The 2015 ITU World Triathlon Championships took place in Chicago last month on the banks of Lake Michigan, where 6,500 triathletes from 62 countries competed in the climax to their sporting season.
Ireland was represented by a 38-strong team who competed against the best triathletes in the World. The Letterkenny 24/7 Triathlon Club was represented by Hugh Gallagher, Donagh O’ Sullivan and George Rahmani.
Gallagher and O’Sullivan competed in the Olympic distance race comprising of a 1.5k swim, 40k cycle and 10k run, while Rahmani competed in the Sprint distance race, 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5k run, which he finished in a time of 1:26:24.
For the Olympic race, the swim course began in Monroe Harbour on Lake Michigan where the competitors swam north for 300metres before rounding a buoy and swimming south for 1200 metres.
Following a 600 metre run to transition competitors then cycled along Columba’s Drive before heading sub-terranean into the motorway tunnels around Chicago, completing a two loop 40-kilometre course.
The run course also followed Columba’s Drive where competitors rounded the Buckingham fountain past the grandstands for three loops, normally a 10k run, it was extended to 10.8km to accommodate the larger crowds as some events were cancelled the day before due to thunder and lightening.
‘’I had a solid cycle, some of the course was very technical, having no wind in the tunnels made up for it and I was delighted with an average speed of 40.7 km/h.
“It was tough running in 28 degrees but I held my focus for the entire run and completed it with a sprint finish against a Mexican triathlete, which I made a point of winning,” Gallagher said. “I had a run time of 41:44, which put me sub 39 minutes for the 10km, so I’m pretty happy with that’. The large Irish crowd of supporters were amazing, they gave a mental lift to the Irish triathletes when we had to dig really deep.”
Gallagher ended his season on a high and his strong performance meant he finished in 56th in the 40-44 age group in a time of 2:12:43, an excellent result against the best triathletes in the world.
Donagh O’ Sullivan’s hard work in the pool over the winter paid off with a strong swim in Chicago, a typical solid bike performance and his strongest run of the year, giving a finishing time of 2:16:41.
‘’It’s been 11 months of hard training, we’re both delighted with our performances and obviously very proud to be representing our country,” O’Sullivan said. “It’s also a huge source of pride for us to be representing our club, our local communities and County Donegal. A huge thank you has to go to our supportive wife’s Amanda and Julie and of course our kids.”Tags: