A Newbie's Race Report !
I'm not sure what I am supposed to say but I thought this was a well run event. Registration was in the Carlow Boat House and was uneventful. I did arrive in plenty of time though. Then, with numbers, stickers and swim hat for my Wave in hand it was off to Transition which was in the lovely Carlow Town Park. With helmet fastened on my head one of the 'Tech official's' checked my bike, numbers etc and in I went. Transition was a hive of activity and the racks were numbered with everyone's number so I just had to find mine. Then I just set up my gear copying everyone else really, making sure I put my race belt on top so I wouldn't forget to put it on later. It was there I met John Bowes, who offered words of encouragement and introduced me to other WTC crew, Karen, Brian and Gabby.
It was then off to get changed and drop off my bag. There were a couple of tents which provided a bit of shelter from the elements (the weather was good to be fair) and it was there I left my bag. Then once kitted out in my new WTC Tri-suit, new wetsuit and timing tag on my ankle, I of course needed the loo ! Typical newbie nerves !! Anyway I joined the long queue for 1 of 3 portaloos ! Got there eventually and was back out just in time for the race brief from the Race Director. We were advised that the swim was being changed to 1000m? with the current. Happy Days !!
We then had a 1k + walk to the swim start. (Bringing some old shoes/flip flops would have been good as the walk along the towpath was sore on the feet). I walked along with fellow WTC member Brian (sorry I didn't catch his surname) and this was good as it took my mind of the imminent start ! At the entry point, under a bridge and off a scaffolded platform Wave 1 entered the water followed by waves 2-6 every 5-10 minutes or so. I was wave 5 so had a bit of a wait but not too bad. I had heard a few yelps from people in the water suggesting the water was cold, so I made a point of being towards the back of the queue getting into the water.
Once in the water, which was brown !! and after the initial rush of water in the wetsuit, it wasn't too bad. I swam from one side of the river to the other and just floated about and tried to relax my breathing. After what seemed like just a few minutes the Marshall in the boat started the countdown and sounded the starting klaxon. We were off. the start was really uneventful with circa 80 people all finding their own space. Jamie's mass starts were infinitely worse, so that was good prep really. Anyway I got into a good rhythm and it wasn't long before I was being helped up the step at the boat slip at the end of the first leg.
It was a good 200m run to Transition and I struggled to get one arm out of my wetsuit (not enough bodyglide on the wrists !!) but I managed not to loose to much time and was soon heading back out of Transition and onto the bike for a fairly tough first 10k. The roads were well marshalled and were closed which was great compared to TriLaois last month. It was a long drag into a headwind but given i'm on the small side this suited me and it was great to pass people out. At the 10k point & turnaround it was essentially downhill and unfortunately this is where pretty much everyone I passed on the way up passed me out on their fancy TT bikes and 1 hybrid!. John Bowes flew past me, so that was kind of good as I had no idea where I was coming out of the water, at least I wasn't last!. Anyway after 40 mins it was back into Transition for the final leg.
I racked my bike back at my allocated spot, flung on my already tied runners and was off and I could see JB out in front of me. The run was hard enough, back up the tow-path and then around the twon and back into the Town park. The course was mainly flat but it did seem longer than 5k but my legs were ok and after 1-2k I was moving well. I passed out a good few runners and finished with a little kick. Chuffed to finish my first open water Tri.
Overall, it was a great day, the weather wasn't too bad and I finished the swim which was my main objective before starting.
Granted, 1.9k will be a different story come August, but i'll give it my best shot and it will be great to get into the open water instead of the pool. Thanks to the WTC coaches & members who have helped me get this far in just a few months. Roll on the next one.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Buzbyjnr, Darren_S, John Bowes, michaelp, lorrbrac, bthornt, Veronica