Louth para-cyclist savours success at New York City Triathlon

Liz breaks the tape in the Big Apple EMN-160108-164158002
Liz breaks the tape in the Big Apple EMN-160108-164158002

Para-cyclist Liz McTernan has been racking up as the air miles as well as the podiums after tasting success in high profile competition.

After the disappointment of missing out on selection for Team GB’s Paralympics squad, the Louth sportswoman gave the selectors something to think about with her first-ever World Cup medals.

Liz (right) about to receive one of her two World Cup medals in Bilbao EMN-160108-164119002

Liz (right) about to receive one of her two World Cup medals in Bilbao EMN-160108-164119002

Aboard her 12kg handcycle, McTernan powered to bronze in both 14km time trial and 36km road race disciplines at the latest in the World Cup series in Bilbao, Spain.

For McTernan, who won a world championship bronze medal in 2012, it was an occasion to savour, having never won a medal at six previous World Cup outings.

The 51-year-old followed this with a special personal challenge as she flew to the Big Apple to compete in the New York City Triathlon.

Entrants faced an Olympic distance triathlon, opening with a 1.5km swim in the Hudson River, before cycling 40 kilometres (24.85 miles).

Liz completes the New York City Triathlon in a fraction under 2hr 55 mins EMN-160108-164145002

Liz completes the New York City Triathlon in a fraction under 2hr 55 mins EMN-160108-164145002

The professional athletes then completed a full 10km run in the city’s iconic Central Park, but soaring temperatures forced the rest of the field to run a modified 8km course.

McTernan took part in the Accenture Challenged Athletes International Championship which boasted a prize purse of $7,500 for the top five.

Crossing the line in a total time of 2hr 54min 51secs, she was crowned female champion in her category to become the only overseas winner at the event.

“We ran on a ‘par’ system against all categories, she said. “The crowd support was amazing!

Liz at the swimming transition at the New York Triathlon EMN-160108-164131002

Liz at the swimming transition at the New York Triathlon EMN-160108-164131002

“I raced in support of the Challenged Athlete Foundation who have supported me with grants for travel costs, coach and equipment over the last six years.”

And then it was on to another major world city last weekend for the Ride London Handcycle Grand Prix.

The event kicked off a huge weekend of cycling in the capital and brought another podium for McTernan.

She finished third, once again, in the elite race behind Paralympians Renata Kaluza, from Poland, and Swiss competitor Sandra Graf.