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Roth Ironman 2014

Racing795 had a special weekend in Roth,Germany in July when 7 club members took home precious Iron-man medals in this grueling event which features a 3800m swim, 180km cycle and 42km run. To add to this, temperatures hovered in the mid 30 degrees making an already massive challenge even harder. Our athletes had been training specifically for this event for the past 6 months – 12 months with upwards of 20 hours a week and 12-15 hours been the norm. 6am starts and 2 sessions a day where a regular feature of each person’s training schedule while balancing family life and work commitments.

Roth 2014

Roth 2014

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World Triathlon Championships London 2013 – Sprint race

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[Report by Don Morrissey]

In March 2012 on a cold wet Saturday morning, I spotted a ‘Newsflash’ on the ITU Website, ‘2013 World Triathlon Championships Grand Final to be held in London on the same course as the 2012 Olympic Games’. Wow, season goal was intact, Qualify….

Luckily for me I sneaked a place in Athy in early June 2012, leaving me well over 12 months to prepare, but more importantly it meant I could look at the Olympic Games and say with certainty I’ll be there next year. If anyone saw the Triathlon in the Olympics, it was apparently the highest attended event on the program with the Brownlee Brothers doing the business amidst the most vocal crowd on the most iconic course imaginable, not to mention a wonderful performance from Gavin Noble to keep us interested. Roll on 2013

2012 was a vintage year for the four amigos, epic road trips to all corners of the Country chasing much coveted NS points in order to qualify and finally after a rather arbitrary long-winded qualification system within Triathlon Ireland, the inevitable happened, the four golden tickets were secured.

2013 for me anyway was far from vintage, however despite a few season wobbles, I found myself in London in the peak of my life. However one of the drawbacks for an event of this magnitude, is the endless check-ins, briefings, registrations, course familiarisation etc etc, which meant for a lot of walking to and from the Park, not ideal pre-race preparations, however TI were actually superb, very well briefed, which eased the tensions.

5.50am alarm, but I was awake already, packed bags, which were packed already, porridge and toast and off to Hyde Park. Met Frank in transition, sorted all the bits and pieces and we toddled off. We both decided that the finish line stand was the best place to position ourselves until our wave starts are 9.45/9.50. Then the music started and myself and Frank looked at each other and giggled nervously, it’s on. We saw the first wave Male 16-19 from start at exactly 8am to finish at 9:03-ish.

Suddenly the wet suits were on, quick photo with a few Irish guys from Ditch Moore and before long Frank found himself sitting on the pontoon staring into the abyss and then he was off. Frank said afterwards he suffered a little on the early swim but soon got into his rhythm. I was strangely calm and seriously focussed at the start, staring down the 250 metres to the turnaround point, while visualising my swim stroke. My game plan was obviously similar to everyone else, swim as hard as you can the turnaround point, get around without injury/drama, then swim harder back. We all seemed to hit the turnaround together, which meant for a lot of missed strokes and kicking. According to Frank the swim was well over the 750 metres, so I exited in one of my best results, a very admirable 12:19, while Frank came out in 16:51. Have to say Frank looked well in red in the water

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DonSwim.jpeg

With the biggest and longest transition ever experienced, I managed to catch Frank in the corner of my eye as I ran into transition and believe it or not, beat him to the mount line. Frank through T1 3:31, while I flew through in 3:03. After many years of trying various types of bike mounts, I’ve found the most efficient for me is to stop, left foot in, push off, right foot in and immediately power up. As I stopped, Frank went tearing past me with his spectacular moving mount, however while he was tackling his left shoe, I passed him again, so it worked, I was ahead :D

