2,000 brave winds and rain to swim, run and bike in our largest triathlon
ALMOST 2,000 people plunged in to the River Shannon at the weekend for the start of TriAthlone, Ireland's largest triathlon.
Gusty winds and the occasional deluge failed to deter the competitors as they swam, cycled and ran around the town of Athlone in one of the largest such events in Europe.
Thousands of people lined the streets to cheer on athletes as they swam 1,500 metres, biked 40km and ran 10km in the Olympic distance event, with shorter distances in the sprint and beginners' try-a-tri events.
Among those taking part was TV personality and regular triathlete Kathryn Thomas.
"I've done it every year since 2006 but it's the first year my sister Linda is doing it with me, so it's a family event this time around," the presenter told the Irish Independent as she prepared to start the Sprint Distance event.
The 'Operation Transformation' presenter was one of 110 people taking part in the race to raise funds for charity Respect, which helps people with an intellectual disability.
At the serious end of the competition, the event hosted the Men's and Women's Irish National Olympic Championships, which were won by Bryan McCrystal and Aoife Lynch.
For the first time, the sport of paratriathlon was included, with physically challenged athletes competing in the Irish National Paratriathlon Championships.