Trio tackle tough new challenge

Stephen McConagh, Sam Uprichard and Gary McDonald who represented TUNA. INLM31-210
Stephen McConagh, Sam Uprichard and Gary McDonald who represented TUNA. INLM31-210

Three hardy members of the TUNA Triathlon Club travelled to Islandmagee on Saturday to tackle a new event known as the Brown Bay’s Beat.

This 1500m swim, 40k cycle and 10k run claims to be the toughest Olympic distance triathlon in Ireland, and by all accounts, it lived up to expectations.

First TUNA out of the water was Lurgan’s Stephen McConaghy, with an impressive swim of 22:56.

He was followed less than two minutes later by his clubmates Sam Uprichard and Gary McDonald who exited the water within 20 seconds of each other.

The windy conditions on the coastal route only increased the challenge ahead of the triathletes, as the bike course covered some very hilly terrain.

The TUNA lads were up to the challenge, with Gary getting round the route in an excellent time of 1:13.

The Laurelvale resident made a lightning quick transition off the bike to the run course and was first TUNA across the line in 15th place overall, with a time of 2:18:58.

Sam and Stephen also powered around the run course, posting impressive 10k times of 43:21 and 43:23 respectively.

Stephen finished the race with a time of 2:24:59, and Sam in 2:31:45; outstanding times all round for such a demanding course.

TUNA are now gearing up for their first ever home event – the TUNA Triple Sprint Eliminator, which is taking place at Craigavon Watersports Centre on Sunday, August 11, at 10.30am.

This event is open to allcomers, from complete beginners through to Olympians, as it is up to competitors if they want to compete in one, two or all three events.

Wetsuit hire is included in the entry cost of £15, so it is a perfect opportunity to sample the adrenalin rush of multisport events.

For entry forms or more information, go to, or find them on Facebook.