I was entered into the Olympic distance race on the sunday morning. The sprint distance race was on Saturday and the bar was set by Conor Murphy and Mark Nolan, both finished 1 & 2 and both recived gold medals for their respective age group! Well done Lads!!So it was up to the rest of the irish contingent to keep the flag flying and bring home more gold..
I opened the curtains in the hotel room to be greeted by a gale! First thought was ‘ah well everyone in the race has to do it’.. One thing i was worried about though was the current in the water. It can get quite strong in Athlone. It turned out that it was spot on and my mind was put at ease. As the morning grew the wind was getting stronger and the organiser put a big spanner in the works for alot of competitors by banning all disc wheels for safety. It didnt effect me as I was riding my 4 spoke xentis TT. Because of the sprint yesterday and competitors hanging around to watch our race most people got sorted out but some didnt and couldnt race!!!
My swim got off to the usual start of trying to hang onto fast feet but eventually I would be swimming on my own and held a 20 metre distance on a group of 5 or so just infront of me! I can never seem to manage to get in with a group!!! I exited the watered feeling i had done a decent job but I didnt wear a watch so I had no clue where Id be.
The run up to the bike must be 400 metres. Tranistion is easy time to gain time!.. I am always chasing once I leave to water so I always bury myself in tranistion to gain any few seconds going on the rest of the field. When I got on the bike I took an unusual approach and took my time to get up to my race pace..Normally I go straight into the red!!
I caught a couple of the quick swimmers within the first 10/15k and I had a feeling I must of swam ok. The wind was blowing hard in our faces on the way out but i knew on the turnaround it was going to be very fast back to tranistion. By half way I was in 3rd postipon with 2 English guys 1 &2. I just put it in the 54/11 and hammered it home. I eventually got the the first guy on had 10 seconds on him going ointo the run.
I love the run in athlone. Its around the town centre with a couple of sneaky hills that doesnt leave the course too fast.. My goal for this race was to win gold for the agegroup 25/29 but now I wanted to win the race outright and quickly set myself a target of keep my nearest challenger as far away as possible. I didnt know if he was my agegroup or not so all i could do was keep a distance. With every turnaround and corner I could see I wasnt putting any time into him nor was he gaining so it was a case of holding my pace and leaving something in the tank if he decided to go for me in the closing few hundred. I held him off and enjoyed the run up to the finish as my family and friends spent the last couple of hours in the rain cheering me on. I won gold and it turned out 2nd place was the age group below me but I wasnt to know. Unfortunatley my performance gave me 2nd place overall on the day as A guy in the 35/40 cat beat me by 12 seconds!!!!!!! that was hard to take but there you go….
Thanks to all my family and friends for the support and all well wishers!