"It's a bit mad" - From triathlon novice to verge of Olympics


Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

17.56 5 Jun 2019


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Later this month, a few Off The Ball members will be taking part in a triathlon for charity.

Joe Molloy is one of them and he received some first-hand advice and tips from our studio guest.

Carolyn Hayes is Team Ireland triathlete who is aiming to be at the next Olympics.

She was something of a late-comer to triathlon at age 25 before blazing a trail.

"I decided to take up triathlon when I started medical school," she explained.

"So I started racing domestically in 2014 and I had a lot of luck that year. I was fortunate that I won the National Champs that year in Kilkee in Clare.

Great for triathlon swimming

"It's a bit mad. So I swam a bit as a kid but never at an elite level. Then when I was 17, I had a shoulder injury which happens to a lot of swimmers. I gave that up and I started running. I'll be vain here and say I did it because I didn't want to get fat. Then I went to Trinity and did my physiology degree there and I took up water polo.

"That ended up being great for triathlon swimming and then I started the graduate medicine in Limerick. And then, I suppose I was in the right place and right time because there was a 50 metre pool and a good club down there. It all kind of just took off."

It's led to a globe-trotting period in her life as she's jetted off to far-flung competitions in Asia and Africa.

"I was going to these places because to qualify for the Olympics, I'm coming in late," she said

"The people I'm racing against have been doing it for 10 years or eight years. They all have points, so I need to collect as many points going to all these countries, podiums and getting results. Currently, I have a spot now for the test event hopefully in Tokyo. I'm on the right track."

You can watch the full interview via our YouTube video player.

BMW is the proud partner of Triathlon Ireland and is title sponsor of the BMW Triathlon National Series, 17 of the most exciting Triathlon races in Ireland.


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