Winning Debut for Walsh

Women's Podium Harbourman 2019

The second national championships in a week and the women’s race didn’t disappoint, going almost to the line in the race for first.

In the women’s field, last year’s silver and bronze medalists Amy O’Keeffe and Ellen Murphy were back in Wicklow for another shot at the podium.

Ailbhe Carroll and Orla Walsh were making their 2019 BMW Triathlon National Series debuts, while Emma Porter arrived at Base2Race Harbourman Triathlon with a view on solidifying her BMW Triathlon National Series, having won the first race of the series at Tri795 Carlow Triathlon at the beginning of the series.

Harbourman 2019 Generic Swim 2

Carroll makes her mark

Ailbhe Carroll made her mark at the front of the field, emerging from the water with an impressive swim of 18mins 42secs over 1,500m - the quickest of the entire women's field. Carroll made the most of this lead out on the undulating bike course, holding the gap to the rest of the field. Orla Walsh and Emma Porter were a minute back from Ailbhe into T1. Porter pulled away early into the 40km bike. Walsh struggled to hold position with Amy O’Keeffe and Pulse Triathlon Club’s Kim Hickey moving into third and fourth respectively. 

Coming out of the second transition, Ailbhe Carroll ran with determination, looking comfortable through the first five kilometres. Behind her the race for the podium was heating up with Orla Walsh running strong and making her way through the rest of the field to be in second place and within one minute of Ailbhe Carroll by the first time around the lighthouse.

The Steps

One unique factor in the Base2Race Wicklow Harbourman run is a large set of steps that must be tackled by athletes twice on the run course. Coming up the steps for the second time, Walsh overtook Carroll with 1,800m to go to the finish line. Ailbhe Carroll kept Orla in her sights but was unable to close the gap in the final stages of the run. With an impressive run split to win her first Standard Distance National Championships (and first standard distance race!), in 40mins 04secs, Orla Walsh is the 2019 National Champion. 

Speaking after the race, current National Aquathlon Champion Orla Walsh was delighted to take the win today;

“It was nice I really enjoyed it, I like the longer swim. Didn’t enjoy the bike as much but that’s because people were passing me!”

On overtaking Hup Hup team mate Ailbhe, Orla said: 

“It was on the steps, I made a move, gave it socks up the steps and it paid off.“ 

In the race for the bronze, Kim Hickey overtook Amy O’Keeffe and Emma Porter out on the run course to move into third and hold for the second five kilometres of the run.

Harbourman 2019 Run Generic 1

Results and Pics

Provisional results from the race are now available on while you can see pics and catch up on all the action from the race on our Facebook Page.