Browse Episodes

Show More

Twin sisters and para triathletes Judith and Chloe MacCombe represented Northern Ireland at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Chloe became the first Irish triathlete to win a championship medal at the Games taking home a silver medal, meanwhile sister Judith finished in fourth place in a hard fought battle in Birmingham.

Racing with their respective guides Anne Paul and Catherine Sands the girls had some great results in 2022.  Some highlights for Chloe include; 2nd at A Coruña Para Cup in June and 4th place at the Turkey Para Cup in October, rounding out her season with a 5th place finish at the Abu Dhabi World Championship in November.  Judith was 1st in The National Championship in May, 3rd at A Coruña Para Cup in June and 4th at the Alhandra Para Cup in September.

The sisters have a form of albinism which affects their vision but does not affect their commitment or dedication to their chosen sport. Taking up triathlon only a few years ago they have gone from strength to strength. Having participated in sport from a young age in Karate and then in para rowing whilst at University, the sisters have found their forever sport in para triathlon and are giving it everything so they can to make it to the Paralympics in Paris in 2024.

They are each other’s sisters, best friends, inspirations, advocates and rivals, supporting, encouraging, inspiring and motivating each other to be the best athletes they can be, all whilst providing much inspiration to the people around them as they embark on this exciting journey in sport. This is a great episode and one in which at the end of it you will definitely be inspired to simply give something that may be out of your comfort zone a try.

 

Show More

Shauna Doellken O’Shea from West Cork is a 23 year old triathlete who recently graduated from the University of Limerick, she is a member of Limerick Triathlon Club and has had a superb season of racing this year.

Winner of the Joey Hannon Triathlon, TriAthy Sprint, Hell of the West, Blackwater Olympic and Worlds End Triathlon, she was 2nd female at IRONMAN Ireland 70.3 in August, finished 3rd Elite Irish female in the National Sprint Championship and took home the silver medal in the Standard Distance National Championship as well this year.

With a background in football she took up running in her late teens, excelling in cross country and track running however,  it was an injury to her foot that sidelined her running and saw her take up swimming whilst recovering from that injury.  Dedicated to getting stronger and faster in the water with an unorthodox make-shift swimming pool at home during the pandemic, when the pools reopened and life started to get back to normal, she got picked up by the Triathlon Ireland Talent ID programme and her sporting success continued to flourish.

An all round high achiever across her studies and sport it is no surprise that Shauna has excelled in triathlon, her success coming on the back of consistent commitment, dedication, drive and discipline in her quest to achieve her goals whether academic or in sport.

It hasn’t been an easy road for the young athlete who has her sights set on achieving significant success in sport in the coming years. In this episode Shauna shares some insight into her life, from the injuries and health battles she has faced and overcome to become the athlete she is today, to the sheer elation of crossing the finish line of a race and everything in between.

Show More

Elite Irish multisport athlete Ciara Wilson from Wexford has had an incredible season of racing in triathlon, duathlon and running across a variety of distances this year. The National Indoor 3000m Champion from 2020 became the 2022 National Duathlon Champion and National Age Group Sprint Distance Champion. She also finished top of the podium this year as the National Triathlon Series Champion and National Duathlon Series Champion.

Taking on a middle distance triathlon for the first time this year, Ciara came away with the bronze medal in the National Middle Distance Championship at Tri Tyrone and, in a fine display of her running ability she also took home the silver medal in the National 5k and 10k Road Racing Championships this year. She has also represented Ireland at a variety of multisport events in recent years.

Considering she couldn’t swim when she took part in her very first triathlon in 2013, she has come a long way and spent a lot of time in the pool to become competitive in the water.  Instead of hanging onto the toes in front of her she is regularly the one leading the pack and pushing the pace at the front of the race.

Coached by her partner Dan of Performance Science Ireland, Ciara has embraced sport as a way of life, consistently training and racing to the best of her ability whilst juggling her job as a teacher, her commitment and dedication to her life in sport is quite inspiring.

In this episode Ciara shares some insight into her life as an athlete, the highs as well as the lows of  training and racing, it’s rarely plain sailing in sport and some days simply getting to the finish line of a race is a victory in itself!

 

Show More

Elite Irish triathlete Ailbhe Carroll is the 2022 National Sprint Triathlon Champion, some of her most notable results include; Aquathlon National Champion in 2018, silver medallist at the Sprint Distance National Championship and Olympic Distance National Championship in 2019. In the same year she was 11th at the Elite Aquathlon World Championship and finished 26th at the Hong Kong Asian Cup.

