Thanks all. I think it was the first pool triathlon for most of us so it was an interesting experience! After getting there early to set up transition, there was a lot of waiting around depending on what wave you were in. I decided to nip off and grab brekkie before heading back.
Audrey and John set off first for us in Wave 2, both swimming well and posting consistent splits. I ran out to see Audrey's T1; she did really well, much improved on the practice race so her practice in the meantime has definitely paid off! Orla set off next in Wave 4 and started at the back of her lane only then to realise that she was faster than most of the people in the lane and had to breast-stroke so as not to collide with the swimmers in front. So she soon started to overtake, and must have overtaken at least 3 of the 6 swimmers in her lane by the end. I popped back outside after that and saw Audrey's T2 and she set off on the run looking strong. I figured it was about time then for a warm-up (and a final trip to the bathroom )...
Darren and I were in the same wave but in different lanes. After a short warm-up we agreed an order within the lane, with me going 4th out of the 6. The problem was that the first 3 were significantly faster so I knew I might struggle to keep up. Once we set off, I managed to draft off them for the first 200m but I think a change in who was leading out in the lane meant a sudden increase in the pace and I fell off. I swam the rest on my own at my own pace but felt a tap on the feet later on - the guy behind me had accidentally tapped me with no intention of overtaking but the lane leaders were coming through so I lost about 10 seconds waiting for the 3 of them to come through before setting off again. I got the tap on the head for the last 2 lengths and I increased the pace a little, but then as I was getting out the second lap-counter told me I'd 2 more to go. I looked down at my watch and it said 750m so I told him I was done and moved on (thankfully the first lap-counter corrected him). The floor in the pool was slippy so you couldn't run so I eventually got out the door and over the timing mat @ around 12:35. Not bad but longer than I'd hoped.
Into T1 to that sinking feeling when most of the bikes beside you on the rack are gone. I struggled to get my arm-warmers onto my wet arms; I'd normally have them on under my wetsuit if I'm wearing them but didn't want to swim with them in the pool. I figured I'd need them and Darren (who opted to go without) said afterwards he got cold on the bike without them. My bike-mount went smoothly thanks to that transition session with Liamo and I set off on the bike.
I was overtaking often but the course was more of a drag and more undulating than I had anticipated, similar enough to the N11 between Greystones and Ashford. I had a near run-in with a tractor with a trailer that pulled out onto the route (the roads aren't closed unfortunately) and having initially overtaken it, it then went to overtake me at the first roundabout. The race briefing told us to go straight through the 2 roundabouts, but apparently "straight through" the first one meant a right-hand turn, and with the tractor attempting to overtake me I couldn't see the marshals until I was past them. I had to stop, clip out, turn my bike around and set off again having taken a road that apparently goes nowhere and then go after the cyclist I had recently overtaken that had taken back a place (turns out he was the guy next to me on my bike rack). After a while we hit the turnaround point and I saw Darren - we gave each other thumbs up but also a look that said we'd a race on our hands! I figured my best chance of catching him was on the bike but try as I might I just couldn't catch him, especially not into a slight headwind on the way back. I got into T2 to see him putting on his runners and setting off. Bike done in 34:11 - again I'd hoped for a bit quicker but the conditions weren't ideal.
My T2 was quick and I set off onto the run feeling good. I saw Darren up ahead but we'd a couple of other runners between us. I overtook the first of them quite quickly and that gave me confidence to keep going. I kept my eyes on Darren's back and pushed hard. By 2km I was surprised to find myself on Darren's shoulder so I stayed there for a few seconds to gather myself before trying to push on and overtake. We gave each other a breathless thumbs up and I heard Darren tuck in behind me, so I knew I had to keep pushing hard if I was to stay ahead of him. After about 1km of climbing, the road turns left and then you've got a descent, which was very welcome at that stage. From here on in there was a guy from Phoenix Tri just ahead of me that I tried to catch but no matter what I did the gap stayed the same. It was very sunny so I was making an effort to keep in the shaded parts of the run. I was constantly worried about Darren coming back at me too so I was really pushing too, and was relieved when we turned into the CBS campus as I knew we were nearly there. I had nothing left for a sprint finish (which Eamonn always says is a good sign) and crossed the line. 21:23 for the slightly long 5.3km run course and
1:09:40 in total
I started to get cold and the finish area was away from transition so I headed back for a shower and to grab my stuff and head off. On the way home Audrey found the results online and after we analysed her splits she looked up mine... and she told me she thought I'd come second in my Age Group. I nearly crashed the car when she told me but we figured there might be a mistake or something. But apparently not! I'd hoped to maybe sneak in a 3rd place AG at some point this year, so 2nd in my first race is a pretty great feeling. We'll see if I just got lucky based on who was/wasn't there, but you can only race who's in front of you.
Well done to all the WicklowTri crew who were down in Nenagh! And best of luck to those doing Sligo next week!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Darren_S, John Bowes, Deeflynnmac
Thanks Michael for a very accurate race report and congratulations on doing so well.
Well done also to Audrey John and Darren ... a great experience for me as I am still pretty much a novice and lots to build on for this season