North Cork’s Ironmen and Women complete the Youghal challenge!

Youghal was the centre of attention last weekend, and not just for the high temperatures and clear blue skies, because the seaside town played host to the best triathletes from all over the world for three days of high-class competition. The competition has had a difficult staging in Youghal, with the first event in 2019 falling foul of stormy weather which forced the cancellation of the swim part of the race, and of course the Covid-19 pandemic created havoc in 2020 and 2021. After those previous setbacks, everything was set to go ahead last weekend, though the record temperatures of last week raised fears about roads melting in the heat. In the end, however, everything ran like clockwork, and competitors had a wonderful time, despite the severity of the challenges they faced, and spectators along the route had a brilliant time, too, despite the heavy cloudbursts of rain on Sunday evening.
The first athlete out of 2,500 competitors to finish the full Ironman on Sunday was Cork native Chris Mintern who took just over eight hours and 38 minutes to complete the 3.8km swim, a 180km bike course and a 42.2km run, a remarkable time to achieve, while Svenja Thoes was the first woman across the line, though she was later disqualified after an allegation of outside assistance – athletes are not allowed to accept drinks or food from spectators.
Mallow and North Cork was well represented in all events, and Mallow Tri Club alone had over 30 members in the field who took part in the 70.3 (half-Ironman) on Saturday and the full Ironman on Sunday. All competed brilliantly, and they were loudly cheered by family, friends and club members throughout.