The annual Jailbreak Triathlon, hosted by the local Cobh Triathlon club, took place on Saturday August 8th 2015 in Cobh. This is the fourth consecutive year that this national sporting event was held with sponsorship from the Port of Cork and local businesses and ECCG was on hand to take some memorable photographs of the action.
Cloudy skies but no rain and rather choppy waters greeted competitors in their escape bid as well as photographers capturing the event on camera. The event also attracted huge crowds who lined the streets in their droves to cheer on the race participants.
The multi-stage competition involved the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines – swimming, cycling and running in immediate succession over various distances. The levels catered for in this flagship event were Olympic and Sprint triathlon distances. The Olympic distance consisted of a 1,500m swim from Spike Island to Cobh followed by a 40km flat fast cycle race finishing with a 10km run along the Cobh waterfront and promenade and back to the heart of the Cobh town centre. A shorter distance was available for the Sprint option consisting of a 750km swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. Relay teams consisting of 3 individuals also participated on the day – one completing the swim, one the cycle leg and the remaining person doing the run.
Over 600 triathletes from all over Ireland and afar competed in this event. All were competing for the fastest and overall course completion time including ‘transitions’ from the individual swim, cycle and run components. Prior to the race each competitor was fitted with an electronic timer device to their ankle used to track and monitor their performance throughout the 3 stage event.
Shortly after 10am competitors in the Olympic event, who had already been transported across to Spike, gathered for the start of their race, which commenced at around 11.20am. Meanwhile, competitors in the Sprint event made their way to White point for their 1pm start. Both events commenced with a swim in open water without stopping, the Olympic competitors swimming from Spike Island to Cobh while the Sprint competitors swam along the shorefront from Whitepoint to the town centre. On completion of the swim competitors made their way to the transition area where they changed gear to begin the cycle segment through the main street of Cobh town and out the coast road.
The bright coloured outfits of the cyclists, together with their athletic prowess were admirable as they were cheered on by the clapping spectators. We availed of the opportunity to capture the participant’s facial expressions of intense determination, hard hitting motivation and undefeatable attitude on camera.
On completion of the cycle segment the competitors exchanged bicycles for running shoes and finished with a run ending in the centre of Cobh town. Of course we were present at the finishing line to capture the emotion and delight of those who had completed the triathlon reaping the rewards of their strict and challenging training regimen, many of which participated in support of various charities such as animal welfare groups and cancer societies.
The event finished later that evening with a presentation to the winners. As crowds dispersed to return home Cobh returned to normality. We headed home to review our images to remind us of the sporting pedigree and sheer determination of those who took part in this prestigious county Cork sporting event.
- Noelle Lowney