The second female triathlete to wear the IrishCycleSport jersey for 2019 is Kiera Nolan. The kayak instructor turned ultra-cyclist ditched the paddles for aero bars when she moved from Dublin to Limerick seven years ago.
Kiera’s workhorse bike is her Orro Gold with Fulcrum Racing wheels (Ultegra) but you’ll find her racing on a Felt AR3 with DT Swiss Spline RC wheels (Di2).
Having competed in triathlons and Ironmans at home and abroad over the years, Kiera’s biggest challenge yet will be the awe-inspiring 2019 Race Around Ireland Ultra Challenge.
The race event consists of a whopping 1,100km distance, including 9,000m of climbing, over 73 hours.
With Ironman Cork also on her agenda for 2019, we’re seriously impressed by Kiera’s strength and persistence in this sport, especially given how tied-up her schedule must be juggling hardcore training sessions with family time and a career.
Although Ironman enjoys good representation across both genders, Race Around Ireland is still heavily male skewed. Kiera is competing as a solo cyclist in the event, and hopes her participation might encourage other women to take up the challenge.
Indeed, Kiera is a vocal supporter of the 20x20 movement, a recent campaign started by the Federation of Irish Sport. It spearheads a cultural shift in the involvement and coverage of women in sport, a change that Kiera hopes she can help through her own immediate circles of influence. It’s also a sentiment heavily back by IrishCycleSport, another reason that made it so logical for Adrian and his team to support Kiera.
“IrishCycleSport is delighted to promote the 20x20 campaign as we believe that inclusion and increasing numbers of women in the sport of cycling will only strengthen their position with regard to equality and opportunities both within Irish Cycling and sporting life itself in the future,” said Adrian.
Kiera takes a very proactive stance inspiring women, and hopes she can help demonstrate that they can achieve what they set out for.
“When I started cycling, I was a complete novice, but recently I’ve finished my first 250km on the bike alongside 10 men, which was a great personal achievement.”
When asked what her main tip would be for anyone looking to train for a triathlon she didn’t hesitate.
“Planning ahead is a great tip. Having all equipment and gear ready the night before is something I do that really helps. As for training, at the start take it easy, pushing too hard too soon will probably lead to injury and then stopping all together. I'm a big fan of ‘zone 2’ training,” she said.
Something tells us zone 2 won’t get a look-in at Race Around Ireland Ultra Challenge..!
So who does such an inspirational athlete look up to?
Kiera is a big fan of Irish Paralympic cyclist and triathlete Eve McCrystal. “She is a really strong rider and is willing to push hard to get what she wants. She is a great cyclist to watch.”
You can follow Kiera’s journey here on Facebook.
Find out more about IrishCycleSport here