Take a deep breath, take it all in, relax and gather yourself. It’s over. The 6 events that spread across the glorious landscape of the West of Ireland that make up the Bridge Signs Ireland West Duathlon Series have come to a close. What a journey! The physical pain, the mental exhaustion, the bruised ankles, and worse, the shattered egos.
What a sensational event. Record breaking numbers across the events; record-breaking times and a huge surge of interest from the general public made this year’s event something special.
The 2017 Bridge Signs Ireland West Duathlon Series captured the hearts of anyone that experienced its unique buzz. The volunteers, the athletes, the wives/husbands, the kids and the sponsors all took great pleasure in being part of a truly awesome series.
The success of the event can be sourced from a number of areas; the huge commitment of the clubs across the west of Ireland, the increasing popularity of team events and more importantly, and most crucial, the great culture and community that exists between “rival” clubs. It’s humbling to see such bounds, emotions and comradery among contestants. It perfectly reflects the nature and compassion the thrives within the sport.
Spanning across the events of Junior (16-18), Senior (18-39), Over 40’s (40-50) and the Over 50’s (50 +) there was plenty of quality action on display. The fasting growing bracket is the over 40’s and this is set to continue onto next years series. It’s refreshing to see so many of the over 40’s and over 50’s being new recruits. Tackling a new skill is a great way to get your life into gear. This isn’t even taking into action the tremendous physically nature of this series. From chatting to many of the “first timers” they couldn’t have been happier with their decision to train and have a focus to their training. Their sheer delight in setting goals and hitting them was heart-warming to not only see but also to feel. I would encourage anyone who is remotely thinking about taking part in next year’s event or any event. DO IT! You won’t know yourself; it will bring some of that lost magic back into your life.
Padraig Marrey from Raceface (Irelands premier race organiser), had a quick chat with me. His enthusiasm and love for the series were evident from the offset. The growth of the sport and series is something that excites him. The opportunities are endless, with the continued support of Bridge Signs, who he says is the perfect fit for the series. Supplying endless amount of material; signage, flags, pull-up banners, posters and vehicles graphics. They really do so much more than traditional sponsors. Asking him who caught his eye this year, he mentioned a few exciting competitors “The overall winner of the Male event, Derek Joyce of Galway Bay Cycling Club is a fierce warrior. Lorraine Carey in the female is truly unstoppable; she seems to be on another level”.
Be sure to keep an eye on the Bridge Signs blog for the upcoming post on “Athletes in Focus” from the IWDS series, as well as a number of other exciting Bridge Signs partnerships.