Jackson and Maher McWilliams Win in Waterford

Strong running was the decisive factor for both Kieran Jackson and Maeve Maher McWilliams as they won Round 5 of the BMW Triathlon National Series at the Bolands BMW Hook or by Crook Triathlon.

For Jackson, the win made it three years in a row in his local race at Dunmore East. Maher McWilliams went one place better than her silver medal position of 2018. But despite their familiarity with the podium at the Co. Waterford event, both athletes were made to work for their wins.

Kieran Jackson Hook or by Crook 2019

Jackson Runs to Victory

In the men's race, defending champion Kieran Jackson took an early lead with a 10mins 18secs swim. The pre-race favourite was first out of the water but had company in the form of Sebastian Helka, James Mintern, and a little further back, Eoin Lyons.

As he explained after the race, Jackson's strategy was to attack hard through the swim and the initial stages of the bike in the hope of holding off middle distance specialist Lyons and for much of the bike leg, the plan worked. With Lyons completing the 20km a full minute faster than Jackson however, he eventually had the leader in his sights and both men came in to T2 with a matter of seconds between them.

Back in the field, the race for third was fierce with Sebastian Helka holding off a pack of podium contenders including Enda Bagnall, Tomás Kenefick, Paul Ogle and the fast running Killian Nolan.

Hook or by Crook 2019 Men's Podium

On the run and with Lyons on his shoulder, Jackson made his move early on the steep hill out of transition. His efforts delivered a decisive lead over Lyons as Jackson went on to run the quickest split of the day (16mins 14secs) to win in 1hr 2mins and 2secs.

Eoin Lyons crossed the line just over a minute later to take a well deserved second place with Sebastian Helka holding on to third place in 1hr 6mins 41secs.

Maeve Maher McWilliams Hook or by Crook 2019

Maher McWilliams Steps Up

With last year's winner Ellen Murphy and second placed athlete Maeve Maher McWilliams on the start line, the women's race was destined to a close run affair. And so it proved to be.

After the 750m swim however, it was teenager Rachel Vaughan who was making her mark on the race as she emerged first from the water in 11mins 34secs. Next up were Belpark's Sinead Murphy and Amy O'Keeffe - the overall winner of the 2018 BMW Triathlon National Series.

On the bike O'Keeffe took the lead but was caught by Maher McWilliams who biked the quickest split of the day.

Just 12secs separated the women at T2 - just as with the men's race, victory in the women's competition was going to come down to a foot battle over the hilly and at times windy 5km cross country run.

In a race were every second counted, Maher McWilliams' 21second better run split provided her with victory - she crossed the line in 1hr 11mins 47secs. Just 30secs later O'Keeffe claimed second place while last year's victor Ellen Murphy clinched third place with one of the fastest bike splits of the field.

Hook or by Crook 2019 Women's Podium

Results and Pictures

Provisional results from Bolands BMW Hook or by Crook Triathlon are available now on Sports Splits

There are hundreds of images from the race available on our facebook page where you can also relive some of the action.