Iron maidens play support role for Boyzone star
THEY had been rivals in the battle to host the biggest talent show ever staged by RTE as the coveted presenter of 'The Voice of Ireland'.
But yesterday Kathryn Thomas -- who landed the job -- and Grainne Seoige, who she beat to the role, put any rivalry behind them and joined forces to compete in the Ironman 70.3 race in Galway.
The TV presenters did their bit for Irish Autism Action (IAA) by competing in the relay team competition.
The two women, along with Keith Duffy, were among 2,000 athletes from more than 30 countries who took part in the event.
And the Boyzone singer was determined to complete the entire 70.3-mile course in aid of the charity.
It was tough going, but he managed it in a time of five hours and 40 minutes.
The elite athletes were greeted at 7am by driving rain and strong winds as they prepared to head into Galway Bay for the start of the swim section at Salthill beach.
For safety reasons, the swim was reduced from 1.9km to 700 metres and, even at that, a number of those competing had to be rescued from the choppy waters by the safety crews on standby.
Once the competitors left the water, they faced a 56-mile cycle through Connemara, before rounding off the inaugural Ironman 70.3 contest on Irish soil with a 21km run.
First man home was Swiss professional Mike Aigroz, who completed the 70.3 miles in a time of 3hr 50min 12sec.
Corkman Owen Cummins kept the home flag flying by claiming third place in a time of 4hr 1min 26sec.
"I'm thrilled. It was a great event. It was tough going in the conditions, but it was all worth it in the end", he said.
UK triathlete Lucy Gossage took the honours in the women's section in 4hr 2min 9sec with national record holder Joyce Wolfe from Cork the first Irishwoman across the finish line in 5hr 44sec.
A Galway company has won the franchise to hold the event in Ireland for the next five years.