Ironman Barcelona

Frank Bike1

PJ bike 1

Report by PJ Dunne

The Build Up
Until last Thursday morning I really did think there was an Ironman curse on Frank and myself. With Franks broken arm this year and my collarbone last year it seemed like it wasn’t to be. But last Thursday my alarm clock for the early drive to the airport wasn’t set at all but I still woke up before the time I thought I set it for 2.55am. The luck was with me and was set to stay.
The training started bizarrely on the same date one yr on from when I broke my collarbone. 6 months long during the summer months with lovely weather!
A big thanks to everyone who joined me on any of the training spins especially the open water swimming as I got fed up waiting on Frank!
We had decided that a bit of racing in Ireland was needed to keep training interesting. So 2 HIM races in Tri an mhi and the Lost sheep. Frank didn’t make Tri an Mhi thru his arm. I did and didn’t really like the course ,surface was poor but the lake was lovely. The lost sheep on the other hand was brill. We would definitely do this again. Mike joined us for this interesting road trip ;)
This race really set me up for Barca. It gave me loads of confidence and it was all wind down from there.
The days leading up to the race were spent relaxing sleeping and eating. Weather was fine but the sea was as rough as a bears arse.
As per advice from Jarlath we had our dinner (chicken pasta&tom sauce at 2pm on the Saturday as the first batch of our supporters arrived.
Bikes racked with Frank covering his bike with that many plastic bags, the Catalan economy got a boost. Sat night drew near and bed time. Normally the night before a race I’m nervous but strangely I wasn’t. We both sleep well.

Race Day
Alarm clocks goes at 6.05am. Shower and big bowl of porridge and out the door for the quick walk in the dark down to transition.
Bikes checked and bags resorted for the 10 time. We then grab a very quick swim in the now calmer sea. Waves are still big enough to knock you off your feet but nothing would stop us now. We head back to swim pens and try to find our now increased support crew. Special mention at this stage to Yvonne Lia Cian my sister Louise and her friend Mary and Paula Conor and Luke. Words cant describe how much of a help they were to us both.
Frank and others had warned me of the emotions as you say good bye but I wasn’t expecting the tears that arrived as I said my good byes. Man up you muppet :roll:

The 3.8km swim
We positioned ourselves in the swim pens with us starting with the 1hr 20 group or so we thought. When we started to move Frank ended up in front with the 1hr 15 and me at the back of that group. We hit the water and off we went. It was choppy enough in the first 200m to the first buoy then right turn and a long straight of 1,450m. A yellow buoy at every 500m displaying the distance was a help. It got very choppy again towards the far end of the course where we had a 100m swim out to sea. Left turn and heading for home (1,750m) We both hoped for a bit of draft off somebody but neither of us got one. The bunch was to widely spread out. Frank was getting 1km splits and knew he was going well, I allowed myself one look with about 100m left, 1hr 14mins happy days! I exited the swim “like the pros” running whereas Frank did a somersault but unlike a goal scoring premiership player it was under the water and not meant! Both smiling with great times under our belts.
Frank 1hr 20mins
PJ 1hr 16mins

T 1
I spent a very brief moment in the ladies changing tent before realizing my mistake and ran away scared. I was half way thru my Ambrosia rice when the bold Burke arrived in smiling like a chesire cat. We both lubed up indivually of course and set off to find the bikes among the 2,600.

The 180km Bike
The first and last 3km of the 180km were tricky narrow streets with loads of ramps , roundabouts and drains etc so we both took it handy here. Loads didn’t and lost tubes and bottles along this stretch. Bit early to be losing stuff me thinks. The course is a 2.5 loops and mostly flat. The first and last 15 km of each loop is rolling but the surface is very good. Its pretty boring sea and train line on left and hills and houses on right on way out. At the 40 km turnaround we saw each other with Frank just behind and closing. There was a street party here in Montgat it looked deadly with music and drink. Frank the tank passed me 10km later flying it. Brief chat as we were conscious of the drafting rules. When we got back to Calella and the roundabout the crowds were massive. But it wasn’t hard to pick out our supporters. Shouts of encouragement from all and a thumbs up from both of us. It really gives you a lift. The expected bad patch came for me between 90-120km. The wind had changed direction (forecast) and was in our face again. I dug in and the long bikes in training paid off. Frank didn’t have a bad patch I think. We saw eachother at the Montgat turnaround ( party was over wtf) and the gap was static about 5 min. Another turnaround in Calella and a wave to the fans. Just half a loop left now. On the few rises I got up out of saddle to stretch and give me arse a break. Thinking about the bike now I cant remember what I was thinking about for the 6 hrs. I did remember something Peter C had told me that at 160 km id happily sell the bike for €5. This happened at 100km but at 160km I was fine because it was the road back to Calella with the wind on my back. 40 mins and I could put the bike away for a long while! I had hoped to maintain a 30km avg. So just before t 2 I looked at avg and it was 30.4km great another target hit. 2 down 1 to go. I focused on one discipline at a time so never thought about having to run a marathon after bike. It worked for me.
My nutrition plan ( Thanks to Paula) worked a treat. I had printed what I needed to take and when on the bike and ate and drank everything and more ( 90g carbs an hour). Not to moan but the drafting on the bike by SOME age groupers was unbelievable and the Irish were as bad as any nation. Peletons of 30-60 with technical officials on motorbikes in the middle seemingly doing little or nothing about it. I view this as cheating plain and simple. It was hard to slow as a big group went by but it was not impossible to avoiding drafting out on the main drag. Roundabouts and hills its easy to bunch. But this drafting happens in Ireland too. Mainly because of cash hungry race organizers.A look at boards or uk forums will tell you all you need to know. Rant over. :)
Frank 5hrs 49
PJ 5hrs 55

