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Cunga Ashford Duathlon 2015 Day Report

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Gale force winds welcomed the 100+ competitors to the start line of the 2015 Cunga Ashford Duathlon. Once again the event was a round of the National Duathlon Series and attracted athletes from all over the country. The race started with a 6km gallop through the village, looping around Ashford Estate and Ard na Gaoithe woods, and returning through the Augustinian Abbey to the transition area in the church car park. Here the competitors picked up their bike for the 20km out-and-back cycle leg along the beautiful Carrig shore. At this point Galway’s Johnny Greaney had a 90 second lead over his nearest rival, Stephen Donnolly from Ballina. As they headed out on the bike route they were faced with a ferocious head wind, and were actually slower descending Ardaun hill than coming up it on the return leg. Donnolly’s cycling pedigree showed as he caught and passed Greaney on the bike and returned to transition 6 seconds ahead. The final leg was a 1.8km dash to Ashford Castle and back along the river bank to the finish  at Lydon’s Lodge in the village. Only 3 seconds separated the leading pair at the line with Johnny Greaney’s fast legs winning out in a phenomenal time of 1:03:32.4

The ladies battle was a much more one sided affair with Lorraine Carey from Ballina proving too powerful  for last year’s winner Barbara Dunne (John Greaney’s partner). But the Ashford Duathlon is not all about the “Semi-professionals”, with people of all abilities competing against their friends, or even neighbour from down the road. Some just enter to feel the exhilaration of getting to the finish. There was also a great local Team battle with Team Shane Holleran taking the spoils.

Cunga CC would like thank anyone who helped out on the day, and to Ashford Castle and Coillte for allowing us to use their trails.

Why don’t you get into training for next year’s event!!!