What The Buck? Deer Wreaks Havoc At Triathlon

Deer-dodging typically isn’t a standard part of triathlon competitions

Image via Erik Scraggs

As if biking, swimming and running weren’t enough, Shane O’Reilly’s triathlon included an additional challenge.

During the cycling portion of Sunday’s Dublin City Triathlon in Phoenix Park, home for centuries to hundreds of wild deer, O’Reilly crashed into a buck.

As a group of riders rounded a corner, two deer streaked across the path. The second deer attempted to leap over the cyclists, colliding with O’Reilly, who cracked his helmet but was otherwise unharmed.

“The helmet definitely saved me,” O’Reilly told Irish broadcaster RTÉ after the race. “Apart from that, my shoulder was a bit sore and I had a headache.”

The deer also escaped injury, but the incident is a good reminder of the dangers the animal faces on roads in the United Kingdom. The government estimates between 40,000 and 74,000 deer are killed each year in traffic collisions.

Erik Scraggs, a spectator who documented this epidemic’s dangers on Sunday, told the BBC, “I never envisaged that they would actually try and leap over the cyclists. It all happened so fast.”

O’Reilly still managed to finish the race.