When I was playing football and had a stinker of a match an old pro once told me you wont feel better until your next match. No white lines or army officials for marshalls(joke midland tri!!) Dublin was a race I wanted to win. But first I had to enter the race!!! I thought I had but unfortunately I hadnt. I actually won an entry into the race from the awards night in january but failed to enter. An email to race director Matt Coughlan and I was good to go. Cheers Matt.
The Build UP…
There was quite a bit of talk before this one. Everyone that was in good form was gonna be there & all felt they could win. On a good day any of the top 10 would of thought theyd be in with a chance for podium.
Sadly the talk stopped, the days leading up to the race it was published that Gavin Noble was racing.. I’d be lying if I didnt say ”well feck him anyway”..Gavin is a top class athlete and bar some sort of miracle the race was his. There was no race from then on, who wants to see a battle for 2nd. You may as well of wrote the cheque, sent over the champers and let us age groupers slug it out.. The only place the rest of us could hope for was 2nd. 🙁
The race was at 8am and the usual richuals started, register-toilet-get gear ready-toilet-rack bike-more toilet… The guys from piranha were doing a good job checking the bikes. One in particular Steven Moody. I didnt know anyone could be so loud at 6:30 in the morning but his voice is easy on the ear. That must of been the elocution lessons… 😉 also rumour has it that an eight year old beat him in the power competition Piranha held on saturday..-who needs friends Steven!!!!
I still hadnt my own wheelset and I ran with my ”team-mate” Gerry McCabes wheels(3 spoke front and disc) Thanks ”team-mate” ;-). It was a bit windy but I said to heck with it & left it at that. I racked up beside all the ”fish” knowing that I’d have a clear area when i got out of the water. First sighting of Mr Noble was beside my bike.. I think i said ”i see your showing your muscle already” ( when jokes go wrong).. the usual suspects were there Matt Molloy(who is having a cracking season and fresh from his podium from groomsport) Mark Nolan, Bolger boys, Bjorn, tim Downing and Kevin Keane.
I Tucked in nicely behind the Boldger Boys knowing that I would have clear water within 20 seconds( maybe 5). Im more confident these days in the water so I approached the swim more aggressively and went out hard. I got into a good rhythm and swam with a few guys around me. You never know how well your doing in the swim until you exit but I felt relaxed enough and there were no disasters! Kevin Keane and Shannan Connolly were targets to stick with but I lost sight of them at the swim start. Out of the water and you always look to see whos around and low and behold there were my men, Shannan & Kevin. This set me up. Im not sure of my position when I exited.
I love this bike course, Brian Crinions Duathlon Series is around the Park and Im fimilar with the route. It is 5 laps just short of 40km and is very technical. I did pray for rain to slow the ”Fish” down and by lap 3 my wish was granted- the Bolgers will like that one…;-).. Thing is it slowed me down too!!.. I always attack straight away and theres a hill as soon as you enter the park that doesnt just allow it..Over the top and setting into a nice pace I was calculating who was up the road. Theres a long straight up the top and the wind met us head on. It was tough and it was hard to build the speed up to where I wanted. But you tell yourself its the same for everyone! By lap 3 I figured I was in second having passed the ”fish” but Then I got a Shout that Bjorn Luddick was a minute ahead…jaysus I forgot about him!!!.. time to put the hammer down some more and entering into lap 5 he was 30 seconds ahead.. (thanks Gavin for the splits) Spotted him at one of the turn arounds and knew I’d get him… I think I passed him in the exact same spot, same lap as last year..
My transitions were quick and I had a gap of 50 metres on Bjorn. I wanted to keep within myself and leave something in the tank should bjorn stick a nettle up his rear!!!.. The run course is cross country and the first thing I said to myself was why the feck didnt I do some training on the grass!!! It wasnt a problem and I felt comfortable enough early on. Once I wasnt being caught I was happy. As I said earlier all I could hope for was 2nd so It was mine to lose had i done so. I finished strong with another negetive split on the run. I held onto 2nd and felt I did a good days work. Congrats to Gavin who won and Bjorn for 3rd. Mark Nolan ran out of road as he put in a very quick run to get 4th.
Well done to Piranha for a great race.. Thanks to my new sponsor McKenna Man and to Tommy the bike. Thank you to Eve at Skinfit for giving me an amazing deal on the tri-suit.. That was my first outting in it and it felt good..;-)