Our female triathletes make up 30% of our 2022 membership in Setanta (as at Nov 2022) and come with a wide variety of levels and experiences.
The scheduled training sessions are generally mixed which works very well. There is plenty of opportunity also for women to train together and it is easy to find someone at your level to swim/cycle/run with. In addition, Triathlon Ireland organise a number of women only training events.
If you are new to tri and want to get some info or would like to discuss your training needs with one of our female coaches then email Mary, Setanta’s Women’s Lead at firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information.
Coming from a background in track running, I used to cycle everywhere and was a lifeguard for my summer job throughout college. I think I was training for triathlon before I even knew what they were! Growing up we would hike the hills and bike a lot with my father. I think these adventures cemented my love of the outdoors. Track sessions, in my teens, would involved an hour cycle to the track, to do a run session for another hour or two and then cycle home, not thinking of the bike as training but more of a mode to get me to the run! Which sometimes I feel it still is!!
Although my love for cycling has definitely grown over the years.I started racing triathlons back in 2006, as soon as I could afford a racing bike – red Raleigh aluminium and I thought I was airbourne, compared to the chunky commuter bikes I had been cycling for years. Inspired by some of the local legends up here in County Louth, Crooked Lake Triathlon was my first sprint, and I was hooked! For quite a while , the swim was a means to get to the bike, where I would spend the bike leg looking forward to the run, where, for me, the real race would begin! I competed in my first adventure race in 2007, Diamond Quest, which involved a run up and down Slieve Foy, through the forest and rocky beach to Omeath, a kayak across the lough to Warrenpoint, and a bike over the Mournes to Newcastle. I somehow survived, and after that spent more of my time in the trails and mountains, but was still competing more so in triathlon up and down the country.
Having had focused on triathlon for a few years, I qualified for the 70.3 Ironman World Championships in 2012. Training was going to plan and then a car accident stopped me in my tracks. With a torn meniscus in my knee I let ego take over, competed injured, and realised, after, I needed a bit of a reality check. With the help of yoga and strength and conditioning, I slowly got back, but started to gravitate even more off road, finding the lesser impact easier on the knee and the mountains easier on the head. I also started to enjoy the bike more, as running was off the cards for quite a while. I travelled, and moved to Austrailia for a couple of years, where I got more so into trail running. I biked for conditioning, and for the craic and swam for maintenance and cross training. Living in Canada cemented my love for running and biking in the mountains, and when I moved home I trail ran and adventure raced more than anything. Although I do chance the odd triathlon now again, the last one being Alpe d’Huez, which is probably as close to an adventure race as triathlon gets! Having adventure raced in many countries, particularly in Europe, there seems to be a much stronger connection between triathlon, multi-sporting and adventure racing, something which would be great to see happening in Ireland.
The beauty of multi-sport is that we are never bored, or when injured, there is usually something we can do within our sports. There is also a lovely sense of community and a shared love of all things active and outdoors. Triathlon opened up my eyes to the endless possibilities out there for creating our own multi-sport adventures, and what better playground to start, than the Cooley mountains!?”
I became a member of Setanta Triathlon Club in 2022. I was drawn to get involved in triathlon through my combined love of running (albeit very slowly!), the sea and a challenge!
I entered my first triathlon in the height of covid lockdown in a bid to keep focused on something positive. It kept me going on the turbo anyway!
I completed the Carlingford Olympic Triathlon this year and I absolutely loved every minute of it. While there were a lot of lessons learned, I treasured each moment out there on such a beautiful and scenic course.
My experience with the club has been amazing. I felt a little bit intimidated by the thoughts of joining a triathlon club as a newbie, however I needn’t have had one worry. The Setanta members are all such a lovely bunch of people and they have been so welcoming and helpful over the past few months. Everybody is so enthusiastic to help you out regardless of your experience level. My only regret is that I didn’t join sooner! You would be hard pushed to find a nicer group of people.
My experience training has taught me a lot of life skills too – from being resilient with my fear of jellyfish to persevering with my aversion to clipping in on the bike. On the tough or disappointing days, I’ve learned to be grateful to have a healthy body that is capable of going out training, regardless of times or paces. I’ve also really come to realise that we are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place to train!
I’m looking forward to many more years of training and racing