Two Spiddal athletes will be hoping to take Germany by storm this weekend while in Kalkar to take part in the Duathlon European Championships.
This afternoon (Saturday), Marie Boyle and Diarmuid Ó Conchubair will be pushing themselves to the limit in an event that involves a 10k run, a 40k cycle, followed by another 5k run.
Both athletes are coached by John Greaney at the Hurt Locker in Barna and have put in countless hours of training and preparation in the hope of achieving pole position at the amateur athletics competition.
Diarmuid was confident that weather conditions in Germany will suit the two Galway athletes. With rain forecast, he joked that all those hours spent training in the worst of weather at home would stand to them when they land on German soil.
“I was just looking at the forecast there and it’s rain so I think that will suit; when you’re doing hill repeats up Moycullen Hill in the sleet last weekend, you hope it will all be worth it,” he said.
Marie is no newcomer to this event having taken part in the competition, and taken a podium position in both 2014 and 2015 – achieving silver and bronze respectively.
“Last year we went to Madrid and I had qualified because I got silver the previous year in Austria,” said Marie. “That was really hard, the terrain was hard and the weather was absolutely awful – I ended up with hypothermia but I still came home with a bronze.”
Diarmuid, up until recently, was only taking part in long distance events like Ironman, half Ironman and marathons, but was encouraged by John to change tack and begin training for middle distance events.
“John encouraged me to go for the shorter events, even if that meant chasing me around the track,” said Diarmuid.
“With the shorter distances, you have to be more focussed on speed so John was great for that.”
The commitment to this is huge and takes a serious amount of training. This is made all the more impressive given that it is totally amateur and unpaid, despite being like a “part-time job”.
John, who is also an athlete, spends two days a week training Marie and Diarmuid on a one-to-one basis and a lot more time online.
“You have to take your hat off to them, their commitment and dedication is outstanding,” said John.
Diarmuid will race at 10am, with Marie setting off at 2pm. All events will be live streamed on triathlon.org