Enniskillen's Gerry Murphy made it three wins in the last four years in the 70 Wild Miles Charity Challenge event that that took place in searing temperatures at the Share Centre in Lisnaskea on Saturday. The experienced and versatile Murphy completed the arduous challenge of a 47 mile cycle, 10 mile kayak and 13 mile run in a super five hours and 17 minutes to finish more than half an hour ahead of runner-up John Ringwood from Maynooth.
Lisbellaw's Trevor Foster finished third in a time of six hours and five minutes while the Share's Colin Lively took fifth place in a time of six hours and 31 minutes.
In all Gerry defeated eleven other solo individuals to the prestigious title, which saw him taking home the coveted CLIC Sargent 70 Wild Miles Trophy for the third time in four years.
Gerry was suitably delighted with the success and admitted that the weather played a part.
"It was very hot but calm and that suited great for both the cycle and kayak with the lack of wind making those two disciplines much more comfortable. The high temperatures did kick in on the run and it was really tough. I was just delighted to get home in front and to win the title again," explained Gerry whose aptitude for all three disciplines and fitness reserves certainly came to the fore.
Of the individual competitors, Gerry was first in both the run and the cycle while he finished third in the kayak.
Gerry added: "It is a great event and very challenging with a great venue. Hopefully more competitors can be attracted for next year. There was a good spread of competitors, it just needs a few more numbers. I think, including the team event, there was about 30 competitiors in total but it was still great to retain the title." Running alongside the individual event was a team event where teams of three took part in one leg each and their combined teams were added together for the team award.
And, that event also stayed in Fermanagh when the team entitled '3 Wild Men' of William Dunlop, Declan Burns and James Johnston finished over an hour ahead of their nearest rivals, 'Team Blackthorn' led by Jason Devine. In third was local team 'Shooter's Hotshots' comprising Chris Scott, Elaine Hamilton and Damien Smith.
Indeed, the winning team was notable for including former Olympic canoeist Declan Burns who competed in the kayak and William Dunlop who set a course record in the cycling leg. William is the father of Dane Dunlop who is currently competing for Team Ireland in the Ras Tour of Ireland road race.
The event is also a fundraiser for CLIC Sargent and Fionnuala Savage, Community Fundraising Manager for CLIC Sargent revealed that "this year's event has raised around £10,000 for CLIC Sargent Northern Ireland".
She added: "Our sincere thanks go to everyone who supported the event. Particularly, Up & Running NI, Fermanagh Spring Water; the team at Share Holiday Village; the Order of Malta team; Mad Dog Motorcycle Club for their expertise in keeping everyone safe on the roads; Frances O'Reilly from Fermanagh Orienteering Club; volunteers Mike and Jonathon Barnett who helped with water stations and signage along the route and our volunteer physiotherapist, Chloe, who helped relieve aching muscles after the event."