T 2
T 2 times need explaining. It only includes your run with bike and then run to tent.Time spent in tent changing was included in your run time. Anyway into tent and heres Burke again fu%k cant avoid eachother. We change quickly and as im eating my rice again ( not a good idea with running straight after) Burke comes pounding back in looking for his number belt. Turns out he put it in his run bag and reracked it.I finished my rice and headed out into sun to chase Burke down.

Only 42.2 km of a run left
4 laps of 10.250km along the esplanade starting with a 1.7km run down to finish area. Along this stretch we were both passed by the winner as he covered his last km. Our crew had set up here to start with and I stopped for a moment to say hi. The crowds and music were brilliant with drum bands and djs. Aid stations were every 2.5km and well stocked thru to the end.
At the 7km mark I took my first of 4 planned gels it was also around this stage we hit a turnaround and gave eachother a shout. About 1 min behind. Might sound like a race between us but i was looking forward to a chat having been silent for 7hrs. I know Frank sings the Fields of Athenry to himself on the bike , I suppose its better than his dancing so we should count ourselvies lucky! The far end of the run course was a complete contrast to the finish area. Our supporters moved up this end of the course for our 2nd and 3rd laps which was great. I think it was around 11km when I caught up to Frank. We ran together for a while until i needed a toilet stop. I then set off in chase again. We ran together again until we had enough of each other. One of the best signs I saw on route was from an Irish girl it read something like “hurry up I’ve to get home I think I left the immersion on ” Nutruition for run was 4 gels, water at all aid stations and coke from 20km on. All going well until it was time to take 2 nd gel stomach wasnt great. Cramps ,wind, release and repeat with cramps getting worse each time. With 21 km on clock the second toilet stop was needed. Jaysus portaloos are smelly all over the world. Problem temporally sorted. Lost 2 mins or so and expected Frank to be ahead of me so was looking forward to chat again. But at the next turn point he was behind me with a look of determination on his face. Quick shout and a high 5 and we were on our 3 rd lap. The crew had moved to the far end. Kids playing on the beach the wimmin with a few drinks in them. I stopped and chatted got medical advice re tummy . I felt the postive energy I got out weighed the time lost. Cian gave me a big hug which was what i needed. Tummy felt better shortly after so second gel (26-27km).The previous 10km had been hard. I had the same tummy problems in Tri An Mhi but cant narrow down the exact cause. I had slowed but at least i kept running. A few km after 2 nd gel same problems and 3rd toilet break (5 stops in total over the day). Just keep running to the 32km marker. I said id look at overall time at this point it read 10hrs 40 mins. Great, surely id be able to run 10 km in 80 mins or less and break 12hrs. I pushed hard in the last 10 km and ran steady kms times counting down each one.After most races we feel God maybe i could have run harder. This was the exception for me i gave it all and was completly empty crossing the line. But i had enough energy to smile and celebtarte. I heard the announcer saying “PJ you are an Ironman” and the €540 entry was worth it! :o

I made my way to the food tent via medal and t shirt collection. I knew Frank wouldn’t be long so I sat down just inside the door. But really I could have been in the middle of the Gobi desert for I all knew. I didn’t and Frank was the same after finishing, know whether I wanted to sit stand eat sleep shit vomit and celebrate! I had to find a jacks again (last ref to toilet I promise). We all hooked up outside tent again. Supporters were tired after walking 25km kids and all. We walked back to collect bikes and the short walk to our apartment. Celebrations on hold until the Monday. A big thank you again to all the support crew, you were brilliant all day LONG. You are more deserving off the well done’s.