Taking up triathlon at the age of sixteen, the now thirty-one year old has successfully raced triathlon at home and abroad and despite the rollercoaster she has been on in life and sport she has picked herself up, dusted herself off and kept going when the going got tough.

Battling physical and mental struggles with food and her health it is a wonder she is still training and racing, however she simply loves triathlon, it is part of her DNA as is sport. Grit, stubbornness, determination and passion are key attributes required for success in sport and Ailbhe Carroll has all of this in abundance, add in her positive outlook, fun and bubbly personality and it’s a great recipe for success.

This episode provides a powerful insight into her life as an athlete and the struggles she faced with her health both in the past couple of years and also as she recovers from two bike crashes in quick succession in recent weeks which ended her 2022 season prematurely.

 

Show More

This episode features Australia’s Craig ‘Crowie’ Alexander, three time IRONMAN World Champion, two time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion whose stellar professional career spanned over two decades.  From his early days in triathlon, he blazed a trail in the sport across all distances, becoming a household name world-wide.

He was the first athlete to win both the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in the same year in 2011, is the recipient of an Order of Australia Medal for service to sport and the community and earlier this year became an IRONMAN in Australia Hall of Fame inductee.

One of the greatest ever triathletes, his softly spoken and gentle manner give no indication of the level of tenacity, commitment and determination it took for him to reach the top of the sport and stay there for many years. From his first professional race in 1995 right through to his retirement in 2014, Craig found another gear, another level and was not afraid to dig deeper and deeper into the hurt locker to succeed in a sport that he is eternally passionate about and grateful for the career and success it has afforded him.

Now retired from professional sport, he still races, albeit sparingly and maintains a high level of fitness.  In 2019 he won the Australian Long Course Championships aged 46, twenty years after capturing his first National Championship Title. He spends his time with his family, supporting them and many of his children’s sporting endeavours as a father and a coach. He is an author, broadcaster and shortly after retirement from professional sport launched his own training, health and lifestyle brand Sansego which keeps him busy, as well as being an ambassador for a variety events, brands, charitable causes and foundations, his passion for sport knows no bounds.

This is a super chat with a simply incredible person, the show is longer than normal so maybe fill the kettle rather than just making one cuppa and chill out whilst you are inspired, educated and motivated by one of the all time greats of triathlon and sport.

 

Show More

Cherie Gruenfeld has embraced a life in sport and specifically in triathlon for three decades. Taking up the sport at the age of forty eight, earlier this month at seventy eight years of age, she became the oldest female ever to complete the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, her fourteenth World Title on the Big Island.

An incredible achievement for the author, advocate, coach and all round inspirational athlete who has achieved more in sport than many of us can only dream of.  In addition to her fourteen IRONMAN World Champion titles, she is a four time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, a WTC Female Athlete of the Year,  A multiple USA Triathlon Female Grandmaster of the Year, An Inductee to the USAT Hall of Fame and in 2020 was inducted into the Port Angeles High School Athletic Hall of Fame for her success in Badminton.

Cherie truly embraces the life of an athlete, living and breathing the sport of triathlon. When she is not training for her own races she is using her passion, dedication and commitment to triathlon to help change the lives of children in inner city San Bernardino in California. The Exceeding Expectations Foundation which Cherie founded has for 20 years been encouraging at-risk children to move their lives in a positive direction, using the sport of triathlon as the vehicle.

Cherie is softly spoken, yet her tenacity, courage and determination is stronger than many people half her age. She is a shining star in sport and in life, her age may be slowing her down physically in sport but her appetite for life and for success shows no signs of slowing down. She may have made her final appearance on the finish line in Kona in 2022, but we can expect to see her on plenty more finish lines before she stops racing altogether. This is a truly inspiring episode of the podcast and if you ever thought you couldn’t do something or that you are too old to try something new then, Cherie is the epitome of ‘you can do anything you set your mind to, you just have to give it a try’.

 

Photo Credit: Tony Svensson/ IRONMAN
Show More

In 2021 Nathan Ford was a top age group triathlete who’s future in sport was both exciting and very promising. The fastest age group athlete at IRONMAN Wales in 2019 he had previously raced in Wales in 2017 finishing 3rd in his age group and stamping his ticket to Kona for 2018. He raced his first IRONMAN in Austria in 2016 and had gone from strength to strength in the sport of triathlon making full use of his background as a competitive swimmer in his multisport endeavours.

