RACE organisers of Sunday’s City of Derry Triathlon believe they are in pole position as they attempt to upgrade the event to National Championship status next year.
According to race director, Paul McGilloway, Triathlon Ireland have given indications that Derry could be considered a possible venue to host a National Championship race next year, such was the success of Sunday’s race, won by 2014 Commonwealth Games triathlete, Harry Speers.
A record total of 465 people finished Sunday’s three-disciplined race along the banks of the River Foyle in the third running of the event in the city.
Already granted National Series status, the City of Derry Triathlon has attracted some of the best triathletes in Ireland and further afield and McGilloway believes it will only get ‘bigger and better’ in the future.
“I was told five years ago when I put forward the idea of organising this triathlon that I was mad if I thought I could get 400 or 500 people swimming in the Foyle,” said McGilloway.
“But in the past three years we’ve had that number in six times, the warm-up the day before the race and the race itself, so it’s been brilliant. It couldn’t be done without a great team.
“It’s getting bigger and better each year,” he continued. “We were very fortunate with the weather and the feedback has been unreal. We are hoping to make it a National Championship event next year,” he revealed. “The Triathlon Ireland representatives were impressed with how everything went and very little went wrong on the day, so there’s no reason we can’t do it.
“519 people entered the race and we had 465 who finish it, so it was the biggest yet. It was a real party atmosphere.”
The top spot went to Speers of Bangor, but first local home was Daniel Quigley who finished sixth overall and McGilloway claims he could so easily have made the podium.
“Danny Quigley did fantastically well,” added McGilloway. “He was the first local finisher but he could have done even better.
“When he was coming into transition after the swim he was turned back before he got on his bike because his number had fallen off.
“So that cost him, not just time and places, but his concentration as it’s hard to pull it back when something like that happens.”
It’s getting bigger and better each year. We were very fortunate with the weather and the feedback has been unreal. We are hoping to make it a National Championship event next year.Paul McGilloway