Life before triathlon for me was spent either on the football pitch or in the gym. I played football (GAA..Proper football) for Ohanlons, Poyntzpass, which is a small tightly knit community, from I was a cub, as that was really the only sport that was available, as it is was for most rural communities, until recently.
When and why did you start triathlon?
It was a couple of friends in work, one of whom funnily just recently joined NTC, put me in the direction of triathlon. We had spent a few years watching Camlough Triathlon and on those occasions we said that the next year we would have a go. The following year slipped by without the other lads committing so I decided the next year (2009) that I’d say nothing and book myself in. Once that was done there was no backing out and off to the pool I went. To say my swimming was brutal is not an exaggeration. At first 1 length of the pool was all I could manage front crawl followed by 1 length breast stroke as a recovery but with time and plenty of it spent in the water I managed to put together 750mts of continuous front crawl. At least I’ll make it out of the water, I thought to myself!!
So Camlough Tri came and went and I survived, just, but I loved it and wanted to see if I could improve my times. I think what was appealing was that the fastest/strongest person wins and having come from a team sport, where you need everyone pulling their weight to get results ,plus the fact that I was on the wrong side of 30 and the football was leaving me crippled for days helped me decide my future sport.
Favourite Event to Date?
I don’t really have a favourite event. They’re all fantastic in their own special way. Camlough triathlon is such a social race due to the events taking place in the village over the weekend. Hell of the West is a no nonsense race with an extremely competitive atmosphere and at the other end of that stick, I think, is Muckno Tri, which has a very relaxed, easy going atmosphere, but if I had to give an answer I would probably go with The Causeway Coast Tri in Portrush. The setting is spectacular, with Views of Dunluce Castle and the miles of sandy beach in the backdrop along the bike course and a few kilometres at the end of the run leg along the beach to the finish line. Having a bit of success there maybe helps sway me also.
Favourite Tri distance?
Sprint or Olympic
Favourite Tri Discipline?
I love it all but that wasn’t always the case. Run or bike was my most favourite and swimming was my least during a race, although that has changed over time. I always loved the freedom of open water swim training.
What does Newry Triathlon Club mean to you?
I’ve made so many great friends through NTC and I wouldn’t have had any success without those fantastic people around me. The help, encouragement and guidance I have received has been brilliant and I’m always proud to wear the club colours. Although triathlon is an individual sport there is very much the TEAM feeling within the club. NTC has always had great representation at races and long may that continue.