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By Joanne Murphy

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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
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This special episode of the podcast features the fastest Irish Age Group Athletes from IRONMAN Ireland 2022. Deirdre Casey from Cork, was the first woman home in the IRONMAN 70.3 event taking the overall age group female title. Graham Dillon who races with HupHup was second fastest age group male on the day and first Irish man across the line on Saturday. On Sunday, it was Belpark’s Ellen Murphy who was the first overall age group female at IRONMAN Ireland in her first ever IRONMAN race, Enda Bagnall from Eden Tri Club finished in fifth place overall in the men’s age group race and was fastest Irish age group athlete on the day.

In this episode the athletes share some of their backgrounds in sport, from GAA and athletics to swimming, badminton and hockey.  They give us some insight into their race and experience in Cork,  from their individual highlights to the epic nature of Windmill Hill, to advice for people taking on either the 70.3 or Full Distance event in the future.

All four athletes have been successful in the sport of triathlon from race wins, to overall age group podiums, World Championship qualification and everything in between. Deidre, Ellen, Graham and Enda are all high achievers in sport who have worked hard to get that sporting success whilst holding down full time jobs and balancing life outside of triathlon, which for many age group athletes is very difficult to achieve.

This is a great episode of the podcast giving you a flavour of what it takes to not only race well in Cork and beyond but also how to enjoy the experience of stepping up to middle and long distance triathlon and get the most out of yourself and your performance for a result that you can be proud of regardless of the distance.

 

Photo Credit: Huw Fairclough & Gordon Thompson 

 

 

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This episode features Ultracyclist Patricia McGinley, who recently (pending ratification at the time of recording) set a World Ultra Cycling Association record as the first solo female to cycle from Mizen Head to Malin Head in Ireland covering 598km in 30hours 36 minutes.

Taking up cycling and indeed ultra cycling in recent years, she has completed the Joe Barr 200 twice and the TJB Coastal 330 as well as taking on the Wicklow 200. She took part in the Donegal Ultra 555k as part of a 4 person team so was no stranger to hills, hard cycling and long days in the saddle for this challenge despite only taking on her first solo ultra event in 2018.

Similar to the hills of Donegal, Patricia’s training ground; her life before cycling was filled with massive ups and downs, but the biggest uphill battle for her was becoming sober and building a new life from the depths of depression and despair.

In this episode, Patricia bravely shares some insight into her life, her resilience and courage shining through. The friendship, camaraderie and sense of purpose the whole new world of cycling has given her, it is no surprise that she loves being on her bike and part of such a supportive community, and in her own words, she says ‘Cycling Saved My Life ’.

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Gabriel Walsh is an active member of Galway Triathlon Club who, after a few years of working away from home and away from sport, got cajoled into taking up triathlon, which has taken him on an exciting adventure  that has seen him race multiple triathlons, complete IRONMAN Barcelona and the Galway Bay Swim. In recent years his passion and interest in sport has moved from triathlon specifically to gravel biking, exploring and bike packing.

Gabriel’s curiosity and fascination with exploring and adventure has seen him take on an Arctic Circle Expedition as well as an epic 3,200 km cycling adventure on the Eurovelo this year. His enthusiasm and cando attitude, along with his genuine interest in people and helping them succeed will have you signing up to your own adventure before you have time to say the words freedom and fun.

Humble in his approach, taking adversity in his stride, he is one of the good guys and, if you are planning to take on your own adventure or step outside your comfort zone to achieve something you previously thought impossible, then this episode might just be the one to encourage you to go and find your self confidence and belief in yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to.

 

 

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Becky Woods from Dublin is no stranger to success in sport having represented Ireland in both running and basketball from a young age, in recent years she has turned her hand to triathlon and cycling excelling in both and embracing the opportunity to train and race at home and abroad. As a child she was described as never standing still, always on the go, a trait that has seen her excel in sport no matter what the discipline or choice of activity.

Working as a speech and language therapist in the NRH in Dublin, sport is not only her passion but it’s also her outlet for fun, socialising and delivering some standout performances including; runner-up placings in the Triathlon Ireland National Series in 2018 and 2019. She went on to win the Triathlon Ireland National Duathlon Series in 2019 and was runner-up in the Duathlon National Championships that year. Winner of the Hardman Bantry Middle Distance race in 2020 and Hardman Waterville Middle Distance race in 2021 she successfully executed a great performance in only her third middle distance race at IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella in May of this year to finish as fastest female age group athlete on the day stamping her ticket to the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Utah later this year.

Racing her bike as part of the All Human VeloRevolution cycling team since 2020, her cycling trophy cabinet is also bursting at the seams with the Team prize at The 2020 National Cycling Championships. In 2021 she was second in the Cycling Ireland National Road Series, the Irish National Hill Climb Championships, and took home runner-up in the Best Irish Rider Classification at Rás na mBan.

Coached by Olympian Gavin Noble of HupHup, a former guest on the show on episode number 50, Becky is thriving in triathlon and with her spot secured for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in UTAH in October, her eyes are firmly on a solid performance in the States and similar to her training partner Hilary Hughes, Becky may seek to secure her pro card post World Championships. An exciting prospect not only for Becky but also for the sport of triathlon in Ireland as these female athletes represent not only themselves, their club and country on the International stage but they provide the inspiration and example for others to follow as they embark on their own personal journeys in sport.

