Although he grew up more at home chasing cattle on the family farm in Dunmanway than race titles, athlete Cathal O’ Donovan (27) has become a national and international champion, this year winning the Irish National Duathlon Championship for the second year in a row and most recently the Powerman UK Championship in Dorset on May 11. His exceptional win in Dorset means he has qualified for the World Powerman Elite Championships on September 7 in Switzerland.
Cathal was also selected to represent Ireland at the Elite European Standard Duathlon Championships in August 2014
Currently coached by Martin McCarthy (running) and Timmy Barry (cycling), Cathal is hoping to raise his profile nationally to raise sponsorship to help fund his races, as he does not qualify to receive funding from Triathlon Ireland or the Irish Sports Council.
A member of St. Finbarr’s Athletic Club in Cork City, Cathal says his win at the Irish National Duathlon Championship this year was the culmination of many months of training and racing. “I had competed in numerous duathlons all around Ireland winning every single race that I took part in, including the inaugural Fota Island Duathlon in Cork,” says Cathal.
The National Duathlon Championship race on April 5 involved a 10km run followed by a 40km cycle and a 5km run and Cathal won it with a margin of over two minutes and thirty seconds ahead of the second placed athlete.
The National Duathlon Series this year involved eight races, one of which included the National Championship on April 5. Points were accrued for each race depending on the athlete’s final finishing position. Cathal won four of these races.
The Powerman UK Championship on Sunday, May 11 involved a 10km run followed by a 60km cycle followed by a 10km run. Cathal won it by over six minutes ahead of the world number four ranked Powerman, Matt Moorhouse and the 2013 British National Duathlon Champion Julian Lings — a brilliant win for the Dunmanway athlete.
Cathal will be racing the London Duathlon on September 14, the world’s largest duathlon. Other events on this timetable include the Graded League track races at CIT during the summer and a number of different road running races, as well as cycling races both in Cork and nationwide.
Although swimming is a challenge, Cathal hopes to start training for triathlons this year.
Cathal would like to thank Michael Minihane and Keohane Readymix for their sponsorship to-date
Any individual or business interested in sponsoring Cathal can go to his facebook page for more information.