We were a little disappointed to hear that leading up to the event, the organisers had reduced the sprint to a three lap course within Hyde Park, totalling 22.7k. However on the day, it meant for a much smaller, more intimate cycle course. The weather Gods failed us unfortunately with torrential rain and suddenly all the fears of a wet technical bike course hit home. It was literally carnage out there, with 8 x 90 degree bends, 2 x 180 degree bends and a number of ramps on each of the three laps, meant that the bike became a very serious game of wits and concentration with absolutely no chance to take your eye off the game. You had to power it at every opportunity and then just take it easy into the bends. They say there were over 120 fallers. There was 20 athletes hospitalised, one with a broken hip, so the facts speak for themselves. In fact on one of my bends, the lad in front hit the decks, slid into the barriers to the groans of the crowd, while I heard another slap just behind as the lad behind literally slid right past me in on top of the other guy. That group of S-bends certainly attracted the crowds and became known as ‘Carnage Corner’ as the public salivated on the wreckage. Luckily both of us stayed upright and I definitely put in the bike of my life, finishing only 3:30 behind the fastest split. I finished in a handsome 37:13, while Frank followed shortly in 38:10 (Sorry Frank).

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I didn’t factor the very wet brakes for the dismount and ended up dismounting at extraordinary speeds. I managed to slow down just before crashing into the barrier to tumultuous applause from the onlookers and marshals at my kamikaze exploits. Through T2 in 3:07, Frank in 3:24.

Then came the run. I knew for once I’d found a course that suited my abilities, flat and flat. A two lap course, with one long but easy drag totalling just under 5k (they extended transition to add the balance). I tore out of transition in a blaze, before hitting that slight drag, which brought me quickly down to earth, before settling in after approx. 1k. Of all the runs I’ve ever done, this was by far in away the most enjoyable (well probably the only enjoyable one). For the first time in the race, you could actually look around and acknowledge the support, families and friends who stayed out in the rain to cheer. It was an amphitheatre of noise all around the 2.5k course, with smiles, high fives, shouts of ‘Go Team Ireland’, which eased the pain of the race. Before long I was on lap two and picked the pace up again and soon we both traversed towards the finish chute.

I pitifully tried to break into a sprint at the finish, but failed miserably as the tank was completely empty (guess who won that sprint, it’s easy). I came home in a strong run PB of 19:17, while Frank closely followed in 21:20. My best overall race ever, while Frank was happy too as you can see.

FrankRun.jpg

The next hour was just great, just savouring the moment, taking it all in, Athlete’s Corner, photos, Dextro Energy, smiles, the odd bromance moment, family hugs while still stealing a quiet moment to think of the great man.

It lived up to everything that was billed, an experience of a lifetime, moments to savour, moments to reflect, friendships built, sweat, tears of joy, immense training and sacrifices celebrated with close friends and family. It has to be done again. Sincere thanks to everyone via, text, forum, facebook and race pigeon for Frank
Stats:
Don: 59th Age Group 449th Overall:
Swim: 12:19
T1: 3:04
Bike: 37:13
T2: 3:07
Run: 19:17
Overall: 1:14:58

Frank: 99th Age Group 790th Overall:
Swim: 16:51
T1: 3:32
Bike: 38:10
T2: 3:24
Run: 21:20
Overall: 1:23:15

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Mourne Castlewellan and Blacksod Triathlons

[Report by Don Morrissey]

Photo: An Fud Dubh (Blacksod), 22k West of Belmullet. I think I can see New York. Definitely lost it...

It’s fair to say, my mid-2013 season did not go to plan. I missed my priority races due to a mixture of a recurring virus, a wrist injury and work pressures leaving me with my normal season goals and race schedule in tatters. London was always going to be the number one priority and that came about (separate post), but I had no Standard Distance races and thus no NS points. Then late in the season, I decided lets sneak two in and hit my goal (but still trying not to effect London). However there were only three left at that time and one clashed with the Tour De Frank, so I had to travel…

