[Beast of the East Race Report by Brian O’Shaughnessy]
Registration on the day was between 6am-7am so early start to Lough Dan close to Laragh in Wicklow. Very few about so I’m guessing most pre registered at base2race already. Nice snooze in the car for an hour as the moozies seem to be eatin eveyone within sight. Transition was great, racks numbered with plenty of room and a good height. Weather was overcast with a slight breeze. Music before hand was very dodgy, I reckon Frank had lent them his Now 24 cassette which is all the rage in Galway at the moment!
Two waves (Don, Paul and myself in wave 1 and John in wave 2). Nice pontoon out to the lake, very few got in much of a warm up swim for some reason. Water was pretty warm. Off we went around the rectangle course with 4 big round buoys easy to spot and get round. One kick in the nostrils at the start but other than that it settled down quickly. Water was choppy around the bottom of the course but other than that I thought it was a better than dunmore east. Delighted to see Paul in transition explained later that he had gone off course a fair bit. Lesson for the next Tri – learn how to draft in the swim!
A very long run on grass before the mount point for the bike so I had to carry my shoes there and put them on just before the point (put those tri cycling shoes on the Santa list!).
On the way out we had a nice tail wind to Laragh and is a mix of sharp climbing and fast descending which was good fun, road from Laragh to the turnaround was very rough and hard to get in any beat. Met Don on the cycle and he was flying. Another decent climb near the end was nice followed by a slowed decent caused by some poor girl who had came off the bike and was being looked after by the ambulance crew. I heard after she was okay. Loads and loads of marshals out on course.
This for me was the toughest part of the race, from 2km to 4km you have a very sharp steep hill and you could see people really going backwards on it. Met Paul coming out of transition as I was coming in and again close to the turnaround but he put in a great final 5km putting at least another minute into me I reckon. After this the run is fine with a lot of the final 5km downhill. In ways I find running down hill harder than uphill as you have to really push and not be nice to yourself.
Wow! so much food and drink after the race it was great,
Great event, very well organised and do-able. Is it a real beast? – having nothing much to compare to except 795 and Dunmore I would say not really – if either of these were stretched to Olympic distance I really don’t think would much less tough. Is it worth doing? Definitely – great setting, very well organised and the bike route was cool. 3 weeks out of the water hurt John’s swim big time but he had a strong bike and run. Paul beat me in all 3 disciplines and I was only catching him in transition which is more worrying if anything .
Would love to know how you do 35 second T1 transition Don – would be worth seeing it some day in action. Another very good day at the office knocking 7 minutes off last year’s time.
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