History of Dublin City Triathlon
The beginnings of The Dublin City Triathlon can be traced back as far as 1985 when 3 Rock Tri held a race which attracted about 50 athletes. The swim was located at the south wall where the Half Moon Swim Club swam. The cycle was around the Ringsend area and the run went through Poolbeg. The sport was in its early days and these events were as much a social gathering of what were seen as “A crazy lot of athletes”. Some of the people involved then are still involved in Triathlon today. The Tilly family (Dave, Eamon, Karen and Joanna), Adam Bolger and Derek Murphy who is now well into his seventies and still racing. In 1988 an unknown Scotsman won the race with Dave Tilly 2nd and Dave O’Connor 3rd. In this year (1988) it was Dublin’s Millennium and the race organisers managed to shut down O’Connell Street among other city centre roads. The swim took place in the lower Liffey exiting at O’Connell Bridge with the bike and Run on closed streets around the city centre with the finish line near the GPO.
It seems the race disappeared until 1998 when Eddie Lane of Belpark put together a Nation’s Cup race which had entries from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. On the Irish A Team were John Madden, Gary Scully, Michael Mc Carron and Bobby Behan. The race was won by Marc Jenkins with Scott Forbes in second and Andy Tarry in third. Marc Jenkins went on to represent GB in the 2004 Athens Olympics. He was the last man to finish because of a collision during the cycle leg that left his bicycle unusable. Rather than quit he ran the 2 remaining kilometres with his bike on his shoulders to place 45th of the 50 who started. Also in that Nations Cup race back in ’98 was a young Gavin Noble who finished 30th overall. Gavin would then have been a 17-year-old junior who would go on to win DCT 3 times in 2005, 2009 and 2010. He will now represent his country in the 2012 London Olympics.
Eddie Lane of Belpark continued to be race director of DCT until 2002. Over those years the race became a regular on the circuit and the course is still quite similar to this day. In 1999 the female race was won by Liz Hussey of Limerick Tri but behind her in 2nd and 3rd were mother and daughter Ann Kearney and Caroline Kearney of the Harp Tri Club. Caroline would go on to win DCT a record 4 times and you can be sure she would have added to that if it were not for her untimely death due to a cycling accident in June 2006.
Up to 2001 the race had no more than 100 entries but over the next years the race grew as did the sport in numbers. At the top end in the men’s Gary Scully of Limerick Tri won in 1999 and Eoin O’Connell of Cork Tri in 2000. Then started the dominance of Brian Campbell of Hi-Elbow who won the race 4 years in a row and was pushed all the way by Trevor Woods who had to settle for runner-up in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Brian’s run of victories was interrupted by Gavin Noble in 2005 but he was back to win again in 2006 and 2007 with a record total of 6 DCT titles.
During the period of 2001-2011 DCT have only had 4 different male winners – Brian Campbell (6), Gavin Noble (3), David Graham (1) and Matt Molloy (1). The fastest male time since 1998 was Marc Jenkins with 1hr 47mins 42 sec.
The ladies in comparison have had many different winners with the fastest female time being 1hr 57min 47 sec by Steph Forrester. In the past 3 years the Wolfe sisters of Cork Tri have been looking after the title with Amy winning in 2009& 2011 and Joyce in 2010. Apart from Caroline Kearney(4) the other DCT Champions were Leigh Tynan of Canada in 2002, Julie Murphy in 2004, Nicki Barron (UK) 2006, Clare Connor 2007 and Sinead Jennings in 2008.
In 2003 Piranha Triathlon Club took over the organisation and running of what is now known as DCT (Dublin City Triathlon). Back then Piranha was a newly formed club but their mission was to develop the race into one of the best and biggest club races in the country. By 2006 they had over 500 entries and this year as in the past 2 years it will attract approximately 1000 athletes. Only the lucky ones who enter on time will get a place as it always sells out. Three years ago in 2009 Piranha added the super sprint distance to the event to cater for the ever increasing number of newbies trying out the sport.
In 2010 DCT was the National Olympic Championships and had one of the highest quality fields ever. The overall winner was Gavin Noble with runner- up Brian McCrystal and 3rd paced Bjorn Luddick. All three men were 25-29 age group so will be around for a while yet. In the women’s race the winner was Joyce Wolfe followed closely by Elena Maslova and Aoife O Connor.
With the development and growth of the sport the numbers racing continues to grow and so has the national series (organised by TI). DCT is proud to be a national series race. As the race falls on the last weekend in August it can be a big deciding factor in the National Series points Championship. In 2011 we had 9 of the Top 10 Male contenders on the start line and 7 of the Top 10 Female contenders. When you look at the results over the years I think it is fair to say that anyone who is anyone in the sport of Triathlon has raced DCT and more than likely a good few times, which speaks volumes about the race itself.
DCT goes from strength to strength with its now established swim in the Liffey and closed roads cycle course the Phoenix park and superb run course.
Piranha Triathlon club and its DCT committee are always looking to improve our race and this year we will introduce a new 8 point fresh water safety plan which we believe will enhance the race experience. We are also very pleased to have Vodafone as the title race sponsor for 2012. Vodafone will be bringing massive support to the race and I can assure all who enter will be in for a few surprises.
Piranha Tri Club
Check out the website archive of DCT from 2002 and earlier: http://web.archive.org/web/20021130081836/http://www.dublintri.com/