City of Derry’s third Triathlon is a huge success

Race winners Harry Speers and Siobhan Gallagher celebrate. INLS2415-178KM
Race winners Harry Speers and Siobhan Gallagher celebrate. INLS2415-178KM

Record numbers took part in the third annual firmus energy City of Derry Triathlon on Sunday morning with 465 competitors making it over the finish line in what was the biggest triathlon event to take place in the city to date.

2014 Commonwealth Games triathlete, Harry Speers from Bangor crossed the line in a time of 1:03:21 to claim first place while Siobhan Gallagher from 24/7 Triathlon Club, Letterkenny, powered to victory in the female race.

Thousands of people enjoyed the sunshine as they cheered on competitors from across Ireland, England and further afield as they completed the sprint triathlon course, comprising of a 750m open water swim in the River Foyle, a 20km closed road cycle and culminating in a 5km flat run around the city.

Overall winner, Speers was closely followed by Lorcan Healy from Omagh, who finished in 01:04:32, taking third place with a time of 01:04:38 was Neville O’Neill from Olympian Triathlon Club, Belfast.

In the ladies’ category, Gallagher came in first completing the course in 01:11:22. Naomi Drakeford from Hull, Barracuda Triathlon Club, got silver coming in at 01:12:28, just before Laura Wylie from Antrim’s High Elbow Triathlon Club, who finished in 01:14:02.

This year saw a unique element to the firmus energy City of Derry Triathlon, which ran alongside the main event - the Para-Triathlon.

The Para-Triathlon over the same course saw triathlete Jennie McBride competing for Action on Hearing Loss Derry, finishing in first place in her home city.

As organisers, the North West Triathlon Club (NWTC) didn’t take part in the Club Championship but race director, Paul McGilloway was delighted with its biggest and most successful event to date.

“This has always been a special race but this year was something else,” he said.

“Only in its third year, the firmus energy City of Derry Triathlon really has taken off with the 2015 event being awarded the prestigious National Series status by governing body Triathlon Ireland.

“We have also been working on introducing the other additional elements for some time so we’re delighted to be able to make the race more open and inclusive.

“This year we introduced the first ever para-triathlon race into a main triathlon and spicing up the competition by including an Ulster Club Championship.

“We couldn’t be happier with how it has turned out and are so grateful for all the support that has been shown to us over the years.

“It has been a massive team effort and I would like to thank everyone who helped make it happen, including the committee, firmus energy, Triathlon Ireland, Disability Sport NI, Foyle, Search and Rescue and all our volunteers.”