My Triathlon: Mary De Barra

Triathletes are extraordinary people with inspiring stories to tell. Triathlon Ireland feature a story from someone in our triathlon community, told in their own words as part our "My Triathlon" series. 

Mara deBara My Triathlon

We met Mary De Barra at the Jailbreak Triathlon in Cobh, Co. Cork earlier this season. Mary is part of Cobh Triathlon Club who hosted one of the 2019 BMW Triathlon National Series races. We caught up with Mary after she crossed the finishing line, where she was greeted with huge support from family and friends.

Where it all started

“I was taking my Daughter up to the club to a running session, after dropping her I ended up staying around and joined the club myself on the same evening. My Daughter stayed with the club for a while but I’ve now been doing triathlons for five years.”

Some club for one club

Mary trains with Cobh Triathlon Club most evenings and finds it really great that they all train together. It is motivating to have a club to train with and there are many more benefits to joining your local Triathlon club. Speaking with Mary she had some thriving praise for her club, Cobh Triathlon Club.

“As our club would say “some club for one club” with great leaders such as Garry Mason our swim instructor and running materials provided by Sonia O’Sullivan, there is always great encouragement and a buzz completing these events and I hope to be doing more in the future”

Mary de barra club

After crossing the line to fantastic support by friends and family at the Jailbreak Triathlon, we asked Mary how she got on in the race and how her journey to complete an Olympic distance race happened.

“It's my first Olympic distance race at Jailbreak today, I’ve done the Sprint distance Jailbreak triathlon before. I have gone from Sprint distance to Long distance with the IRONMAN Cork this year and now the Olympic distance today. I’ll be back to the Sprint distance for now, the training in much more manageable.”

Going from Sprint distance to Long distance Triathlon is a massive step up from preparing your body mentally and physically for the experience. Luckily for Mary it was only positive praise for her first IRONMAN race.

“IRONMAN CORK 2019 was a bit wet but very enjoyable”

 My Triathlon Mary De Barr single photo

 "Just enjoy it"

Everyone has a different story to tell in triathlon, whether it is how they first became involved, the struggles to get out training or the nerves doing your first triathlon. Hearing athletes individual stories is one of the best parts of the sport. Here is some of this inspiring advice from Mary,

“It’s a fantastic sport, the people in it, it doesn’t matter where you come, no one gives a damn, everybody just wants to enjoy it.”

It is fair to say that in the five years Mary has been participating in Triathlon, she has had a very successful 2019, with her first Long distance triathlon and Olympic distance Triathlon complete. What’s next for Mary in 2019?

“I’m going to keep up the running for the winter and do the New York marathon, then it will be back to the Sprint distances for 2020.”

Mary De Barra

Mary’s final tips for those looking to take part in the Triathlon experience is

“Just go out, enjoy it, it doesn’t matter what time you do. Next week no one will remember what time you've done, get out there and enjoy it and keep yourself healthy.”

My Triathlon focuses on the inspiring stories from the everyday people who form our triathlon community. 

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