NEWRY TRIATHLON CLUB
Introducing Catherine McCloskey
Growing up in Belfast in the seventies, my early childhood sporting memories are of long summer evenings spent flying up and down the hill of the street on my Rayleigh Chopper bike. This usually involved giving at least one friend a ‘backy’ up the hill. Little did I think it would be early hill training for triathlon. Indeed I’m not really sure triathlon existed then.
For me, school sports day was definitely the highlight of the primary and early secondary school year. Lunch times were spent for weeks before practicing for the various athletic events. I always favoured running and the hurdles. Unfortunately, as was the case for many females at that time the opportunities in sport were limited and I never really pursued my athletics at that age.
University years were spent doing laps of The Botanic Inn and the Students Union as opposed to the track. There were the occasional trips to Queen’s PEC but it wasn’t until joining the real world of work that I got into running. Around that time Sean McGreevy appeared on the scene. He was sport mad and as a result, many Saturday and Sunday afternoons were spent watching him play soccer in the Carnbane League for Creive Rovers and Gaelic for Clonduff. Fed up standing at the side lines and not wanting to be outdone by a County Down man, I decided, I too was going to train and started running with Sean and then competing in road races, cross country and a bit of mountain running.
Several years later the children arrived and life was somewhat different. It didn’t take long to discover that there just weren’t enough hours in a day to look after small children, work full time and race but I still enjoyed the freedom of a run. An escape out the front door to clear your head. The best medicine ever!
I am usually glued to the Olympic Games and remember the first time triathlon featured as an event. It looked exciting and I thought I wouldn’t mind giving it a go but like quite a number of adults, I couldn’t swim. I had fallen into an outdoor swimming pool when I was around six years old and had developed a fear of drowning. In 2015, after a few failed attempts at swimming lessons and a lot of gentle persuasion from Carol McCartney, I signed up for lessons again. Chapters could be written on my swim story.
The journey involved the encouragement of so many people -Milo, Donna, David, Shane, Jack, Olive , Oliver, life guards at the pool, all the many accomplished swimmers in NTC and off course my morning swim lane- Mickey and Bridgeen, Pete, Ciaran and Brian, to name but a few. They are the most selfless group of athletes that I have ever met. I honestly wouldn’t be swimming without their help. Thank you all.
Most memorable moment so far
The 23rd of July 2016 Top of The Mournes. My first triathlon. I don’t know what I was thinking of or how I managed to get talked into it but it was quite an event. The atmosphere was electric, the scenery was fabulous it was just interrupted by a 1500m sea swim, 40k mountainous cycle and 10k off road run. I remember thinking, ‘I’ll be grand once I get this swim and cycle finished and onto the run’. Little did I realise that my legs would literally buckle beneath me when I got off the bike and tried to put one foot in front of the other. I still don’t know how I managed to finish.
I actually really enjoy all three disciplines now. Running for its simplicity and accessibility, you just fire on a pair of runners and away you go. Cycling, for the sense of speed and freedom on the bike. The climb to the top of the hill and the wind whistling past your ears on the way down. It’s like being a child again and there definitely is something therapeutic about swimming, especially in the sea. No two open water swims are ever the same.
Favourite distance and goals for the year
At this stage, I’ve only tried two sprint distances and Top of The Mournes. I think I’ll try a few more sprints and a few ‘normal’ Olympic distance events this year and then decide.
Be patient. You will eventually swim to that buoy and get your foot into the cleat on the bike without falling .I’m hoping for my own sake that T1 and T2 do become quicker and legs do get used to jumping off bikes and running.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to triathlon and the opportunity to meet so many outgoing and fun people of every age.
