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One man’s Tri795 – “Ticking off the Bucket List”

The crowds gather ahead of Tri795

[Race report by Niall O’Muirí]

FIRST TRI (a sort of report on TRI795)

It was a good idea at the time, on an early Saturday morning road spin, we decided to sign up, tick it off the invisible bucket list that lingers in the back of your mind…”things to do before I can’t” and all that. And so we did, sign up, bought the book Triathlon from Start to Finish by Sam Murray. We tried to out boast each other as to how bad at swimming we were… and we were. So I took to the pool five nights a week for two weeks, no style, no rhythm, no method, just slog up and down 20 times, that was it. And that was my down fall. too little too late, and nothing prepared me for the chaos of the pool and the water and the day.

The park was buzzing, you couldn’t but get into the buzz of the place. I had prepared well, mixing a combo of swim, jog, cycle, been over the course, ate well slept shite on the eve of the Tri….but it was great to be there, to be a part of it,  the music boomed, the adrenaline pumped. We were all there. Liam turned up with two one day licences, the victim of a double click with the mouse, he told us he intended doing the course twice. Fintan turned up late and scattered, no helmet, and no pins for the number. But it didn’t matter, we were all there, ticking off the invisible bucket list. Our first triathlon, and what better place to do it, but on home soil.

And then I died, in the pool, not prepared for the chaos of the water, where was the smooth calm pool that I had trained in, glided through the previous weeks. I died a death, what seemed like an eternity, I dragged my sorry ass, leaving all my dignity, confidence and self esteem floating in the deep end, out of the pool to, as Frank would say “poor bastard sympathy cheers”.

But at transition (T1 for us triathletes) I picked up, the bucket list boys were there ahead of me. Fintan, for someone so disorganised, took off like a bullet, his number hanging on by a single pin. I had a Mr Bean moment trying to pull my 795 jersey over a wet body and getting stuck in the process. Martin M came to my rescue, and untied me. And off we went, the legs heavy after the swim, pushing low gears, struggling to get a  rhythm. It took till the first climb out of Clonegal and the shouts and cheers from Yvonne and a clutch of kids full of Coke and sugar, for the legs to finally get going. After that I started picking off a few (a very few) faster swimmers, and confidence returned.

The familiarity of the course was a distinct advantage, as I shot down Carrickduff meeting Orla on the way out, the home crowd cheering, the music blaring and James Bodels camera in hand, my “never again” feeling began to fade.

T2, was smoother, Mick M had made up the time on me as I changed from bike shoes to runners, so we took off together, and stayed together for two minutes and then he slowly drifted away ahead of me. The uphill wasn’t as bad as I imagined, it seemed to stretch out the calf muscles.

Liam came through on the bike, Fintan not far behind, it was turning out to be a great day after all.

Adrenaline brought me down hill, over the brow of Carrickduff to cheers and music, and a feelgood feeling. Joy F shouted to me to sprint and I thought “(This is me fkin sprinting!!)”…and with that I crossed the line, knackered and happy, ticking off me bucket list, and thinking, where else would you want to be on a sunny Sunday afternoon in August.


Lessons learned:

You can bluff on a bike, you can bluff on a run, but you can’t bluff in a swimming pool…

I did way to much swimming the five days leading up to the event, my legs were like lead in the pool.

Will I do another triathlon? Ah we’ll see, they tell me river swimming is easier

But thanks to everyone for the encouragement, the advice, the number belt, etc etc

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