Becky’s passion for life, sport and fun is infectious, her positive outlook and determination to succeed coupled with her desire to never stand still, has seen her thrive and achieve her sporting goals and ambitions from a young age, and I have no doubt there is a lot more success to come for Becky Woods in the future. Watch this space.

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This episode of the podcast features the Cycling Ireland Women’s Commission Team who participated in the Mondello24 Cycle which took place across the weekend of the 18th & 19th June at Mondello Park in Kildare.

24 hours of cycling around the 3.4km ( approx.) track, riders could race as a solo, two, four or eight person team!  I was thrilled but apprehensive to have been selected as a rider for the Cycling Ireland Women’s Commission who had entered a team of eight riders from across a diverse background of ability and experience into the event.

In this episode you will meet our team riders: Emma, Keela, Sharon, Hannah, Dearbhlá, Laura and Grace along with our team managers Alison and Colin who share lots of insight to our weekend of racing from the build up and training to logistics, fuelling, racing full gas, recovery and of course the craic from the track!

It was one of the best weekends of the year so far,  as you will hear on the show, the cycling was intense but the laughter and camaraderie was mighty! We had a great weekend of fun, friendship and fast racing. A big shout out to all the riders and the crew who supported them in taking part in the second edition of Mondello24. The event this year was just as exciting as the October edition of last year with lots of riders returning to test their metal over 24 hours as a solo or two person team having participated in larger teams last year, others participated for the first time this year and embraced the challenge that lay ahead!

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the event with a special mention to the solo riders and especially to the girls racing solo at the event! There was great excitement on and off the track, I was very lucky to experience both sides of the track this year as a rider and as part of the Mondello crew announcing the event and taking over their Instagram for the 24 hours of the event. There was lots of talking and cycling done over the weekend.

If anyone tuning in to the show is interested in taking part next year please get in touch and we can share more insight and tips on how to enjoy rather than endure this super ultra cycling event! Well done again to everyone who raced, roll on Mondello24 in 2023!

 

Photo Credit: Matthew Lysaght

 

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Katie O’Brien from Galway is a Para rower with her eyes and heart set on a gold medal at the Paralympics in Paris in 2024. Born with a severe case of spina bifida, which affected her left leg and parts of the left side of her body, she has excelled in rowing in recent years after picking up the sport in her mid-teens.  Rowing for years in a single boat, she was on the lookout for a male partner to join her on her paralympic journey so she could try to qualify to represent her home of Clarinbridge, her club and county of Galway and of course her country on the highest stage possible in sport.

Her journey has ebbed and flowed along the way, but Katie has powered through each obstacle, winning multiple medals and accolades, Katie represents Ireland in the PR2 W1x category and is a member of Galway Rowing Club, she previously rowed for UCD, whilst studying to become a Vet, her second passion in life, rowing being her first.

She took up rowing in 2013, after successfully rowing for a number of years she took a break during her college years and upon her return has once again begun to excel in the sport.  She won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz, prior to that she finished 6th in the A Final in the World Rowing Cup in 2013 in Eton, she has also won gold at the Henley Women’s Regatta and at the Home International Regatta and has also set two world records on ERG, the first in 2015 over 1km the second over 2k in 2021.

Katie’s positive attitude and passion for success sees no stone unturned in the pursuit of her goals in sport and in life. Her determination is fierce and her focus is fixed, there is no stopping her, she is a star on the rise and this Galway girl is going all in on her pursuit of a gold medal at Paris 2024.

 

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Annalise Murphy is a three time Olympian who won a silver medal in Rio in sailing. Full of fun and with a love of adventure she has spent more time on the water than on land from a very young age. Growing up surrounded by sporting success she sailed her way into the history books in 2010 when she became the first woman to win the Irish National Championships.

A European and World Champion and in 2016 at the Rio Olympics she secured Ireland’s first medal in sailing since 1980. She became the Female World Champion at the Moth Worlds in July 2017 and later that year joined the ‘ Turn the Tide on Plastic Team, for an adventure of a lifetime in the Volvo Ocean Race.

In recent times, Annalise has been tearing up the tarmac, trails and gravel on her bike taking podium spots across a variety of bike races, she is one to watch  as she has already demonstrated a natural talent for cycling, racing and going full gas on two wheels. Her cycling successes include finishing 5th in the National TT Champs in 2021.  She also finished second in the Galway Classic behind Eve McCrystal a few weeks ago and last week was crowned champion of the Orwell Wheelers Women’s League.

Currently studying for an MBA in Trinity, removed from the constraints of life as a full time athlete, Annalise has been embracing her love of sport, adventure, fun and people to the maximum.  Highly competitive in nature, dedicated and committed to her craft, tenacious and ambitious, yet humble in her success, the world is at her fingertips.  In this episode she shares a fascinating insight into her life that will give you plenty of food for thought as you embark on your next challenge or adventure, whatever that may be.

 

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This is a special edition and bonus episode of Tri Talking Sport where Helen Murray, host of The Inside Tri Show and I collaborated on a special one hour live show called the ‘ Tri Commute’ on Friday evening  20th May, celebrating some of the fastest long distance triathletes in the world!

Our guests on the night were; Kat Matthews, Ruth Astle, Laura Siddall, Fenella Langridge, Nikki Bartlett and Hilary Hughes. This is a super charged power hour of insight, inspiration, entertainment and great conversation all whilst having fun!

Enjoy the show!