Its a Tuesday, it’s almost 6pm and as per usual our house is nuts. One is drawing on the blinds in the conservatory and the other is on ‘speedy’ the bike flying up and down the hall. Herself, aka Mrs BMC is trying not to lose it, she’s one eye on the clock, about to make a dash for her speed work session…
Its at this point I gather up enough courage to mention I might be maybe thinking of doing a triathlon. For those of you who dont know I havent raced tri all year. I had an affair with the road bike scene. Its one I loved and will repeat. But with little to no racing on the road Calender I needed something to fuel my competitive addiction. So over diner I kinda cough/splutter the word ‘triathlon’ out. I know she heard me but she’s pretending she’s not listening. ”I think i might do Dublin City Tri on Sunday” i say again. ”Ha, do you now” says herself. Little does she know I had swam and went for a run earlier. Under her breath I her say, ‘cant wait to have to listen to triathlon talk again…the moaning, the groaning, the crying, power up, power down, mins per k this, mins per mile that…’ I promise honey, I hear myself saying, Im not taking it that seriously, I’ve changed!!!!
Dublin City Tri 25-08-13
So with the hard bit out of the way I did Dublin. Quite well in fact all things considered. I swallowed half the liffey, plus a nappy, but all in all I enjoyed every minute of it and gave it what i had. I got 9th which wasnt a bad effort considering it was the national championships. New cowboys looked at me racking up as if I manured on their turf but I assured them I wasn’t here to beat them. Not this time anyway. Gavin Noble breathed a sigh of relief! In true Noble fashion he brought his C+ game and still kicked everyone’s ass.
Castlewellan Tri 31st August
In true BMC fashion I’ve jumped straight back into the program, no kissing. Another email, this time to Neville in Castlewellan and as luck would have it I’m in. ” Honey, get the camper, we’re heading to Castlewellan.’ With a little more running and swimming under my belt I’m more focused on getting a result. The company is good and I’d need to really rely on my swimming strength to pull this one out of the bag. Ha! I calculated keeping within 15 minutes of the first swimmer would be a positive 😉 All joking aside (except for my swimming) I came out way behind, too embarrassing to report on. Like Santa petting Prancer, Dancer and all the other ones I gave my Trek a little pet on the top tube and gave her Ronda!! I went hard from the off and found myself in the lead. With one last drag a kind marshal shouted ..”reel him in”… Reel Fu’ckin who in!!!!??? I’m feckin winning. But I wasn’t, I was 2 mins down and would meet this so called leader at the first turn around. Now I knew why i didn’t seen him on the road…he’s feckin half the size of me!! But Charles Maltha was moving. From there 2nd place was the spot to keep but a few hungry wolves lurked behind. I smile and shout ‘this is handy’ as they pass to let them know I’m in good form, and hope it will shorten their stride. Damn, I’m caught with few 100’s to go, but I feel a nettle down my Compressports and I dip for the line to keep 2nd.
The Lost Sheep Half IronMan- 7th September
Feeling guilty I let Karen drive for a while.. I’m good like that. On the trip down I had planned to do a few repairs seeing as i was sitting in the one place for a number of hours. Cleats and rear block needed changing so I thought it a good idea to ride shotgun. I got every bolt out of the cleats except one bastard!!! He was welded in… I was sweating profusely trying to get the bollox out… In the heat of all this Karens not so confident in where to go.. ‘limerick’ i say.. ‘ok’ she says… 30 mins later I see a sign for Galway…..”Get out” I say. I’ll give her that one, it got her out of driving for the rest of the weekend.
We arrived late to Kenmare and in this order we eat, register, fill bottles, brush our teeth and hit the hay.
I wake at 5 and as per usual I skip breakfast and quitley poo myself about what lay ahead. For all you dummies I’m about to do a 1900m swim, 80k bike (riding mainly with your arse close to the tarmac and your front wheel pointing upwards) and a 21k run.
It was good to be back in the Endurance Junkie gear and Compressport. Also listening in on conversations between competitors talking themselves out of doing well… ”i ran 20 mile on thursday”…”no i swam 20k this week”..They make me smile.. Ask me how I am and I’ll tell you im Flying! Only in this sport do we talk up our training as to what other sports do by talking theirs down.
I look to me right and Tim Barry is talking to his energy gels, pointing to his socks and talking to them too.. WTF Tim.. this is not good! Another fella strolls through transition with what looks like a footlong subway melt! That’s how they must do it down here I tell myself.
To the business end. I enter the water first like Phelps. Stand back lads Im gonna rip this one up. Instead Owen cummins rips about 9 mins into me with all the other ballers well on their way. My only plan here was to ride the bike as if there was no run after it. Attack the bike. I didnt mind blowing on the run. If i had any chance to do well I had to really work the bike. As i got to top 5 position, I passed with intent, the intent being dont fuckin come with me. I found myself in the lead and tried to extend the gap.
As i arrived into transition I figured the mad one in red was my wife. She did about 50 star jumps in 3 seconds! Rack bike, socks on, runners on, GO…until Sargent Slaughter puts his arm across me and ushered me into the penalty box. ”youve got a 5 minute penalty and you’re lucky that’s all it is” he says. At this point I’m better saying nothing, deal with it after, get the race done and appeal it were my thoughts. The time keeper in front of me wanted the ground to open up, God love him, what a horrible job. By 3 mins i had calmed a little, by 4 the thoughts of buying off the time keeper had crossed my mind…”let me go and if i win ill throw you a ton!!..deal?? NO, I’ll be shot he says’. With that my nearest chaser comes in and I still get out in front with just a few seconds to spare.
The run is tough, but it’s a strong mans course. Strong in mind and body. A turn around at 7 km let me know who was closing. Maltha was out of the picture but Niall Sommers wasn’t. The rest were too far back to catch. I knew that I’d be ok to hold my pace but I wasnt in control with what the others were doing. I got around every bend unoticed by a chasing figure and it gave me confidence that i could actually ‘win this thing and not need to appeal”!!
At 19 km I let myself know I’d won and laughed my way to the finish line in bemusement! How, what, where, when. Again I figure the mad one doing the star jumps was karen and the look on her face was priceless!
Even better, as i lay on the massage table my team mate Owen Martin cruised home in thrid tearing through the field in the run. Just as well I had a gap or he’d of caught me for sure!
So all’s well that ends well…
I found a sheep (and herself kept the prize money?!)
Thanks to Martin Jancek for the photos
PS the penalty was for doing 60 in 50