SWIM WHEN YOUR WINNING Ethan Doherty swam the first leg of the Ironman triathlon in the special erected pool at the back of the Doherty household. Pic: Conor McKeown
WESTPORT brothers Con, Aaron and Ethan Doherty completed their own unique version of the famous Ironman event from their back garden last Sunday, and raised over €8,000 for Pieta House.
The renowned triathletes completed one discipline each over the course of their seven hours and 33 minute event that was being streamed live on social media, with huge numbers tuning in all day.
Youngest sibling Ethan kicked off proceedings, swimming 3.8km in under 56 minutes in a pool whilst being attached by bungee cord to the edge. Aaron then completed the cycling leg on a turbo trainer, powering through a gruelling 180km cycle in four hours and eleven minutes. Before Con dashed over the virtual finish line, running 43km on a treadmill in two hours 21 minutes.
In total they managed to reach their goal of beating the Ironman world record (7:35) by nearly two minutes and other than a few technical difficulties, the day ran smoothly.
“We all really pulled together for it,” an exhausted but elated Con told The Mayo News yesterday (Monday). “The biggest thing we were worried about was that if each one of us could get through each discipline in a quick time without blowing up because the wheels would have come off big time then.
“But as it turned out the biggest problem was the technical stuff! The broadcast cut out a few times and then the Zwift disconnected when I was running, whilst Aaron’s power meter didn’t work at the start either.. but it was a class day and the support we got was great, it really helped us.”
Physically, Con revealed he was suffering from gut problems during his marathon run and had to make two quick toilet breaks, yet he still registered a seriously impressive time. “I don’t think I ate long enough before hand,” he laughed. “But you know it’s funny because it was so relevant in raising money for Pieta House, because all that was in my head throughout the challenge was thinking I’m all alone and that I do not want to be in this situation and it was horrible, but once the support of our neighbours, it helped me push the pace.”
Whilst younger brother Aaron produced his biggest race in some time. Having suffered a bad crash earlier in the year that hampered his training, Aaron hadn’t rode a race that long in quite some time.
“During the race, it was horrific,” Aaron said. “The first two hours weren’t bad, but the last two were really biting back.
“I had a bad accident earlier in the year, so I haven’t done much training. I haven’t rode over three hours since last year so I was really going into the unknown during the last hour and without the support I don’t think I would have finished it.”
The trio admitted they were absolutely blown away by the support and generosity of the people who donated. Having set an early goal of €1,500, the Doherty’s eclipsed that before their challenge even began last Sunday morning.
And it was a real family effort last Sunday, with their parents, John and Eithne, and other brother Seán, all on hand throughout the day.
“We were a full team,” Con said. “Dad was tracking all the times, Mum was making sure we were hydrated and topped up throughout and Seán was doing all the video.
“It was real team spirit. We’ve been blessed that we can all train together here in the house now.. and that is why you probably do this, to represent your family.”
To donate visit www.gofundme.com/f/doherty-brothers-backyard-ironman-for-pieta-house