What a morning for racing it was (Sat 13th July)! Ireland is right in the middle of a heatwave at the moment but thankfully the clouds actually rolled into Lanesboro (Co. Longford) Saturday morning. It was still hot and sunny-ish but the mighty Sun held back his strongest rays for the couple of hours racing much to everyone’s delight! 30 degree’s baking heat is lovely, but not when you’re out there racing for over an hour! Ambulances on the ready…
Lanesboro offered up the perfect race set-up – a large, well organised registration in local school and a large car park in a field right beside the transition and race start! A triathlete couldn’t ask for more. No messing around wondering where to put your bags and no standing around for hours in your wetsuit in that time between transition closing and race starting 🙂
Transition sorted and set up in around 40 seconds…Time left to chat with fellow Kilkenny Tri Club members and discuss how warm and sickly the water might be…
…And we were not wrong, it was so warm. It as like being in a horrible bath or as if every triathlete had done a little wee at the same time. A few more degrees warmer and that could easily have been a non-wetsuit swim, not the typical thing you hear at an Irish race.
After about 10mins getting a bunch of racers looking for a cheeky head start to get back to the official start line (making the rest of wait, grrrrr) the hooter went and immediately it was carnage. I planned to start at the front towards the middle and just try to for once keep with the leaders. Bad idea… I was pretty much immediately grabbed, dragged, kicked, pulled, punched and dunked by all the faster swimmers trying to get past me. My own stupid fault to be honest! Lesson learned Ray…get back with the other hacks for the start.
Had the full on feeling of drowning about 4 times before the 1st of 4 buoys but after that some space opened up. Just became a game then of trying to maintain a half decent tempo, sight a lot to keep on the shortest line and get out in one piece. So many bikes gone by the time I got into transition…hate that feeling 😦
(Swim exit, still throwing up lake water as I got out…Image courtesy of Pixel Promotions)
What a great time trial route for the bike course! I was so happy to be back on the Time Trial bike after breaking the headset bearings and having to ride the loaner road bike at Athlone the weekend before. The bike started with a 100m neutral zone and then a swift right onto 10k straight out and back. A few little kicks and drags to mix it up a bit but nothing to slow people down too much! Decent enough road surface, good and bad in parts, and a great chance to start eating into all that lost time on the swim…
(You go faster if you use your arm to pedal… Image courtesy of Pixel Promotions)
As the run started myself and Derek McCormack (Naas Tri Club) left T2 side by side. It was immediately clear that this guy could run! So the plan was to stay on his heels. Ended up coming over the line right behind him 6 secs later, we tore through that course picking off around 70 positions combined! Great out and back course giving everyone the chance to eye-ball those ahead and behind as you came and went around the turnaround…Thousand yard stares going on all over the place!
One final kick in the last 100 metres to get past Andree Walkin (top lady on the day) to ensure I didn’t get ‘chicked’ 😉 Apologies to Andree for ruining her photo op coming over the finish line as I stopped dead in my tracks once I hit the line and turned around just in time to make her crash into me!!! Many thanks to the kids along the route who were outside their houses spraying us with hoses, very much appreciated!
As it turns out I can run faster on a twisted ankle than on a non-twisted one!!! Unbeknownst to myself, as I came into transition I managed to twist and strain my ankle dismounting the bike. Don’t ask me how I did it, just one of the many stupid things I do to add to the list! Thank Christ for adrenaline though. What a wonderful thing! Didn’t feel a bit of pain ’till I stopped running and then….whap! Barely able to walk. Thanks to the paramedics who strapped me up with support bandage and ice-pack straight away! Two days off from hard training with a bit of a hobble but acting fast saved me another couple of days…lesson learned, fast reaction means fast recovery!
Swim – 00:14:24 (133rd out of 420)
T1 – 00:01:15 (52nd out of 420)
Bike – 00:32:54 (74th out of 420)
T2 – 00:00:34 (20th out of 420)
Run – 00:17:34 (10th out of 420)
TOTAL – 01:06:43
40th place / 7th 25-29 year old / 108.092 NS Points
Happy to take 40th overall, my best placing yet in a National Series race, my lowest overall time in a Sprint Triathlon, closest time I’ve ever been to the overall winner and the most points I have ever taking from one National Series race! And considering my swim is still so far down on basically everyone in the top 150 I’m very happy! 🙂 It’s nice to see the hard work on the roads reaping some rewards and look forward to putting in even better performances for the remaining 3 National Series races on my race calendar, which you can see by clicking here.
Congrats to all the guys and gals at Lanesboro Triathlon Club involved with putting on this great race. Hopefully it will retain its National Series status for next year and if so I will be the first one to enter. Great location, beautiful lake and a great fast bike/run course.
Next on the agenda is a weekend off on a stag in Scotland 🙂 The weekend after that is the home triathlon in Kilkenny, and then back the weekend after that to National Series racing at the Loughrea Sprint Triathlon.