Frank Run 4hrs 46mins
PJ Run 4hr 26 min

Frank overall 12hrs 13mins 40 sec
PJ overall 11hrs 55mins 54 sec
When making a decision to do an Ironman the whole family has to buy into it. Wife takes on at lot more jobs, big sister has to keep little bro entertained and little brother has to play football on his own a bit more. But we were all happy Sunday night, Cian declaring that Monday was his day and Lia told me she saw 3 super heros ( Wonderwomen Batgirl and me an Ironman) At least in her eyes I’m a hero. Thanks Yvonne for putting up with all the long hours training. Its over now for a while :D

Swim 160 km (56km open water) 62hrs
Bike 4,025km 151hrs
Run 935km 91 hrs

Hope somebody finds this report helpful if thinking of taking on this distance.

I’m sure if I forgot something Frank will be only to willing to add his bit.

Lastly thanks To Frank for joining me as im sure it was the last thing he wanted ( or his family) to sign up for after Roth. Cheers. :)

MTB Challenge 2015 – Results


Robin Seymour at the Racing795 MTB Challenge

Thanks to everyone who took on the Mount Leinster MTB Challenge on Sunday 30th August. A huge diversity of riders took part. Some raced it XC or Enduro-style, or used it as marathon training. Some took it as a personal challenge, and others rode it as a long Sunday spin with their mates.

Robin Seymour, Ireland’s greatest ever off-road cyclist, gave an exhibition of silky XC skills finishing in a blistering 2 hours, 7 minutes! Others worked much harder and put in almost 5 hours hard graft to get to the finish!

It wasn’t officially a race but we recorded times anyway so you can compare. The times are taken from when you finished, and make no distinction between those who rode the long or short route, or those who did less or more of the route. Just factor in any variations yourself.

Finishing times

We’d like to thank…

Coillte, without whose ongoing support there would be no Racing795 MTB events

Minx Design and Hogan Print for the event posters.

The Offroad Commission, in particular Maciej (Max Power) Staroniewicz, for online registration support.

Order of Malta, Wexford Unit for providing ambulance cover.

Pat Kiely (Trials bike rider)

Noel and Avril Deacon for the parking

Wexford County Council for the traffic cones.

Our own marshals, every one a legend!

MTB Challenge Promo Video

Sign up today!

6 Hour Ultra Time Trial

Report By Mick Foley

This may be of interest to some of you training for your upcoming iron-man races. I took part in a 6 hour Ultra Time Trial in Sligo last Sunday. This consisted of doing 15.5km laps and seeing how many kilometers you could cover in the allotted time

I headed Saturday afternoon wondering why I do these things, Had planned to do a lap of the course that evening but the further north I traveled the more frequent the heavy showers were becoming, decided to drive a lap of the course instead, the course was pretty much up and down all the way round with the last 6km on a duel-carriage way. Was thinking I might have to re-adjust my aim of 180km.

Didn’t really sleep well as is normal for me before an event and as registration was at 7 its was too early for the breakfast in the hotel so had stocked up with fruit cake and various high calorie snacks to fill up before the race. Registered and set up the bike and noticed that most were using road bikes with clip on bars, after a short race briefing 16 of us headed off in a bunch start, we had been told we had 10km to sort ourselves out and after that normal TT drafting rules applied. I didn’t have to worry about this as 5 lads took off up the road and were gone, it was tempting to chase after them but the plan was to keep the heart rate at around the 80% of max for the first 3 hours and see what happened then. Settled into a nice pace after a few km’s and was happy enough with the pace of the first few laps completing them in approx 29 minutes, spotted another competitor up the road then and slowly reeled him in and we swapped places for the next few laps, it made such a difference to see another person on the road so was enjoying it at this stage and had emptied my first bottle of water and had switched to an energy drink, this seemed to really help me I started to drop into the 28 minute laps, noticed my friend on the road was starting to struggle a bit as I was catching him easily on the hills and he would close the gap on the flat which is the opposite of what normally happens to me. I noticed he was eating a roll on lap 5 so I guessed he had decided not to stop at all. I wanted to go over the 3 hour mark before I stopped and on lap 8 I hit the 100km mark in 3 hours 7 minutes.

