A GROUP of three Carlwo athletes competed in the Kilkenny Duathlon at the weekend that was hosted at the magnificent Mount Juliet Estate. The popular event had 150 entrants and had been booked out within a few hours of entry opening online.
The race was held over a distance of 3km run 20km bike and 3km run. The run section took place in the magnificent grounds of Mount Juliet as the athletes ran the outskirts of the famous golf course.
The cycle section took place on the winding narrow roads around Knocktopher and Stoneyford and also taking in the famous Jerpoint Abbey.
Carlow athlete Keith Heary took the lead from the start and held it all the way through the race.
Heary held a significant lead off the first run and used his cycling strength to open up a huge gap on the chasing 2nd and 3rd place competitors.
After the cycle section Heary returned to transition with a lead of almost five minutes after blowing away the rest of the field on the bike section.
It was plain sailing all the way through the last run with Heary setting the course record of 57 mins 2 secs.
Brian Slattery of Waterford Tri Club was second in a time of 1 hour 1 min and 37 secs followed nine seconds later by Ronan Meally of Kilkenny Tri Club.
The best performance of the day has to go to former international rower Niall Byrne of Carlow who finished 4th in a time of 1 hour 2 mins 46 in only his second duathlon and was strong all the way through the race.
Paul Byrne of Fenagh was 8th across the line in 1 hour 4 mins 15 secs and was also competing in only his second duathlon. A great performance from the two Byrnes and they certainly laid down a marker for the races ahead.