Allister Brownlee Wins Youghal Ironman

A double Olympic gold medal winner and one of the biggest names in world triathlon, Allister Brownlee. Brownlee came home first place at the Ironman Challenge in Youghal on Sunday 23 June 2019. (Photo by Andrea Cunningham).

The huge Céad Mile Fáilte extended to the thousands of competitors and supporters in Youghal over the weekend will be the big memory from the Ironman on Sunday as the Irish weather again turned a spoilsport causing the organisers to abandon the swim section for safety reasons.
The event that generated around 8 million for the local economy had a massive build up and the good will and great craic around the town in the build up to the event was fantastic. Sadly for once the weather forecasters got it right and the weather turned nasty overnight on Saturday and by early Sunday morning it was horrendous with the sea at Claycastle beach just unsafe with huge waves and a strong swell more suited to surfers that swimmers.
That resulted in the cancellation of the swim section and resorting to plan B with the competitors taking to the bikes after a random draw. This too proved a daunting task with wet roads and strong winds to deal with not to mention Windmill Hill in Youghal which proved to be a great spectacle for the supporters, but a huge challenge for the competitors.
Following the 112 mile cycle it was then onto the 26.2 mile marathon and here again it was a huge challenge but again a great spectacle for the crowds that came out to support the runners. While the elite athletes found the going challenging it was the thousands of ordinary folk that rose to extraordinary height that deserve great credit for getting past the finish line. For many it was their own personal “Everest” as Ironman Cork certainly tested both mind and body to the limit.
After a hectic day two times Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee from Great Britain was the first man home in 7.44.16 just ahead of Ireland’s Bryan Crystal second in 7.49.45 with Germany’s Markus Thomschke in third on 7.50.10.
In the women’s elite section pocket rocket Emma Bilham from Switzerland was first lady home in 17th position well ahead of Pleune Hooijman from the Nederland’s who was 42nd with Amanda Wendhorf from the USA in third spot in 55th place. The full results can be got on the Ironman Cork, results page where all 2067, competitors can see how they got on.
Overall the event was a huge success and while Sunday was a washout in many respects everyone just got on with the event and proved that all those taking part were certainly Ironmen and Women.
Well done to all especially the organisers who rose to the challenge along with all of the volunteers and emergency services that had to contend with really tough conditions, but did so magnificently. Hopefully when the event returns to these shores again next year that the weather will be far kinder, but the Irish welcome extended to all who travelled certainly showed Cork, Youghal and surrounding areas in a great light as Ironman 2019 goes into the history books with everyone taking home their own memories of a wonderful weekend in Youghal.