Stopped at the end of this lap and ran to the car and replaced my bottles and tried to stuff as much food into me as possible, as I did my buddy from the first few laps coasted by so once I was fully re-fueled I set off after him again, took a few km’s to get going again and went okay until the 4 hour mark, then the mind started to play tricks, every drag became a mountain, every niggle became agony, the wind seemed stronger on the main road and after an hour of not seeing another racer on the road really makes you question your sanity but the hardest part was not really having a finish line to aim for. At least when I reached the 5 hour mark I knew I had 2 laps remaining which was 31km but at this stage the legs were failing, my back was in bits and I was finding it hard to eat anymore gels and bars. So kept telling myself it was like doing the 795 TT route that I have done 1000’s of times at this stage and was imagining where I was on the road. Eventually the garmin beeped that the 6 hours were up but I had to complete the final lap as they calculated your distance on your time for the final lap, this was a tough few km’s as it felt like I was cycling for nothing and the legs were gone. Crossed the line and was given my distance of 183.4km which I was very happy with. I may have completed the 186km if I had been better organised at the stop but that was it, there was no way I was doing another lap.

What I learned which may be of use to you 1) Make sure you train with the equipment your racing with. 2) Make sure you train with the food & drink your racing with. 3) The combination of lucazade sport and water worked well for me. 4) Try to have someone the pass you food and bottles. 5) Pace yourself for the first half, its very tempting to go mad and push as hard as possible, you will pay for it at some stage. Try find someone who is roughly the same pace as you and keep them in sight 6) everything seems like a good idea when your surfing the net, its not so nice when you hit the wall.

Glad I completed the challenge, there is another one on 28th June if any of you would like a good training session under race conditions. I won’t be doing this one myself.

This also showed me what an achievement it is to complete an iron-man. Fair play to any of you who have completed or are attempting one.

Joey Hannan Memorial Triathlon

Race Report By Elaine Gibson

Mike asked if I would post a short report on my experience of the Joey Hannon Tri since it was first Olympic [maybe it’ll be use to another newbie!]. Actually I’m fairly green all round…I’ve never participated as part of a club and my tri experience consists of 3 sprint triathlons [very sporadically!] over the past 3 or 4 years [bunclody pool one, Hook tri & kk sprint last year]. I had aimed to do an Olympic this year, but not so early in the year – but I couldn’t resist as my husband [Kevin] was registering just after Christmas – I knew the envy would kill me on the day so I had to :-)

Overall it was a fantastic experience and I loved/hated every minute of it! The weather was perfect after a doomsday type forecast! My swim wasn’t so good though…I had never timed a 1500m swim before; guessed at 35 mins when I registered back in Jan. I did it in 34-ish mins but could have done so much better for a few reasons – I was sick with nerves [unwarranted of course] so it took me half the swim to breathe properly and relax/never swam in a 50m pool before/didn’t use the end walls at all to kick off and we organised our lane really badly – loads of lessons learned there!!

I was delighted with the cycle and loved every second [it was really very flat], good time for me 1h17 ish [although I have nothing to compare it to either!]. The run was good for me also – 50m [my normal 10km isn’t a whole lot faster]. I need to mention my transitions though – ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING – I couldn’t believe it when I saw the times! My husband asked me if I had stopped for a cigarette :D I think I need to skip the drying between my toes, forget the socks and skip the big discussion in the transition area about my terrible swimming! Any advice on transition techniques will be welcome! Overall 2 h 50 – I would have been delighted with 3 hours – so I was over the moon to have finished in one piece and first Olympic tri in the bag :D

Looking forward to Carlow next weekend and also Tri the Hook in August [last time I tried that one 3 years ago, I near died of fright in the sea swim – haven’t swam in the sea since – some fears to conquer between now and then!

