Hell Of The West 2011 – 1500m/44km/10km [Report by PJ Dunne]
The whole family set of to Kilkee the Monday before race day for a bit of R+R. With Yvonne giving the nod for some early morning training sessions I decided to recce the course.
The run course (10km) was straightforward, 5km uphill and then 5km downhill. Simple! The Bike route was typical of roads in Ireland, undulating with a nasty hill at the beginning and at the end.
On Thursday evening we all trooped to the beach for a swim, this is where it all went pear shaped. The shoreline and as far as the eye could see was covered in jelly fish. I lasted 6-7 mins in the water and out I ran with my tail between my legs. The jelly fish really freaked me out and later talking to a Racing 795 Hell Of The West Veteran didn’t help with him recounting tales of jelly fish sticking to his wrists and that they do sting. Help!!!
Forward on to race day and after nightmares about sea creatures I was very close to my 1st DNS. A good kick in the ass from Yvonne put my fears to the back of my mind.
The whistle was blown and the swim began. The first 600m was straight out to sea and with the tide coming in was very tough, but got there and turned right for 400m directly across the bay. The final 500m was back into shore and yippee swim finished without sight of one jelly fish in a time of 33:51.
Out onto the bike with a howling wind and driving rain. Luckily for the first 20km the wind was either with you or slightly sideways but that all changed after making the right turn in the village of Cree. I was hit full force in the face with the wind and rain. 1hr 25mins later back in Kilkee again , a happy chappy.
Caught sight of the family coming into T2 and their cheer gave me the boost I needed for the run ahead.
Headed out on the run up Dunlicky Rd and found myself passing a few people which was encouraging. The run wasn’t easy but I found myself enjoying it (see attached pic). I had two work mates racing and bragging rights for the year were at stake. At the run turnaround I was 5-6mins up on both of them. It was all downhill from here apart from one last kick with 2km to go. Stunning views back into Kilkee for last km and crossed the line with a run time of 46:49, and total time of 2hrs 47 min and 39s with nothing left in the tank.
The 27th Hell Of The West was a great race, very well organised. Just a pity the weather gods didn’t play ball. A Big thanks to Yvonne and Kids for their support. Three hours standing in the rain is greatly appreciated.
A Big Thanks to Coach Burke for your advice. Thank god Yvonne wasn’t able to tell me them till race was over. His suggestions to overcome my fear of jelly fish were
1. KEEP YOUR EYES CLOSED
2. YVONNE WAS TO GET A PLACEBO CREAM AND TELL ME IT WAS A JELLY FISH REPELLANT.
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