In August 2021, Nathan was leading the British National Triathlon Championships when he suffered life changing injuries in an accident during the cycling portion of the race.  The injuries sustained were so severe it was touch and go on the side of the road immediately after the accident and indeed it was touch and go for Nathan for the first few weeks in hospital as he embarked on an incredible journey of recovery and rehabilitation.

Told by doctors he would never walk again the prognosis for Nathan was bleak, he spent over half a year in hospital, 14 weeks of that time in a halo brace.  At times the will to give up was stronger than the will to survive, but somehow he managed to pull himself out of the darkness. Inspired by his wife Catrin, his athletes on Team NFT and the huge outpouring of support received from at home and abroad, Nathan found the courage and strength to fight back, to fight for his life to fight to be the best version of himself for the future whatever that future might hold.

Fast forward to a little over a year after his accident and Nathan is working hard, extremely hard EVERY Day to make improvements in his mobility, dexterity and  aspects of life that many of us take for granted. His tenacity, fighting spirit and determination have paid off as he is every day defying the odds and is quite literally a miracle man, his athlete mindset driving him forward bit by bit every day.

This is a fascinating episode of the podcast and may for some be upsetting in parts, Nathan is incredible, there are few words that can do him justice in describing what he has achieved in his fight for his life, he really is a true inspiration. If you would like to support his journey to recovery and help him please check out his go fund me page on the link HERE.

 

Show More

Tom Rigby is an age group triathlete who has had some stellar performances across swim, bike and run. Winner of the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Cork in Youghal last month he backed up that impressive win by winning the overall Age Group race at the tenth edition of IRONMAN Wales last week finishing in a time of 9:31:05.

Tom was the third fastest age group athlete at IRONMAN UK last year and in 2019 he was fifth fastest overall and second in his age group at the Bolton event, earning him a hard earned and coveted slot for the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona.

Taking up triathlon seven years ago or so, he raced IRONMAN UK in 2015, as a ‘one and done’ but he is far from done! He did take a bit of a break from racing triathlon to focus on cycling in recent years, where he has also had significant success, however he missed the fun, camaraderie and friendship of training and racing with his friends and team mates at Tri Preston and so has returned to triathlon. With consistency in training some great training partners and steely determination Tom has enjoyed super fast times and significant improvements in performance in recent years.

2022 was a big year for Tom, despite a late start to his triathlon season, it has been his most successful to date, breaking the tape at IRONMAN 70.3 Cork was icing on the cake.  In this episode we get some insight into Tom’s approach to training and racing whilst working a forty hour a week job as well as balancing family life with his wife Kerry and two children Evelyn and Sophie – who join us on the show for a couple of minutes.

Together Tom and Kerry are embracing triathlon as a way of life for their family, Tom may be the athlete standing on the start line of a race but Kerry is a key part of Tom’s success and together they enjoy and endure the sport of triathlon and long distance racing as a team.

 

Photo Credit: Huw Fairclough/ IRONMAN Ireland
Show More

This is a very special edition of the Tri Talking Sport podcast recorded live with a virtual audience featuring much loved guest Mike Reilly, the Voice of IRONMAN, who last week announced that he would hang up his microphone at the end of the 2022 Race Season.

An outpouring of love, support and gratitude was shared across the world for Mike after his announcement, much deserved for the man who in Kona, Hawaii coined the phrase, YOU are an IRONMAN, four words that have become synonymous with triathlon, endurance sport and of course with IRONMAN.

Mike has called thousands of athletes across the finish line across a multitude of triathlon and endurance events around the world over the past 40 years but the four words that mean the most and have inspired athletes around the globe are those sacred ones he says after an athlete completes an IRONMAN of a 3.8k swim, 180k bike ride and 42.2k run – You are An IRONMAN.

In this episode Mike gets a lovely surprise to see and hear some familiar faces from his IRONMAN Announcer Ohana (Family) who drop in from around the world to share some memories and stories of fun times with Mike over the years.  Huge thanks to Paul Kaye, Eric Gilsenan, Pete Murray, Whit Raymond, Alain Cyr and Tony Lugo for joining the live show and making it extra special.

Mike may be hanging up his IRONMAN microphone at the end of this season, but his legacy on the IRONMAN finish line will go on forever.

 

Photo Credit: Huw Fairclough for IRONMAN