Dunne and Foley 2019 Duathlon Champs

Women's Podium Duathlon NC 2019

Darren Dunne and Heather Foley have claimed the first senior national titles of 2019 with victory in the Duathlon National Championships in Sligo. 

Dunne was a comfortable winner over second placed Niall Cornyn and Paul Carroll while Foley showed incredible grit and fortitude to hold off a fast finishing Becky Woods, with Barbara Dunne coming home in third.

Perfect conditions of bright sunshine, light wind and cool temperatures gave the 160 competitors a great start to the Sligo Triathlon Club organised event.

What lay ahead was a challenging course, beginning with a 9km - part on road, part off-road - run before an undulating 40km out and back bike leg; and a 4km flat-ish fire road run through Union Wood to the finish line.

Men’s Race

From the off, last year’s silver medalist Niall Cornyn showed his intent by taking out the pace in the men’s race. He had company in the form of Darren Dunne however and the pair appeared comfortable to work together through the first 9km of the race, entering T1 a single second apart on 30mins 35secs.

It was Dunne who made the smoother transition however, as Cornyn had to untangle his bike from that of a competitor's, loosing 10secs in the process and visual contact with the leader. Whether that would have made a difference of a moot point however as Dunne pulled out a bike split that saw him move in to a commanding lead. He spent 1hr 38seconds on the bike to return back to T2 with clear daylight between him and Cornyn, who while still in second, was being chased by Paul Carroll.

Carroll, a former duathlon national champion put in the quickest bike split of the day to move in to third coming in to T2.

Out on the run, Dunne ran the second quickest Run 2 of the day to finish the winner with a time of 1hr 45mins and 53secs.

Cornyn ran five seconds quicker on the final leg to claim silver for the second year in a row. He crossed the line in 1hr 48mins 05secs. One minute and 8secs later, Paul Carroll claimed the bronze medal - a superb performance from an athlete just a few weeks shy of his 50th birthday.

Men's Podium Duathlon NC 2019

Women’s Race

In the women’s race, current BMW Duathlon National Series leader Ciara Wilson made all the running on leg 1 to come in to T1 in first place with approximately 20secs over Becky Woods. Woods was racing her first duathlon but was clearly unfazed by the company. Next in was Barbara Dunne with defending champion Heather Foley starting conservatively as she went out on to the bike in 4th place.

But that was where Foley began to turn the screw, overhauling Woods, then Dunne and finally Wilson to move in to the lead at T2. It was not all to be plain sailing for Foley however as Woods was also moving up, she came in to T2 ahead of Dunne and with Foley in her sights. A fierce two way race was now on with seconds separating Heather Foley and Becky Woods throughout the run. 

A cramping and exhausted Foley stumbled over the line to claim an incredible fifth duathlon national title in a row. Woods came home just seven seconds later for the silver medal while Dunne ran the quickest Run 2 of the day for the bronze medal.

Results and Pictures

Provisional results are available on core timing while a gallery of images from the day will be soon available on Triathlon Ireland’s facebook page.