Helka and Hickey Escape Quickest

Pulse Members Jailbreak Triathlon 2019

Kim Hickey and Sebastian Helka have won Jailbreak Triathlon in Cobh, Co Cork to take home maximum points in round 14 of the BMW Triathlon National Series.

The pair won in contrasting fashions over the standard distance triathlon which was organised by Cobh Triathlon Club and raced in near perfect conditions. 

Helka went in front from almost the beginning and never looked likely to give up his advantage as he cruised to victory.

Hickey only went in front three quarters of the way through the run but once she did, there was no stopping the Pulse Triathlon Club athlete, who came out on top of a women’s race in which the lead switched no fewer than four times.

Spike Island

A light breeze, sun and calm seas made for near perfect conditions as competitors disembarked the ferries that brought them across the harbour from Cobh.

Ahead of them lay a 1,700m swim - longer than usual for a standard distance race - a 40km bike and a 10km run.

After a mass start, swimmers crossed the harbour to the slipway at Cobh, a crossing that took the quickest - Sebastian Helka - just 20mins 46secs. 

Next out was former national champion Owen Cummins, one minute and four seconds back with Cathal O’Sullivan trailing a further minute back.

Sebastian Helka Jailbreak Triathlon 2019

Beautiful Race

The bike leg was the winning of the race for Helka, as he pulled further clear of Cummins and most of the chasing pack. By the time he made it out on the run, Helka had victory all but in the bag and despite running the 12th quickest split of the day was able to cross the line with a minute over Cummins to win in 1hr 53mins 22secs.

Helka said afterwards that after being 2nd and 3rd in Jailbreak in the past, winning in Cobh was extra special.

“it was a beautiful race. I am delighted, I was third here, I was second so I am delighted I came first today.”

Jailbreak 2019 Men's Podium

Cummins 2nd, Scully Runs to 3rd

While victory was out of his grasp, Cummins had to show some strong running to remain in second place. His 33mins 57secs split was the fourth fastest of the day - sufficient to keep him in second ahead of the third fastest runner Michael Scully, who had moved from way back in 17th after the swim to 3rd at T2. Scully ran a superb 33mins 12secs to take the final spot left on the podium.

O'Keeffe Aims to Double Up

In the women’s race, last week's winner at Dublin City Triathlon Amy O’Keeffe showed early on that she was ready for more gold as she led out of the water in 23mins 23secs with just Brianne Mulvihill for company 26secs back.

O’Keeffe's lead however, was whittled down over the course of the 40km by former national champ Katie Cooke, with Cooke catching her in the closing stages and leading in to T2 after posting the quickest split of the day by some margin.

But O’Keeffe still had Cooke in her sights at this stage and attacked in the opening stages of the 10km run - the first of a series of exchanges that made for a hugely exciting battle.

Battle for the Lead

O’Keeffe had gapped Cooke but not sufficiently, as the Cork Tri woman kept her rival’s lead to just a few seconds. At around 3km mark Cooke launched her counter attack, passing O'Keeffe with a kick that saw her run the 10km more than a minute quicker than O'Keeffe overall.

But what neither woman knew at the time was that behind them Kim Hickey was making her own bid for victory.

After swimming a similar time to Cooke; and biking the exact same time as O’Keeffe; Kim Hickey was in fourth at T2 - almost 2mins down on the lead. Hickey really started to make up ground on the run and by the time she was at the 7km mark she had the leaders in her sights.

Kim Hickey Jailbreak 2019


At this stage there was less than 10secs separating O’Keeffe and Cooke making for an extremely exciting final 3km.

Hickey’s pace proved decisive and she pulled clear with the quickest run split of the day - by some margin - to win her second BMW National Series race this August following her victory at Lough Neagh.  

Cooke came home in second two and a half minutes later while O’Keeffe finished third a minute behind her.

Jailbreak 2019 Women's Podium

Results from Jailbreak Triathlon are available on https://coretiming.ie/ 

You can see images of the day on our facebook page, where you can also watch the action as it happened.