The day before the Dublin City Triathlon (DCT) I was in support role for the girlfriend down in Castleconnell, Limerick at the Worlds End Triathlon where she was racing her 3rd ever race in the try-a-tri. I have never gone to a race as a spectator before and it was pure torture!! All I wanted to do was get out there and take on the course! All in all it looked like a great race and very well organised. Congrats to Stephen Early as well for completely bossing it and winning by nearly 3mins. If the race picks up a NS ranking next year I will definitely be making the trip back, but this time to race 🙂 Went to Bunratty Castle afterwards to celebrate and enjoyed the perfect DCT pre-race meal with the Medieval Banquet – Beer, Wine, Mead, Soup, Ribs, Chicken and cake – what more would you want before taking on DCT!!!
A beauty of a day greeted racers rolling down towards the Garda Boat Club for registration and transition set up. Dry and not overly warm. Registration was a speedy affair, taking about 90secs, giving me just about enough time to try get through the goody bag…This was mega. Easily your entry fee returned in great items you would actually use – Amphibia dry mat, very decent long sleeved running top, headphones, chocy bars, loads of nutrition. Top marks for all the freebies 🙂
As always the guys and girls at Piranha Triathlon Club put on a phenomenal show and the buzz pre-race was electric. I’ve said it for the past 2 years since I started doing this race that it is the best organised race in Ireland and they went even bigger and better this year. Kudos to Piranha and also to Vodafone for clearly putting some weight and funding behind it. Let’s hope other events outside of Dublin can get this kind of support in the future.
It was also a joy to get to pit oneself against Irish Olympian Gavin Noble. Gavin has been a great force on the Irish scene all this season after basing himself back home for 2013. Some racers have whinged saying that having a pro in the field is not fair on amateurs looking to win a National title but it is nothing but a positive to have Gavin in the field and those amateurs vying for top spot would also want to know they have done it against the very best Ireland has to offer.
Onto race performance…
1.5km SWIM / 00:29:36
For the first 500metres there was absolutely no room, complete washing machine feeling, but I was still happy to be dragged along on the large gangs feet. I lost touch before hitting the turnaround and found myself going way off line and losing loads of time here. I think my dodgy shoulder has a habit of leading me a bit out to the right for some reason! I had a little bit of sick out my mouth with around 100m from the finish but didn’t mind at all as I was just delighted to be getting out of the Liffey in one piece!!! I got my aim of breaking 30minutes (by just 25 secs) but at the end of the day I still gave up 5-10mins to almost everyone ahead of me in the overall standings and started into the bike leg in 217th position 😦 Long winter in the pool ahead of me…
40km BIKE / 01:07:15
I love this bike course, the more technical the better, sorta levels the playing field between me and the big gear munchers who usually run away with it on other course with long flat out and back routes! It also helps it was the perfect practice for the World Champs in London as well with all the twists, turns and switchbacks, roughly counting about 40 notable turns over the entire course. Strategy here was key and it is basically 5 laps of knowing when and where to turn on the power given the constant and quick changes in flatness, twists, uphills and downhills, and also not forgetting the wind. I pushed hard at the start to move through the field and opted for a high cadence option on the hills, sit up, spin as much as possible and rest the legs to power through the flats and absolutely hammer the downhill section. As the hills came around on each lap I found it easier to get away from close competition by spinning and was delighted with sub 68mins for 40k over a very testing course. Nutrition strategy was two High5 gels, first one after lap 1 and second one after lap 4. Combined with a full 600mills of water/High5 energy powder I was pumped leaving T2 and ready for the run!
RUN 10km / 00:37:46
Spent the swim and bike waiting for this, I don’t call myself ’10k Ray’ for nothing 😉 After spending my Winter season at cross country racing I knew this would play into my hands, with the majority of the run being off road, very lumpy and hills to deal with. Strategy was to maintain a steady effort for the first 3km, settle in to a nice pace and then give it everything for the last 5k. Over the line in under 38minutes, “Happy Days”!!! Apologies to Piranha member Sharon McGuire for collapsing over the line onto you, just send me on the dry cleaning bill after covering you in my sweat!!!
This is such a great race, course and field and combined with fantastic organisation it is definitely Ireland’s top race. The free ice cream at the finish line really is the icing on a pretty great cake 🙂 I hope it goes even bigger and better next year and my only tip to other racers is to enter 2014 early to make sure you get your spot on the start line!!! P.S. please bring back the Fan Zone next year, Tour de France eat your heart out 🙂
1.5km Swim – 00:29:35 (217th out of 482)
T1 – 00:01:17 (20th out of 421)
40km Bike – 01:07:15 (38th out of 482)
T2 – 00:01:15 (92nd out of 421)
10km Run – 00:37:46 (12th out of 482)
TOTAL – 02:17:07
38th place overall / 6th 25-29 year old
1.5km Swim – 00:33:30
T1 – 00:02:11
40km Bike – 01:13:43
T2 – 00:01:34
10km Run – 00:41:34
TOTAL – 02:32:30
88th place overall from 389 / 13th 25-29 year old
The one thing I can say looking at last years results is that the standard of triathlon in Ireland has absolutely exploded over the last 12 months. There are now 10-20 brilliant athletes out there who could win any week and to put things in perspective, my 2013 time at DCT, which had me 38th this year, would have had me in 17th position in 2012!!! And for the record, Gavin Noble was the only athlete to go sub-2 hours coming in under 1hr 58mins…WOW!
Next up is my final National Series race for 2013, The Mourne Olympic Triathlon up North in Castlewellan on Saturday 31st August. Last chance to grab some NS points and try force my way into a top-ten in the 25-29year old age category and maybe sneak a top 70 in the overall rankings!