I believe triathlon keeps you young…..where else in adult life do you get the excuse to plunge in a lake, gallop around the roads on your bike and route through the countryside in your runners. ... See MoreSee Less
Patricia BrownFantastic read Catherine ...you have done amazing and getting off the bike at Cooked lake certainly didn't affect your legs that day ...congratulations x7 hours ago · 1
Judith CampbellCatherine I enjoyed reading that so much it's a totally inspirational read! You have done amazing and this is going to be some year for you! Lovey lady Inside and out, a loyal swim buddy and friend! Very best of luck this coming year xx #nofear3 hours ago · 1
Siobhan Ladd GreerGreat read Catherine! Top of the Mournes was some introduction to triathlon - talk about jumping into the deep end!! You're right - triathlon taps into our inner child & fun memories! Have a great 2017 season - it's a pleasure to know you!7 hours ago · 1
Sinead YoungCatherine such a wonderful read. You've had some journey. You are so right, the selflessness of the NTC is something special. Thanks for sharing your story with us xxx7 hours ago · 1
Neil KinninWhat an inspirational read, especially for someone like myself who finds the swim a struggle, to put it mildly.7 hours ago · 1
Milo MccourtWell done Catherine , it's great FUN , 🏊🚴🏃🏽, you were flying at the crook lake tri 👍8 hours ago · 1
Brian WalshGreat read!! U only started swimming a couple years ago!! I thought u were at it all ure life, certainly kicking my ass ... bring on the top of the mournes 😉.7 hours ago · 1
Orlagh McDonald McGoldrickAmazing Catherine. What a one to start with!!! Too humble to mention your wins as well. A great person and a pleasure to know x Good luck this year 😊😊2 hours ago · 1
Catherine SandsGreat read Catherine! I know that lap of the bot and the union well, great training 😜 I can't believe you couldn't swim, like a fish now!! X31 minutes ago
Rock around the Point 1.5K A 2017 H20PLAY NI Swim series swim
A 2017 H20PLAY NI Swim series swim Entry £15 Race briefing 1145am Swim start promptly 12noon 1.5K triangular anti-clockwise course
Are you taking part in The London Triathlon? Come along to London Royal Dock Open Water Swimming and practice in the water where the Tri takes place! We are open 6 days a week with a very friendly team and we operate using the Nowca.org safety system #londontri #swimbikerun #triathlon Opening times and more information can be found on our website here bit.ly/LRDOpen Please like and share this post to keep up to date
Newry Triathlon Club shared Infinity Channel Swimming's photo.
Congratualrions to Pádraig Milo Jacqueline Olive and all team TRISKELION on their successful crossing Isle of Man to Ireland ... See MoreSee Less
A wee story for the history books GLORY COMES FROM DARING TO BEGIN ‘The Isle of Man Channel’ Following on from the Guinness World Record at Camlough Lake in 2009 the seeds of the Isle of Man swim crossing were sown. There were two previous vallant attempts on the Isle of Man channel by a four person relay on 20th June 2010 and our good friends in Drogheda, Ireland who attempted the same channel in the opposite direction from Ireland to Isle of Man on the same day. There had been one successful crossing Portavogie to Peel by a 12 person team in 1979 led by renowned open water swimmer Jack McClelland. Infinity channel swimming having studied and researched the crossing had the ingredients to successfully conquer this channel with the help of Mother Nature. A visit to Isle of Man in late May to speak with local sailing fraternity and to complete test swims at Peel and Port Erin gave Pádraig and crew further information for the swim window. Pádraig put many hours into planning the swim route and knowledge of the waterways from Nicky Donnelly was essential for the recipe for success. The team travelled to Peel, Isle of Man for the swim window which opened 14th June hoping to swim that day however the wind and rough sea conditions would not allow a fruitful adventure. As Milo said if your not fishing your mending you nets so they waited, availed of local hospitality made preperation to the boats, stocked up on supplies and swam in the beautiful waters at Douglas and Port Erin. The team comprising of Olive Conroy IRL, Carole Laporte FRA / IOM, Anna Carin Nordin SWE, Rory Fitzgerald GB/ IRE, Conor Turner IRL and Elina Makïnen FIN all with excellent tolerance for colder waters and endurance marathon distance swimming were chosen when infinity made an offer in January 2017 for a challenge to complete the Celtic quadrant the Oa channel (Isle of Islay to Ireland) the Isle of Man channel, the North Irish channel (Ireland to Scotland) and the Dál Riata channel (Mull of Kintyre to Ireland). The team name Triskelion represented the celt link