Our Triathlete – Ken

September 20, 2016

Ken is a member of staff based in Clondalkin Leisure Centre. He is a Swimming Instructor, Lifeguard and important member of our Pool Team! This year Ken competed in the Triathlon Ireland National Series and below is a detail of his involvement!

If you are interested in Triathlon, speak to Ken or ask at reception and we will see if we can get one of the lads to let you know more info! Check out Triathlon Ireland for details of races and how to get involved in Triathlon.

Check out our Pool Timetable for details of our  25m lane. Ken runs a triathlete based swimming sessions on Monday evenings during the 9.15pm lane swim, pop down for this session and you can make improvements on your own swimming!

Triathlon season 2016

What a year’s racing! I had a lot of ups and downs.

I kick started my training with the Clondalkin Leisure Centre annual triathlon with very little training under my belt. I did OK. This was the incentive to kick on to my second indoor triathlon in March. I finished 3rd overall with a new Personal Best (PB) of 1 hour 6 minutes and that got me thinking of the season ahead.

The intention of competing in the national series which would involve 6 races during the season. The management in Clondalkin Leisure Centre provided my entry to the series and I was very excited for the potential of the season ahead. For the races coming up I trained harder and I worked hard to improve my running. Things went bad at the very start, just after securing the entry to the National Series – I was involved in an accident on my bicycle. The bike was written off and I had to suffer six weeks of no training, other than swimming. Had to withdraw from two early races due to this and my injuries had devastated my motivation to kick on. “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger!”, “watch this space” I thought, I was determined to come back with a vengeance. I was hoping for at least a podium finish during the season and started training in earnest.

My first race of the season was the Belfast Titanic Triathlon – Standard Distance. I went in with a realistic game plan; I had set times in my head for each discipline and finished the race in a new PB of 2 hours 57minutes. I was over the moon and I’d learned a big lesson –

“Prepare a realistic game plan, and stick to it!” – GAME PLAN, GAME PLAN, GAME PLAN – V.I.P.

Race 2 was the Lough Neagh Sprint Distance.

This race went well on the day. I didn’t know what to expect – being my first sprint but I felt ok. On the day I picked up the pace in the run with 1.5km to go  – learned here that I was capable of picking up my pace earlier – maybe I will pick up the pace earlier in the next race!

Race 3 was Tri-the-Hook Sprint Distance in Wexford.

This was the hardest race I have ever done. On the day there was torrential rain on the drive down and the sea was rough – this didn’t phase me too much but there was talk of cancelling the swim before the start of the race. The bike course was very hilly with strong driving cross winds and some nice turns into head winds! Thankfully the rain held off during the race! The run started on the cliff top with a strong breeze – enough to knock you off your feet! The first 1.5km was very tough, after that it settled down and I got into my rhythm and it got a little easier.

Race 4 was Dublin City Triathlon Sprint Distance

Dublin City Triathlon is an early start. On the day the swim definitely felt longer than 750m. I started well on the bike and felt very strong. The bike course is a sequence of laps and on lap 2 I went too quick into a bend and came off into the grass. I popped up and assessed the damage to the bike, before giving myself the once over. It looked like there was no damage so the adrenaline kicked in and i got back on and finished strong. I ran very well picking up pace this time at the half way point – 2.5km to go! And came in strong at the finish line.

Race 5 Port Beach Sprint Distance

This race was different from the rest in that there was a mass start in the swim. Literally about 100 people running from the beach into the sea and heading for the first marker buoy 100m out. There was a lot of bashing in the water and I had to give as good as I got, and then some! I finished strong out of the water and after a good transition I was out on the bike. This bike course was fast in places and I knew towards the end of the ride I was faster than normal. I got into a good pace early in the run and passed a lot of people with ease. On the 5km run only 3 or 4 people passed me. I ran a new PB and I was over the moon with my run over 5km – 21mins 57 seconds!


Overall I finished 16th in the National Series with 339 points. I know I can go a bit better than this next season. A bike accident at the start of the year caused me to withdraw from 2 races. Big learning curve but if felt I improved as the season went on. I hit my peak in the last race and set my benchmark very high for next season. I would not be where I am now if not for the sponsorship I received from Clondalkin Leisure Centre. Many thanks, Ken









Age grade position



Lough Neagh00:14:4300:01:5800:43:0200:01:0300:26:3901:27:24




Dublin City00:17:0500:02:2300:43:3900:01:4700:24:4201:29:34


Clougher Head00:13:4000:02:1500:40:4600:01:4000:21:5701:20:20



Belfast was Olympic Distance, all other races were Sprint Distances

Olympic Distance Races consist of a 1500m Swim in open water (lake/river/sea), 40km cycle on the roads and a 10km run.

Sprint Distance Races consist of a 750m Swim in open water (lake/river/sea), 20km cycle and a 5km run.

Transitions are where athletes finish one discipline and prepare for the next. T1 involves getting out of the water, out of a wetsuit, into cycling gear and out to the road to start the cycle. T2 involves coming back from the cycle, dismounting the bike (which sounds easier than it is!), putting the bike back in your place and getting ready to go running. Transition is a whole discipline in itself and can make or break a race!

Clondalkin Leisure Centre
Clondalkin Leisure Centre,
Nangor Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Phone: 01 - 457 4858, Fax: 01 - 457 6058
email: info@clondalkinleisure.com
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