Two Maghera brothers had a weekend to remember after winning the Great North Endurance Run in England’s Lake District.

Ciaran and Joe Mallon annexed gold medals with a time of 4:32.38, with Mike Jones and Jose Garcia in second place (4:49.12).

It was an endurance event for teams of two and took place both around and on Lake Windermere.

The run totalled 32km, which included 1,487 of climbing as well as 3km of swimming.

“It is broken up between six separate runs followed by six swims,” Joe explained.  “For example, the third run was 8.8 km followed by a swim of 270m and you swim with your shoes on and run straight out of the water and onto the next leg of the race.”

The first planned swim of 1.1km was cancelled due to inclement weather was so bad on Saturday morning.

“By the half way mark we knew we were in the lead and we pushed ourselves to the end.” Joe Mallon

Speaking after the event,  Joe expressed both his shock and joy at finishing in first place.

“Both of us are reasonably experienced triathletes but this was the first Swim Run Event that either of us had ever done. Despite being a team, Ciaran lives in Glasgow so we only trained together once.”

Joe’s training was done locally in Maghera, running in Glenshane Forest, swimming in Greenvale Leisure Centre and recently in Lough Neagh in the mornings.

This was all on top of a winter of strength training with Paddy Heaney in the Train Station.

“We had no expectations or goals other than to complete the event,” Joe admitted.  “By the half way mark we knew we were in the lead and we pushed ourselves to the end.

“I actually lost my goggles somewhere before the second last swim so had to do the last two swims with no goggles which was a new experience.”

The duo were accompanied by their other brothers, Niall and Ruairi, who along with local men John Joe Muldoon, Kevin Murphy and Darren O’Neill all did the planned Great North Swim events in the poor conditions on Saturday.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email [email protected] or [email protected] at any time.