“There’ll be no sprint finishes today” famous last words to Trevor woods as we racked up for Hell of the west triathlon being held in Kilkee co Clare.
If you ask all triathletes in Ireland what race they would like to win and have it on there cv, hell of the west would be it. I am no different but I knew going into it it would be a hard ask. I had a great week training and im feeling strong. Having a new goal and focus for Antwerp 70.3 leaves my mind at ease.
So we camped out with the kids for 4 days and had a ball.. Rain left us locked up in our Camper but the craic was mighty. Having a 3 year old and 1 year old tested mammy and daddys ability to think out of the box for entertainment. It was too wet to leave the Trek SC outside so as a family member it stayed inside with us. It left things a little tight but we managed.;-).
We were herded like cattle down the beach to the race start and penned in. We then were allowed in the water for an in water start.. Standing shivering and wondering why he didnt have more than 3 % body fat Bryan keane was on the line to dominate us mere mortals. Trevor woods, Shane scully &bjorn ludic were all suited up and we were more likely to be racing for 2nd spot.As all athletes were getting giddy and nervous the horn went taking everyone by surprise. The water was far from calm and I struggled like many to get round the course. What didn’t help was the course was longer than 1500m (but so was the bike-I can’t have it my way all the time).
Karen never gives me time splits but this time for some reason she decided to get me a confidence booster after I mounted my bike to tell me ..”9 minutes to the leaders”… I actually wanted to pull over and call it a day. Training race or not! I rode the course the day before and felt I had good legs to get around and I did. I needed a couple of rest bites at times but I was able to keep consistent power.Trying new things, I had no computers to guide me. I went on feel. I cut though the field and was soon up to 5th. With long stretches on the way back to Kilkee I couldn’t see the top 4 and I knew my day was done. Carry on, go to the line. People drop out, people blow up were all the words I used to convince myself to race as hard as I could. Sure enough on the last bend I could see something that resembled a couple of bikes in the distance and I gave a dig to keep the gap to a minimum. Limerick Tri need to be commended on the presence of stewards and marshals on the course. Traffic was dealt with swiftly and promptly.
I rolled back into town listening to the announcer saying Trevor and bjorn had just exited for the run. I needed my legs to be good from the off. The out and back course is tough. 5km up hill and back down to finish. With breath taking scenery over the cliffs the waves crashed into the rocks yards from our footsteps i had Trevor and bjorn 50 seconds infront and I felt bad!!. But I kept it going and without knowing it I was right behind them. Knowing last week there was no way I was running side by side with Trevor so I decided to run right though them. I could see 2 more bodies in the distance. Bryan keane and Shane scully. But it was Shane in the lead. Fair play, he’s having a blinder were my first thoughts. At the turn around Keane was passing scully and the gap was too big to get 2 nd place. 3 rd was the game plan now and I turned my legs over as fast I could. Trevor stayed, bjorn dropped off. Knowing how tough Trevor is I knew a new race tactic had to be applied. I can’t out sprint him late on, so with 300/400 to go I dropped the hammer and went for it. So that leaves it 1 all. I got 3rd and happy with my days work.
Bryan Keane got the win with Shane scully second.hats off to Shane,he’s been knocking on the door and looked like he nailed it. It was great to see Bryan Keane back too.
Thank you limerick Tri. You showed a master class in registration, professionalism, GOODIE bag & shared the money with the athletes. I always say if I raced triathlon to make money I’d be broke a long time ago but it’s nice for the race to give us a share of the spoils because we do as athletes put so much hard work into it.