I had a fantastic day thanks everyone for the support! Lots of Kilcoole and WTC supporters out there which really helped. My T1 was also a disaster Orla, over 5 minutes.. That's longer than it takes me to get showered in the morning. I couldn't get out of the wetsuit, my fingers were so cold. To make matters worse I left my jacket inside out.. I defo needed my gloves it was baltic but they wouldn't go on..
The finally got ready left transition, running with my bike to be shouted at cause I left my race number back at transition so had to go back and get it!! T2 was 2 minutes 30 seconds which is slow enough but speedy in comparison to T1. I definitely know where I have to put the work in!
Also the swim was a disaster! People and rivers scare me.. The fact that I got sick from Swim Athy the week before made me nervous about putting my face in, I need not have worried as I got sick that night anyways River bugs clearly love me!!
But with all that, I loved it! And loved the bike too which is a new experience. Really pleased how it all went and such a buzz as I crossed the finish line. On Sunday I was on the TI website looking for my next race...
The following user(s) said Thank You: michaelp, grykyo, shane_w
Well done to all of the WicklowTri crowd in Athy! Some great results - especially for those doing their first tri!
We got down to Athy shortly after 12pm to register, got some food, put the stickers on our bikes/helmets and walked down to transition expecting to get started. Unfortunately, the earlier races were all delayed meaning we couldn't get into transition. So we had a lot of sitting around! Thankfully we had a big gang of us to keep each other company:
Once we got into transition we didn't have much time to get set up before race briefing (due to the delays). I knew I'd be waiting around a while as I was in Wave 11 of 12 so I didn't put my wetsuit on right away - this just meant I got quite cold. I went for a warm-up which helped and then put on my wetsuit to stay warm. I got to see Audrey and Colm set off on the swim in the TryAthy race then walked up to see the Cat-1 guys head off. Thankfully there were a few WicklowTri people about to chat to before the race started.
After what seemed like an eternity it was finally our turn to go - I didn't bother waiting around so just lined up by the ramp and was first to jump into the water. This gave me a really nice starting position and once we were let go it was frantic. I had a couple of people shove past me but I was confident enough that not many would. After about 100m we came upon a guy from the previous wave who was going very slowly on the swim; he was almost stationary and right in at the bank but that meant I had to cut inside and swim around him. That was tricky but before I knew it we were at the turnaround. Once heading downstream I felt like I had more room to swim into and started picking off a couple of the guys who'd started to run out of steam. One mistake I used to make was to slow down when nearly at the end of the swim - I learned from that mistake and overtook another couple of people who'd clearly slowed themselves before the swim exit. Out of the water in just over 11 minutes - pretty happy with that!
Transition was pretty smooth; it was my first time leaving my shoes on the bike but I'd practised this before the race. I had a bit of an issue getting my left foot into the shoe once I'd set off but didn't panic, just took my time, fastened myself in and pushed on. One regret was not wearing my arm-warmers under my wetsuit; they'd have been wet but at least they'd have been on. I probably wasted a bit of time trying to pull them up but got them mostly on quickly. It was too cold to do without them! The rest of the bike went pretty smoothly - I settled into a rhythm on the tri-bars and hit a pretty consistent speed, overtaking people consistently too. There was a tough headwind on the way down but I kept low and kept pushing. Last year in races I was finding I'd have a good swim but get consistently overtaken on the bike, but just after the turnaround I realised I hadn't been overtaken once. Coming back was a lot nicer and I kept pushing - all those John Darcy turbo sessions came into play as my cadence was averaged around 77rpm. I kept overtaking and was delighted when I came back into Athy to find I still hadn't been overtaken. I slipped my feet out of the shoes and dismounted smoothly - again, all been practised beforehand! 35mins for the bike - I was hoping for slightly quicker but will take that given the headwind!
T2 was nice and quick (though not officially as the timing matt is a couple of hundred metres into the run) and I saw Audrey and Colm cheering me on as I came through - Audrey looked happy so that was a big weight off my mind! I grabbed water at the water station and set off on the run. Again, I found a rhythm and stuck to it. I could hear Eamonn in the back of my head telling me to keep my head up and focus on the runners ahead of me. I started picking guys off and each time I did I felt more confident. I saw a few familiar faces doing the marshalling so that was a real bonus and they were giving me support as I pushed on. I felt I got stronger as the run went on and at about 4km I reached a guy doing a very similar pace to me, maybe slightly faster. So I stuck to his shoulder and dug in deep and once I knew I was about 400m out I overtook and pushed hard. I realised at this point I hadn't been overtaken on the run either, but then a guy from Piranha sped by me. I managed to overtake one more guy before crossing the line in desperate need of some oxygen... or a bucket...
Finished in 1:09:37 - a PB for a Sprint by around 4 minutes, but I think even more impressive given the conditions. The official Age Group results aren't out yet but there's a spreadsheet up on the TriAthy site - once I filtered out the Cat-1 guys I think that leaves me 8th in my Age Group so if that's true I'm pretty delighted!