Swimable Limerick Aquathon – Elisa O’Donovan, Swimmable Limerick, standing outside St. Michael’s Rowing Club where the aquathon will take place on Thursday evening, 26 July, 2018. Picture: Baoyan Zhang/ilovelimerick
Elisa O’Donovan and Swimable Limerick aquathon to be Limericks first
By ilovelimerick Correspondent Cathal Doherty
Limerick’s first Aquathon will take place this evening, Thursday, July 26 from St. Michael’s rowing club to Sarsfield bridge and back for a 5 km run along the river banks.
Due to insurance reasons, this Aquathon is strictly for Limerick Triathlon Club members only in hopes of being able to host a larger event to Limerick next year.
One of the organisers of the event Elisa O’Donovan spoke with ilovelimerick about the event, “The Triathlon club was doing a series of Aquathons before but never in the city and no one has ever done an aquathon in the city centre before.” She said on why this event is exciting.
St. Michael’s Rowing Club were on board with the event from the very beginning when Swimable Limerick and the Triathlon Club reached out to them to use their facilities. “They want to see the river being used as well and they got a pontoon here recently and it’ll also be exciting for them to see it being used by other clubs in Limerick.”
Elisa has also taken part in the Great Limerick Run for many years and hopes that in the future Limerick could host a Triathlon event of the same extent.
“Limerick is really well placed to host these major sporting events and it is a sporting city. It’s about starting small with something like this as seen with the Great Limerick Run which started out with around 100 participants and hopefully we will be able to build from there to be a bigger event and we can aspire to be the Great Limerick Run one day,” Elisa said on why she started planning for this Aquathon and hopefully someday in years to come, a triathlon.
Elisa founded the Swimmable Limerick scheme in August 2017, to make the urban river experience more accessible to the local community, saying its for the very purpose of getting people back in the river and swimming again as it would be a shame to let a free and natural place to swim such as the Shannon go to waste. “The only thing about the Shannon is that you have to work around the tides and due to the recent drought, the river is really empty at low tides and you have to be really careful and swim at high tides but it’s lovely to swim in and it’s really clean and again due to the drought it seems really muddy but that’s all it is, people spend a lot of money to have mud baths,” Elisa laughed.
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