Gartan Triathlon 2023: One Day, One Race, Four Seasons of Weather!


Renowned as one of the most spectacular triathlon’s in the country, Gartan 2023 did not disappoint with participants coming up with spectacular and determined performances in Saint Columba’s backyard.

‘Brave souls’ is the term that will always come to mind when we look back on the annual 24/7 staging of the Gartan Triathlon. Among other things the 116 competitors were dealt sunshine, intermittent showers, sporadic deluges, a calm lake, and unsettled body of water.

The swim went from nice and calm up to the turning point, after this the swimmers were met with more challenging choppy conditions as they made they way to the exit point in front of the main centre. From here it was out onto the roads surrounding Churchill. The roads were quite puddly but, thankfully, the intermittent sunny spells made life a little easier on the cycling leg. Finally, the run along the shores of the Lough was its usual combination of trail and tarmac, resulting in a combination of relieved and happy faces on the triathletes as they turned into the woods under the boathouse and made the last dash for home.

Thoughts and prayers are with Paul Sausy Doherty. He was unable to contend with the heat that his brother Donal brought the ‘Doherty v Doherty 2023’ battle. We are already looking forward to the 2024 edition of this saga.

One club (ahem, committee) member was a little too eager to get through the trees and almost turned his final descent into a downhill tumbling experience. It would be unfair to name names, though there are rumours that Mervyn McDowell is planning on introducing some ski slalom drills to training over the winter months.

When all was said and done the podium positions were filled by 1. Sean McLaughlin (1:02:20) NorthWest Triathlon Club, 2. Emmet Mullan (1:03:24), and our own Mark McGinkey was in 3rd (1:04:52) The female podium positions were filled by 1. Orla McGandy (1:16:55) 2. Lucy McDermott (1:17:35) Omagh Triathlon Club, and Anne Paul (1:17:57) Triangle Triathlon Club. The full results are available at: Check out all of our photos galleries at our Facebook page

Thanks to our sponsors Tinney’s Toys and Wasson’s Garage and special thanks to Gartan Outdoor Centre, Core Timing, Pat and Amanda Brady from The Kitchen, and Donegal Red Cross. Special mention for all our marshals, we wouldn’t be able to run events like this without your constant support and volunteering. Race orgsniser

Niamh McDaid deserves immense credit for managing the running of this race, with her experienced team. A lot of time and unseen work goes into this project every year and making sure everything goes off without a hitch.

Our 24/7 triathletes absolutely crushed it. Results as follows:
3. Mark McGinley 1:04:52
4. Peter O’Donnell 1:05: 47
5. Mervyn McDowell 1:08:22
12. Paul Dillon 1:10:22
18. Mark Gallagher 1:11:58
20. Shaun McDevitt 1:12:36
21. Paddy Doherty 1:12:51
25. Raymond McNamee 1:16:05
28. Paul Doherty 1:16:29
39. Neil Sullivan 1:18:52
43. Gavin Ward 1:20:24
48. Brendan McBride 1:21:50
53. Yasmina Lazaro1:23:20
63. Keith Fletcher 1:26:34
65. Tracey McAuley 1:26:38
66. Kilian Nulty 1:26:51
67. Noelle Parker 1:26:52
73. Suzie Bogan 1:29:25
79. Kieran Fox 1:30:44
89. Christy Callaghan 1:34:00

Special kudos to ⁨Peter O’Donnell⁩, who followed up yesterday’s 4th place finish in Gartan, with a 3rd overall finish in today’s Top of Mourne Standard – and Shane McNulty who finished 5th overall/1st in his age category.

This week’s training schedule as follows:

Monday 6.30pm: Open Water Swimming at Gartan Lough. Kayak: Barry McElaney Sign in: Niamh McDaid

Tuesday 6.30pm/7pm: Running Session. Session will be posted in WhatsApp group on Tuesday and members can arrange to meet that evening.

Wednesday 7pm-8pm: Lane swimming at the Aura. Online booking/paying available on

Thursday 6.30pm -7.30pm: TT/Brick Session at Foxhall. First bike away at 6/45pm sharp. Marshals: Amanda McNulty & Claire Nicholls

Saturday: Club cycle. Details will be posted in the club WhatsApp group.

Sunday: Long run or long bike TBC.

Please remember to send on results and pictures so we can include them in club updates.

All of you are welcome

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