for all countries - three legs are reflected in the Isle of Man motto (adopted late in the symbol's history): Quocunque Jeceris Stabit, traditionally translated from Latin as Whithersoever you throw it, it will stand, or Whichever way you throw it, it will stand. The tolerance and endurance of this team would stand the rough water, the cold, the wind, the darkness and the unknown. On 17th June now well into the swim window waters around the island were choppy and the wind readings did not match what the forecast said. Local fishermen and yachtsman advised that the weather over the four mile mark was usually a truer guide. Communications for the team in channel swimming are often last minute and that is why they have a swim window - they must be ready to swim at any time. The sun was shining but the northerly winds blowing meant the water would be hitting crafts and swimmers head on as the ventured for Ireland not ideal conditions. As the team ate queenies and topped up their tan Pádraig and crew took a trip out to the four mile mark where they met calmer water and more pleasant swim conditions. The team were advised swim time 1730hrs and to come to the harbour ASAP packed and ready. Game on! Team Triskelion were ready and set sail at 1730hrs as planned. The English Channel rules for swimming were followed - Conor Turner as swimmer 1 commenced with an on shore start from Fenella beach Peel, Isle of Man on Saturday 17th June, 2017 1755hrs. With choppy water for the first four miles he and Rory Fitzgerald followed by Anna-Carin Nordin and Elina Mäkinen took rough water in their stride. Carole, gracefully and with speed brought the sun set and Olive Conroy the teams youngest member at 18 years the first of the night swims with not a flinch, fearless and smiling completing the first rotation. Conor, Rory and Anna swam the hours of darkness in choppy conditions and again Carole who brought the sunset brought the sunrise with Elina and Olive enjoying a calmer sea and beautiful soft golden skies. On board AMac Pádraig and Milo guiding and encouraging as ever and Milo with his big stick pushing when needed never faltering on their watch. On board Melody bay Jacqueline and Nicky keeping team Triskelion safe warm and focused. Triskelion comradely and stories kept spirits and energy levels high. Carole a teacher in Isle of Man told of how she was asked by her students Where are you going Miss ? What an adventure she would be able to tell them of back at school on Monday her infinity swim cap and her moonie jelly fish friends and the success of her trip to Ireland. Triskelion would swim one more full Rotation. Land visible for over 6 hours was enough to spur the team on. At 1055 Olive entered the water with blue skies sun shining and the navigation reading 1600m to landfall. As the other swimmers sunbathed, Elina shaking and recovering from hypothermia after her third swim used the warmth of the sun to rewarm. Life was good. Mother Nature and infinity channel swimming 'don't do easy' and this landing would not be easy as then sea mist appeared and visibility reduced to 200m. The experience of both pilots and the closeness to shore would permit the swim to continue but still with distance to travel. At 1155 Olives rotation was over and Conor entered the water. Like the lifting of a veil the mist cleared to revel the beautiful headland between Ardglass and Ballyhornan. Adjusting his course and passing some high lying rocks Conor 8 minutes into his rotation at 12.03pm on 18.06.17 climbed onto the shoreline and raised his hands for the finish with 69.7 kilometers swam. Olive re-entered the water to join her teammate to celebrate completing this pioneering swim crossing as the 'Melody Bay' sang a tune of cheer and elation. A world team and a new world record with Infinity Channel Swimming in a total swim time of 18 hours 8 mins 32 seconds. An amazing success and big thanks to all the team, infinity crew and supporters globally. As the team return to their normal duties of daily work the memories and the history books will last forever. A historical day, as 'TRISKELION' the Isle of Man channel relay team complete this journey from Isle of Man to Ireland and take this marathon swim into the history books as a world first. 'Live all your days' Start 17.06.17 17:55 Peel Isle of Man Finish 18.06.17 12:03 Ardglass Ireland Distance 69.7k Pilots Pádraig Mallon AMac Nicky Donnelly Melody Bay Crew Milo McCourt Jacqueline McClelland Awaiting ratification from Marathon Swimmers Federation References track.rs/triskelion-IOMIRL/ share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0S0jW1fmZodNPSTtQJqairT52KzH2RDVo dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2017/06/70-km-across-irish-sea.html?m=1 Awaiting ratification Marathon Swimmers Federation