A Kildare triathlete and local gym owner will be taking to the world stage in October 2018 after he recently secured his place at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
Mariusz Olejniczak, a Newbridge resident who is joint owner of the No1 Fitness studio in Kilcullen, managed to battle his way to overall 2nd place in the amateur ranks at the Ironman Wales event on October 9th. Remarkably, Mariusz managed to finish ahead of up to a dozen international professional athletes in the process by taking 14th place overall.
Mariusz's achievement in Wales was extraordinary when under extremely difficult weather conditions he took 10:00:12 to conquer the famously gruelling route. Mariusz finished a 2.4 mile swim in a time of 57:08, before taking on a 112 mile bike journey that took 05:37:53 to complete, and then finally running a distance of 26.2 miles in a time of 03:13:26 to complete the gargantuan challenge in a little over 10 hours.
Such amazing feats of athleticism are nothing new to Mariusz, having competed in races all over Europe and won age group titles in events such as the 2011 Galway Ironman 70.3 and the 2015 Dublin Ironman 70.3, along with winning 'The Race'', a 24-hour 250km endurance race in Donegal last year. Mariusz has completed many ultra marathons and over 30 marathons, his last one in Dublin 2015 where he covered the 26.2mile course in a time of 2hrs 38minutes.
Mariusz trains from No 1 Fitness studio in Kilcullen and along with his business partner, Beata Zielinksa, they have already developed a reputation for producing some very competitive age group triathletes. The No1 Fitness logo has been a regular feature on podiums throughout 2017.
When he takes to the coastline of Kailua-Kona next year it will be his second time competing at the Ironman World Championships, having previously qualified when he posted a personal best time of 08:59:28 in Ironman Klagenfurt-Austria in 2014.
Speaking upon his arrival back in Ireland following his stunning performance in Wales, Mariusz outlined the commitment that goes in to training for such events.
"I’m delighted to have qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona once again, and I’ll certainly be giving it my all when I go back out to Hawaii next year. The amount of training that goes into preparing for these events can be quite gruelling, but I am lucky that I take plenty of enjoyment from keeping myself in good shape."
"Our gym at No1 Fitness in Kilcullen means I have a good base for training, as along with practising for the three triathlon disciplines, I have to do plenty of strength work to make sure I'm in the best shape possible."
"Honestly, I get as much enjoyment from helping other people train for these events as I do from training myself. Helping others achieve their goals through the training I provide at our Triathlon Academy is hugely rewarding."
Proudly wearing the flags of both Republics on his tri suit, Mariusz will now represent Poland and Ireland as he competes against the best triathletes in the world. With 12 months to prepare before he jets off to Hawaii, a very busy few months in the water and on the roads around Kildare lie ahead.