Rotterdam Marathon

Report By Nigel MCCord

Wow ..quick week .
Early flight last Saturday morning at 6 arrived in Amsterdam for half 8 where we were picked up by Peter a Dutch friend of mine . He drove us to Rotterdam to our hotel giving us some local knowledge along route . Arrived at the hotel and got freshened up and Peter took us to the city centre . We dropped the girls , , Trish her sister Bernie and a friend of their’s Lynda at the Expo . Myself and Peter took a trip and boat tour around the city . Its fantastic to see . When Trish was at the Expo she bagged me an entry in the 1/4 marathon simply because we were Irish :-). We then returned Back to the hotel for fodder and bed .
Marathon Day .. girls were up early to get the breakfast then back to the room for Prep. ( this was the start of my downfall.. ie lack of food .). then Bags packed and ‘Timing Chips ‘ fitted and then Taxi to the Start . I said good bye to the girls and wished them well . I left the bags in the drop zone and headed on my way to my run . ( second mistake …left water and Jellys in me bloody bag ) .. anyway got to the start of my wave which was No.3 and stood around in the heat waiting to start with my mouth getting dry with every min . I knew I was in trouble . The waves were huge I only realised at the end there was 11, 000 runners in the 10.5k race !! Race starts and I.m struggling to even move or walk . After a k or 2 the road widened and I was able to get free of tge crowd and start running . I got thru wave 3 only to catch wave 2 in an open park . With the footpaths blocked I along with others had to run on the grass and even jump a few fallen trees . Got to the half way mark and water stop and picked up 2 cups with sponges . Drank these and freshened up and started at a nice pace but the damage was done , calves burning and roastin due to the heat I got across the line in my worst time ever of 54.30 .
Freshened up and waddled to the 28k marker to catch the girls . Picked them up on the tracker at 25k . Got me flag and supplies ready for the girls . Lynda first and a big cheer and a wave and a Mars Bar given to her  and off she went . A few minutes later Trish arrives , I shout and wave and immediately she spots me and makes a beeline for me I think fook what’s wrong , then theres a big hello and smile and runs to me for a hug and salty kiss :-) and she sprints off , I wash my mouth out and think to myself ‘ shes fookin Flying ‘ all good she’s never ever done that before in all the races I.v followed her . Turns out she decided at the start to just display the distance on her watch …no pace or time … she just ran and took it all in . Berni was a few minutes later all smiles and happy out also to have seen me . Soon after this her stomach cramped again for the second time . I shouted at some other Irish runners and waddled to about a km from the finish . Lynda thru first again but this time Trish was closer behind her !! Still all smiles she grabbed the flag and ran across the line hit stop on the watch ..a new PB of 3.45 she was ecstatic .
We all met at the Hilton Hotel lobby and hugs and kisses all round . A drink was had and photos taken as we soaked up the atmosphere around us . Lynda finished in 3.35 .. Trish with her 5th Marathon in a little over a year in 3.45 ..and Bernie in 4.35.
Overall it was a fantastic weekend . Lovely city . Easy to travel . Good food . Nice people . well run event . Not that expensive either . We hope to return next year . I have a argument to settle with my race .
Thank Jim for getting this idea rolling and sorry you didn’t make it .

MTB NPS Round 1

Race report by David Furlong

NPS RD1 hosted by Team WORC, Djouce, Wicklow, 19th April

Our own Blackstairs XC League (preceded for me and DC by a Winter of CX racing) had us in what we thought was reasonable shape, even better than usual for this time of year. Some especially good showings in the Blackstairs XC by DC and Ross had us hopeful of great things.

Djouce is known as probably the most technically difficult place in Ireland to ride, and that coupled with the fact that the host club is XC legends Robin Seymours club, we were expecting a technical challenge. Robin usually lays out difficult course, with steep off-camber always a feature. So we were praying for a dry week leading up to the race, which we thankfully got. Still there was some trepidation, for me especially, having fractured my knee in a race there in 2008.

So off we set, me DC, Ross and Brian – all in S3 category. We arrived to find an ashen-faced Brian after his practice lap. He described two particularly tricky sections..So we went for a track walk – well worth it. What we saw was typical Djouce – steep technical off-camber singletrack down and steep kickers back up. But it was dry!

Practice lap done, time to line up. Ross and DC got themselves on the front of the grid, Brian and me a few rows back. Gun goes – the usual sprint. But we’ve got used to this now and it’s not the shock that it used to be. The CX racing definitely helps.

Ross layed up with the leaders for 2 laps, going out on the third and final lap in 3rd place. But whilst going well, he’s probably not in peak shape yet and finished 6th. Definitely better things to come. DC also flew out the gate and despite a few small mechanicals got into the top 20 in 18th place.

As for me, I was on my new 29er hardtail,which was great. I was happy with my performance – made a few errors near the start but generally rode well. Myself and Brian basically rode the first 2 1/1 laps together, trading places a few times. But the elixir of youth kicked in then and the whippersnapper pulled away..We finished 22nd and 24th respectively – out of a field of 70 odd

All happy. Ross maybe a little disappointed not to hang on to the podium spot, but that will come. DC in the top 20. Brian and I together just a few mins behind DC.

I guage my performance against guys that I am racing against year in year out – including my own clubmates.The last few years I would normally be a few mins behind Brian and 5 or more behind DC…so I closed that gap a little…and other lads that are usually around my position I had well behind me – so on that basis I’m happy with my performance

The next round is next weekend – but it’s in Delphi Co Mayo which is a bit far for me.

So the next race is Rd 3 at the beginning of June

We’ll try to keep the race shape by doing some of the IMBRC club races on Tuesday nights

lastly – thanks to Jim and Brian for organising the XC league – definitely has us sharper than usual for this time of year…

and thanks to Ross for the driving duties


NPS Round 1


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