Mourne Triathlon 31/8/2013

Situated a the foot of the Mourne Mountains, 30k East of Newry, Castlewellan made for the perfect backdrop for a triathlon. As I was only two weeks from London, my race goal was storm the swim (needed a good swim as I had a few dodgy performances this year), solid bike and admire the mountains on the run and that’s exactly what happened. By far in away my best swim ever. I decided to mix it up in the middle of the pack, boxed and punched my way free, drafted all the way and came out in 21mins 30 secs (3 mins ahead of Bryan McCrystall and only a minute behind the eventual winner). The road surfaces on the bike were exceptional. A two lap course with swirling winds, serious drags and a 43k distance, meant I decided to burn the first lap and take it easy on the second. I was 2 1/2 mins faster on the first and came home in a solid 1.17 bike. Then the run, typically I started off fast, hitting the first two kms in 4.01 & 4.04, then came a 700 metre drag up a fire road, which I was unprepared for. I was so poor up the hill, I actually looked around to see if my legs were still at the bottom of the hill. Hence it was time to ignore the splits and just jog admiring the lakes and mountains. 48 mins later I trotted into the finish area in 2.29 and a solid but unspectacular 67th overall. Did exactly what I had come for without drilling the legs too much on the run. Happy overall and the swim of my life, roll on London.

Mourne Results

Blacksod Triathlon.

Well the picture above speaks for itself. Belmullet is 51kms West of Ballina (the furthest I’d ever been before) and An Fud Dubh (Blacksod) deep in the Gaeltacht, a further 22k West. In fact when you turn left after Belmullet, it’s a long Cul De Sac out to the coast and back. I had to collect my bike in Dublin on the way, which was being delivered back from London, so 7 hours later I rolled into Belmullet :o . The race organisers were smart providing two hats for a mass start with the faster coloured hats entering the water first, nice one. My end of season swimming had been good, so I mixed it up in the middle front again. This time it was carnage, but I eventually pushed through to the turn-around point. Then came the hardest section of open water swimming I’d ever experienced, straight back into a gale force wind and I must have got ‘wave-slapped’ at least 20 times while trying to sight. I still came out of the water in 22.54 (very happy) with the conditions and well inside the top 30. Only the best athlete in the World Kevin Thornton beat me through T1 (by 1 second) and then away out on the bike. Within 2k, the organisers decided to put the cyclists through the hardest 1k climb into a gale force wind I’ve ever experienced. I literally was on my limits getting to the top and I knew there and then my legs were still in London and this was now going to be a struggle to the finish. The bike to the turnaround was fast and came quickly, but upon turning, you were hit with that gale force wind and rain, and this time for 22k (44k bike) back to transition and I thought it would never end. 1:18:40 later and i was into T2, got through quickly and off on the run. This time it was left up a different road, but a similar gradient to the bike and into the wind. Then if that hill, wind and rain wasn’t enough, 3k later we found ourselves running on the beach for 1.5k leaving 4″ deep footprints behind us. That was the end of me, I cramped up big time and had to stop three times in total from there to the finish. Despite my legs and cramps, i managed to run a 3.57 final 1k to finish in 48.53. I left a lot of time on the course but I also left my guts, so I can’t complain. I would argue with the conditions, the course and my poor legs, the hardest triathlon I’ve done. 58th overall from 230 odd, 4th in my age-group (2nd of the season), so solid but not exactly my best. I’m done.
Neither of these courses suited me and neither were on any sort of priority list. I finished, I’m done, not much more can be said. So I did Valentia, Blacksod and Mourne this year, certainly visited the Country. Despite the ruggedness and beauty of both of these races, probably not to return. However the friendliness and organisation on both was superb. Going for a long mental and physical rest now.

Blacksod Results

World Triathlon Championships London 2013 – Olympic race

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[Report by PJ Dunne]

The build up:

The road to London started back in Jan ’12 when Frank kick started an email to Don.
It grew from there to eventually include all 4 of us, me, Frank, Don and Fintan.
2012 was spent chasing valuable national series points around the country.
The competition seemed to be up for it as standards jumped hugely from the previous year.
When we all got word in June this year (except Don he knew from June ’12) the plan was coming together.
Roll on September 15th for the Olympic when Fintan and myself would line out in our country’s colours.

For me the start of the week didn’t go well. The vomiting bug was doing the rounds in our house and I was the only one left. On the Monday it hit me and it was Wednesday in London before I was ok again.

Up to this point I had been putting in pbs in the swim and run so wasn’t that concerned.

When we got settled into our lovely apartment there was a lot of coming and going from Hyde park for reg and briefings and what not.

