August Bank Holiday Weekend: Sligo Triathlon Festival

First ever festival of triathlons to be held in the beautiful seaside setting of Rosses Point as Sligo Triathlon Club celebrates reinstatement of the original Olympic distance triathlon race first held in the 1980s.

On the August Bank Holiday weekend, a horde of lycra clad, time obsessed athletes will descend on Rosses Point in Sligo to compete over two days in one of the longest established triathlon events in the country. The Sligo Triathlon Club has a reputation for hosting a well-organised race that promotes a family friendly atmosphere in a beautiful setting – and this year will be no exception.

This is the fourth year running that a sprint triathlon event will be held on the August Bank Holiday weekend in Sligo. This year stands out however as it also sees a return to a proud triathlon tradition in the County with the reinstatement of the Olympic distance triathlon for the first time in over 30 years.

While the sport of triathlon is one of the fastest growing in Ireland, Sligo has credentials bettered by few others in the field of triathlon racing and is no Johnny-come-lately to the game. Rosses Point is home to one of the original triathlon events in Ireland. Since the early 1980’s triathlons have been run here – hard core events where competitors relied on brawn alone without assistance from modern wetsuits, aerodynamic cycling helmets or sophisticated running shoes. The club in Sligo still has many stalwart members who slogged it out in these original events and have raced in every decade since.

This year Sligo has something to offer everyone – whether fitness fanatic or casual gym goer. If competitors feel daunted by the prospect of a 1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle and 10km run, the shorter distance sprint race with its 750 metre swim, 20km bike and 5km run is very manageable for someone with a good level of all round fitness. The relay event offers a fun way for a group of friends or colleagues to share the pain with any of the one legs being easily achievable for anyone in reasonable shape.

To focus the mind of all triathletes, they can feel like true Olympians as they compete on the same day as the London 2012 Olympic triathlon held in Hyde Park.

Rosses Point beach provides an ideal location for a fast, safe and enjoyable swim, while the bike route for both races begins and ends with a panoramic view of Sligo Bay and promises a flat scenic course that suits all levels of cyclist. Once back in Rosses Point, competitors will complete their run in and around the village of Rosses Point with the locals out in force to egg them on to the finish line.

The Olympic event will take place on Saturday, 4th August and the Sprint event in the morning of Sunday 5th August. Entry prices for both events are very reasonable – €40 for individuals in the sprint, €45 for the Olympic and €60 for relay teams in either race.

Entry is now open on www.triathlonireland.com and registration for races will take place on the night before each race at Sligo Yacht Club.


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