Date Published: 16-Jun-2011
IN September, one of the biggest global brands in sport – Ironman – will come to Galway, and indeed Ireland, for the first time ever. As the leading triathlon coach in this country, German native Peter Kern outlines that tri-athletes’ preparations for Ironman 70.3 Ireland are well underway.
Although there are numerous sprint, Olympic and half ‘ironman’ triathlons in Ireland, many of which are of a pretty high standard, these sporting events are run by individual clubs around the country and they do not carry the global brand of Ironman, which, Kern notes, is regarded as the “Mecca” of triathlon racing.
“Ironman is basically another level,” states Kern, in his best German lilt. “Whatever they do is extremely well-organised; they manage quite well to combine the sport and the show into one great spectacle. And people love it.”
Galway’s selection for the first corporate Ironman event in Ireland is something of a coup, but Kern, whose company PB3 Coaching has been designated the official training partner to the event, says the West of Ireland capital was an obvious choice.
“Galway has the structures to deal with lots of people. There are enough hotels, the landscape is quite famous and Dublin Airport is not too far away. It was almost the natural selection for an Ironman race,” continues the 36-year-old coach. “You could also have gone to Athlone or Killarney, but they, along with Galway, are maybe the only three locations which would be quite suitable for a race of this calibre.
“Galway, though, has always punched above its weight when attracting a high level of sports competitions, so there is obviously an expertise – how to do big races – there in Galway. Once you have success, then, you always get more success. That is what seems to have happened in Galway.”
Indeed, events such as the Galway Races and, indeed, the Volvo Ocean Race in June 2009 have served the West well and with over 2,000 participants expected to descend on the city – the race begins in Salthill and heads out towards Connemara and back again – it should bring with it a carnival atmosphere.
“If I remember correctly, there are 300 people coming from the UK, about 200 people from the United States, and 40 people from Germany. They have people from Switzerland and Austria; there are people from every continent who will be racing in Galway.”
Of course, there will also be a massive Irish entry in the gruelling event, which demands of the competitors to swim 1.9km, ride 90km on a bike and run for 22km, the latter of which equates to a half marathon. In preparation, Kern and PB Coaching are running a number of weekend training camps – beginning this weekend – in Galway and Dublin, along with numerous one-day orientation sessions to familiarise participants with the course.
“Basically, the plan is to run a camp in Galway every four weeks,” details Kern. “The camps are normally two days and apart from going through the course, we also try to educate people on running technique, cycling technique and swimming technique.
“So, for people who want to have the full package, they come to a two-day camp and for people who are more concerned about the course – how the course actually lines out – they will go more for the one-day camps. We would think there would be at least four one-day camps in Galway and I would really hope that we would have another three full weekend camps in Galway.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.