The first of two female triathletes to wear the IrishCycleSport jersey for 2019 is Jennifer O’Sullivan. Having completed her first triathlon just two years ago, Jennifer has already come a long way on the bike, placing well in all events both here at home and internationally throughout 2018.
Heading into 2019, Jennifer will from hereon in be backed by IrishCycleSport.
Her increasing commitment to triathlon coincides with a groundswell of encouragement for females taking up sports across the board. Take for example the recent 20x20 campaign spearheaded by the Federation of Irish Sport in order to create a cultural rise in the number of participants, attendances and media coverage of women in sport. It is something Jennifer hopes will help to encourage many women to find a new active interest.
Jennifer took home Gold in Sprint Distance, Silver in Standard Distance and Bronze in Middle Distance at the 2018 Triathlon Ireland National Age Group awards presented at The Gibson hotel in Dublin.
We caught up with Jennifer to find out how things are panning out for her so far.
What age group are you in?
Are you part of a club?
Belpark Triathlon Club, which is based in and around the Rathfarnham area of south Dublin. I will also be joining the new IrishCycleSport International Cycling club for 2019.
How did you become a triathlete?
Becoming a triathlete was something that just kind of happened. I wanted a break from the long hours at work and I wanted to become stronger, so I took part in the Dublin City Triathlon in August 2016. I didn’t have a bike, so I borrowed a High Nelly hybrid from a friend, the thing was so heavy!
What bike do you ride?
What do you enjoy most about cycling?
Cycling is one of those things that you can put a huge amount of effort into whilst enjoying everything that’s going on around you. I love that I can explore amazing places when training. One of my favourite training destinations is the Sally Gap in Wicklow. It always breaks me, but its beauty is something that always draws me back.
Have you taken part in many events this year?
I would say I’ve taken part in about 25 events this year, including the Ironman 70.3 in Barcelona. I also cycled from Galway to Dublin in three days.
What main tip would you give to someone training for a triathlon?
Always prepare well in advance. Like the Spartan warriors said - “If you sweat more in training, you’ll bleed less in war”.
How did you hear of IrishCycleSport?
Having already known Adrian from ThinkBike in Rathmines, he told me during a conversation that he was concerned that there were so many Irish riders with no help abroad, so he decided to set up IrishCycleSport. He since invited me to put on the jersey, which I happily agreed to do in return for his support.
Is there anything that you have planned with IrishCycleSport in the next year?
Adrian is going to help me work towards domestic women’s road racing in 2019, which I’m really excited about.
Have you got a cycling idol or hero?
Aine Donegan, a pro triathlete turned road cyclist, would be someone that I look up.
Is there anything that you’d like to achieve in 2019?
I definitely want to get faster in the saddle. I feel like the stronger the cyclist you are, the better chances you’ve got in a triathlon.
Aside from IrishCycleSport, is there anyone else that’s been of great support?
It’s got to be my boyfriend, he makes my training plans and he drives me everywhere. We’re going to be competing in a duathlon together in January.
Find out more about IrishCycleSport here