The Year in Review: Middle Distance National Champs Ideal conditions combined with stunning views set the scene for this years Middle Distance National Championships at Sheephaven Half 2019. The picturesque location, flat calm sea and air temperatures in the high teens, ensured the 400 athletes competing for the win had the ideal start to their race of 1,900m in the water, 90km on the bike and 21km on foot.Chris Mintern and Hilary Hughes were crowned Middle Distance National Champions for 2019 following victory at Sheephaven, hosted by Letterkenny 247 Triathlon Club.A first National triathlon title for HughesHilary Hughes became the Middle Distance National Champions holder for 2019, with her first National Triathlon Title under her belt. Hughes put in an incredible performance to win comfortably over a field of experienced athletes.Hughes came out of the water four minutes after leader Laura Wylie. Heather Foley was second out of the swim, followed by Maeve Maher McWilliams. The four minute gap did not distract the Middle Distance Champion as she put in a simply incredible 2hrs 28mins 20secs bike split.Hughes showed no signs of letting up, and crossed the line to win her first national triathlon title with a finishing time of 4hrs 43mins 15secs. Hughes continued her successful season to attain the 2019 BMW Triathlon National Series title, a stellar first full season for the Westport Triathlon Club member.Defending champion Heather Foley crossed the line in second place, nine minutes behind the winner. Maeve Maher McWilliams claimed third place in 4hrs 55mins 50secs, after passing fourth placed Laura Wylie in the closing stages of the run. A celebration all round for the 2019 Middle Distance Champions!Age Group WinnersAge GroupPlacingFirst NameSecond NameClub25 - 291LauraWylie2HelenPerryTri Limits TC3EimeirWalshBelpark TC30 - 341HilaryHughesWestport TC2MaeveMaher-McwilliamsBelpark TC3EllenVittingTri an Mhi TC35 - 391HeatherFoleySligo TC2EllenMurphyBelpark TC3SarahStapletonPulse TC40 - 441JenniferDuffy2JackieKellyAthlone TC3DympnaKellyLough Key TC45 - 491MargaretKelly247 TC2LouiseO SheaGalway TC3SashaGannonCavan TC50 - 541AudreyPhelanPiranha TC2LisaBishopWicklow TC3N/A55 - 591PaulineLeithWicklow TC2N/A3N/A60 - 641JuneMcminnPeninsula TC2370 - 741RoisinLynchNorthwest TC23Mintern Champion from the startChris Mintern earned the title of Middle Distance National Champion 2019 after leading Sheephaven Triathlon from start to finish. Mintern took an early lead, coming out of the water as the first swimmer in 27mins 21secs, nearly two minutes ahead of second place winner, Eoin Lyons.Out of T1, Lyons struck back and almost bridged the entire deficit to Mintern by the 10km mark. Mintern responded by re-establishing his margin over the course of the hilly bike leg and completed the quickest split of the day - 2hrs 20mins and 06secs. Onto the half marathon and Mintern kept a static 2mins distance for most of the run. Lyons fought deep again and put in another incredible attack but was unable to overtake the winner.Mintern crossed the line and took the title of 2019 Middle Distance National Champion in 4hrs 10mins 59secs of racing. Lyons crossed the line 19secs behind Mintern, while third place was earned by Michael McCarron in a very solid effort across all three disciplines.Age Group winnersAge GroupPlacingFirst NameSecond NameClub20 - 241Conor MaguireOmagh TC2N/A3N/A25 - 291ChrisMinternCork TC2EoinLyonsWaterford TC3PaulLittleLough Key TC30 - 341ConorTiernanHyper Speed TC2SeanMcLaughlinNorthwest TC3DavidSheridan247 TC35 - 391MichaelMcCarron2RonLennonGalway TC3Jonathan MorrisBelpark TC40 - 441BrianSexton2Mark BreenGalway TC3DermotLogueClonmel TC45 - 491Owen Martin2GarryHall3PaulRutherfordSligo TC50 - 541MarkRushbyPeninsula TC2SamCordnerLisburn TC3ChrisMcGuiganOmagh TC55 - 591John Connaghan247 TC2RonnieKidd3GerardMcGettigan60 - 641DermotConnollyNorthwest TC2PeterMcLaughlinNorthwest TC3PaulKelly247 TC65 - 691GerardTurbittOmagh TC2JimGallagher3N/APICTURE GALLERIES, RACE COVERAGE & RACE REPORTSRewatch the best moments from the 2019 BMW Triathlon National Series through live event coverage posted on the Triathlon Ireland Facebook Page, where you will also find thousands of images from this summer's series.Race Reports from each event can be found on the TI website.All the medalists will be presented with their silverware at the 2019 Triathlon Ireland Awards Night on the 23rd November 2019 in The Conrad Hotel, Dublin. Click here for tickets.