The site of Belfast has been occupied since bronze age times with evidence of habitation stretching back over 5000 years. The name Belfast (Béal Feirste in Irish) means the mouth of the sandbar or tidal ford. This sandbar was an important crossing point of the River Lagan at the place where it was joined by the River Farset. The Farset now runs under our finish chute and the sandbar was dredged long ago from Donegall Quay where our swim will take place. The Belfast Titanic Triathlon takes place at the very historic centre of Belfast!
Through the middle ages, Belfast remained in the shadows of other population centres such as Carrickfergus and it was not until the 17th century that the city began to flourish. By the end of the 19th century, Belfast was thriving and was host to the world's largest linen, tobacco, ropemaking and shipbuilding industries.
The Harland & Wolff shipyard became world famous in the early 20th century with a host of famous ships including the RMS Titanic. The harbour area subsequently became a target during World War II and much of our race location was damaged during the blitz. On Easter Tuesday 15th April 1941, more than 900 people lost their lives and more than 1500 were injured. Outside of London, these were the heaviest losses suffered in a single night raid in the UK.
But Belfast rebuilt and has continued to develop. There have been recent troubles which are often discussed at length, but not in these pages! The citizens of Belfast are looking to a shared future which brings prosperity and happiness for future generations. The Belfast Titanic Triathlon is just one of many events which brings 'normality' to the city.