[Report by Fintan Redmond]
This year has been all new challenges for me, between racing for the first time in rivers and the sea and trying to figure out the form of the three amigos “feeling sick” before a race = good performance, “not feeling sick” = bad performance, which ends up in a good performance anyway. All good fun
All four of us travelled down yesterday on our own making sure not to give up any pre race secrets and praying the weather wouldn’t get any worse. I had my coach by my side making sure I ate correctly and didn’t forget anything. The two boys (Frank and PJ) were split for the first time this season by the sounds of it, and chilling in different corners of the town before the race (must be new race tactics). Until we all meet up before the race for our usual group photos. The weather now was starting to settle nicely.
We all made our way down to the beach as instructed. I was doing my best to keep an eye on the lads as I was not sure what the procedure was for a sea start but as soon as I turned to head for the beach I’d already lost them. Trying to find the lads was like looking into a pack of penguins. Thoughts going through my head should I stay at the back middle or up front, I decided stay close to the back to be safe. All of a sudden we were off and staying at the back was a mistake. I didn’t mind swimming beside people but the f**kers doing the breaststroke, I had about a minute or two of getting the head kicked off me until eventually I got past. Then heard someone coughing up half of the sea (Mental note don’t try that). Got to the first buoy found it hard to get around that. Swimmers were starting to spread out now, which made the rest of the swim ok. Got to the beach felt like D day landing with a torturous hill to climb. Got into transition hardly had the energy to get out of the wetsuit, after fumbling and more fumbling I was ready to go. The three amigos bikes were all ready gone. Don was first out on the bike followed by PJ, Frank and myself.
The bike route was difficult enough with a nice few hills, not too bad for me until after the turn around there was a strong head wind, which made it difficult. PJ had an interesting meeting with two horses running around and two guards chasing after them like idiots, it was described as a scene from a Benny Hill show but dangerous. Frank won the battle of the bikes with Don in second, myself third and P.J fourth.
T2 another disaster for me was all over the shop getting my feet out of the shoes.
Eventually got going, nice hill straight away out of transition and then more hills and more hills. The sun was starting to heat up now, not ideal for running. Eventually got past the hills and started to make a bit of ground from here on in I got into a nice stride and had forgotten completely about the lads and just got into the zone until I was passing PJ not knowing at the time it was PJ until I heard bollox! F**k you. I said sorry don’t know if PJ heard me but it felt good for a change. Then I saw Frank and thought to myself Christmas must be coming, caught up with Frank and passed him. I think I pulled Frank on a little cause I could feel him breathing down the back of my neck. Got to the finish line there was a great atmosphere with the Redbull DJ bopping away and the sun now splitting the trees, and our faithful supporters cheering us at the finish line, thanks to Orla, Yvonne and Tracy for all their cheers of support throughout the day.
Don – 1:22:53
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