results in the BMW Triathlon National Series. Twenty one seconds later Proffit claimed the third step on the podium.

Women's Podium Pulse Port Beach 2019

Champions Go Head to Head

In the women’s race an exciting line up saw this year’s Sprint Distance National Champion (Erin McConnell) go head to head with the Middle Distance National Champ (Hillary Hughes); as well as the 2018 BMW Triathlon National Series winner (Ellen Vitting), runner up (Becky Woods) and third placed athlete (Amy O’Keeffe).   

With McConnell leading out of the water by an impressive margin over her rivals, the race was always appeared hers to loose. Current BMW Triathlon National Series leader Hillary Hughes was to have her say in the proceedings however. Despite conceding a full three minutes to McConnell on the swim, Hughes made up almost that exact time on the bike to hit the dismount line in the lead by four seconds. 

Erin McConnell Pulse Port Beach Triathlon

Transition The Decider

Rarely can it be said that a domestic race is won or lost in transition but that’s exactly what transpired in this case with McConnell moving through transition 14secs quicker to get out on to the run 10secs ahead of Hughes.

The distance between the sprint champ and the middle distance champ was never more than a handful of metres on the 5km run and although Hughes pulled back four of the 14 seconds she lost in transition, she was ultimately unable to close the gap on McConnell who hung on to her lead bravely to  cross the line in 1hr 03mins 07secs, just six seconds ahead of Hughes.

Third place went to Amy O’Keeffe thanks to an even performance across swim, bike and run.

Results, Video and Images

Results from Pulse Port Beach Triathlon are available on Coretiming.ie 

You can watch the race back on our facebook page where you will also find hundreds of pictures from the day