[Report by Don Morrissey]
“Leptospirosis (Weils Disease) is a rare and severe bacterial disease that incubates in the body and can cause death in certain cases if not treated properly”, or so the Vodafone Dublin City Triathlon Website and pre-race emails stated. Not the most enticing of PR I’ve ever encountered….
Luckily I’d done this race last year and the chances are, well lets just say ‘slim’. I did email the officials to see if snorkels were allowed due to the threat, but……
So it was that time of year again, the season finale or close to it anyway when the Dublin City Triathlon arrives upon us. It’s a tough technical slog but strangely, one I like. As Gavin Noble (our Olympian) put it, ‘not the fastest course I think’. 5.30am rise and after some plodding around searching for gels, found myself in transition at 7.45ish. This year the transition was completely changed from the difficulties encountered in 2011. The Racing 795 slots were beside one of only two trees in transition, so myself Frank and Fintan had the best marker possible, no need for usual transition recce.
Didin’t see Fintan or Tracy before the race but managed to catch Frank. I was in Wave One and the two buckos in Wave 4. Hooter and we’re off. The 1st 700 is against the flow and long, very long….. Got to turnaround without incident and back down with the flow. However those evil feckers in Piranha , decide it’s best to swim past the exit and down a further 100 metres to another turnaround and that last 100 metres is back against the flow when you least need it.
Exited in 32nd overall in a time of 25.27, arguably my best time this year (only six mins behind our Olympian). Meanwhile Frank and Fintan were having a good battle in the water with Fintan exiting in 35.58 and Frank in 37.35 (a whole 6 mins faster than last year). Transition was much longer than last year due to the changes but I got through with the usual efficiency.
The bike course was tougher this year with the wind, it was against you on the long hills and few straights and with you on the technical sections and downhills (when of course it is of little use). First lap funnily is like a recce, seeing how fast you can hit the technical bits, without losing grip, so it’s a little tentative. By lap five, it’s lunatic time, weaving in and out of other athletes, like a man possessed. In fact on the last lap I nearly missed the exit gate going too fast, to the screams and frowns of the marshalls. I finished in a split of 1:11:30, Frank just behind in 1:12:07 (I beat the hoor! ) and Fintan just behind again in 1:13:21 (definitely Fintan’s best bike split).
Then came the real slog, the run. There are over 300kms of roads and tarmac paths in the Park but for some reason DCT decide to make it a cross-country course. To add insult to injury, the ground conditions were very poor, muck, roots, gravel, deep trails, hills….. Of course in true 2012 form, I managed to hit a root and lamp myself off the ground (3rd fall this year) and it was only 3k into the run, another 7k to go . Managed to get home in a slow but solid split time of 46:12, Frank came home just behind in 47:46 and poor Fintan (run extraordinaire) was visited by the ‘Dizzy Demons’ and came home in 54.01. In true Olympic style, Gavin Noble won in a time of 2:02:53, I finished in 2:26:43 54th overall, Frank in 2:41:43 152nd and Fintan in 2:47:39 198th.
We were greeted at the finish with Red-Bull, Coke, Water, Kinetica, Ice-cream, (I think poor Fintan had doubles in everything) a Vodafone gilet and everyone was announced over the line. I then trotted over for a massage, had a chat with Gavin Noble and told him he had my bike and I wanted it back, then waited for the two buckos to arrive due to the later start times, ‘Happy Days’ as Eamonn Tilley would say. All in all a great day and fantastic organisation as usual by Piranha and the weather Gods came out as well. The goodie bag alone is worth the visit. Off with me to the retirement home now.
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