Going down on the Friday morning to cheer the lads on in the sprint Fintan and I agreed it finally hit home. The nerves hit us and we still had 2 days to go.

On the Saturday evening after eating a feast prepared by Tracy the packing started.

Bikes already in transition, I can confirm the rumours are not true, no teddy slept with my bike. Alarm clocks set for 4:55 am so we could stuff more food in and get the 5:25 am bus to Marble arch. Of course we missed this bus and had to wait until the next one. Leaving us with only 15 mins in transition before it closed at 6:30 am

We both then had a long wait around until our start times of 10:10 & 10:15am.

I think despite the many toilet visits we both were relatively calm. While sitting over a pot of tea at a lake side cafe we noted the first waves were swimming the wrong course. What the fu€@ ? We soon found out the swim had been cut to 750m because of the ambient air temp.

It was cold at 7am but by the time we were off it was warm hence the elites being allowed to do the full swim distance.

The race:

Just 5 mins separated our swim waves. Me off first.

We had decided earlier that we would place ourselves on the middle of the long pontoon. And that’s what we both did. It took me the first 250m to get into my rhythm , Fintan saying he had a good swim. Neither of us experienced the usual kicking and boxing you get in Ireland apart from at the 1st buoy. It was over before it started really. I’d hoped with the shorter swim that I wouldn’t be passed by the next wave, in the end there was just 2 who passed me and that was in the last 50m. Fintan had 10mins before another wave got in the water.

We exited the water with only 7 sec separating us, me ahead barely.

If we had been in the same wave Fintan would have passed me here as he had a lightning quick (pardon the electrician pun) T1.

Out onto the bike and the reason we both picked the Olympic distance.
We started with a lap of Hyde Park then out through the Queen Mother gates and sharp right and through Wellington arch. Then down to Buckingham palace ,Big Ben London Eye, Under London Bridge ( which isn’t falling down thank god) and turnaround at Tower bridge. We came back via Downing street and Trafalgar square. Cycled up the Mall and Constitution hill and back into Hyde Park and then did it all over again. Despite being down on the tri bars for most of it we still could take the sights in. The first lap had lots of bike traffic but the second lap was nearly empty.

The wave after Fintan was the last so not much joining the route on lap 2. The wind was significant at times. Coming across us as we turned 90degs . I had a couple of hairy moments. As I mentioned before Fintan’s wave started only 5 mins after me, on lap 1 of the bike the big boys passed me. I was bombing along at one stage on the flat only to be passed at speed by 4-5 in the space of a minute. I looked down at my speedo thinking right you may push harder, to see I was doing 40 kmph. Fu€@ they must have been doing 50+ kmph! As we passed Fellow Irish or indeed were passed by Irish there were words of encouragement. This was nice.

Frank ,Don & Daniel, Paul & Carol Mimnagh and family set up an “Irish corner” on the straight just past Buckingham palace. This was great all the roaring and cheering.

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Apparently the flag flying means the Queen is in residence. I heard she was shouting for the Paddys :lol:
Yvonne & Lia and Tracy moved from Swim exit to T1 exit and then onto entry/exit of Hyde park. This was great hearing familiar shouts.

No much separating us on the Bike either.

PJ 1hr 7mins 48sec

Fintan 1 hr 8mins 13 sec

Both avg 35 kmph aprox

Back to T 2 and I got me transition mojo back recording the fastest T2 of all 4 of us.

The run was 3 laps of a 3.33km circuit around Hyde Park.

Mainly flat just 2 little digs each lap.

At this stage only 1 sec separated us virtually.

Running as we all know is Fintan’s strongest discipline so this was the part he most looked forward to.

It didn’t take him long to get into his stride and was putting in solid sub 4 min kms.

I started well and got into a good rhythm and found myself passing a few people but also being passed. The crowds along the run route were absolutely amazing. Shouts of c’mon Ireland ,Dunne , Redmond etc it would make the hair on your head stand up ( not Fintan’s of course!!). Not only from Irish people but from the Brits also. I had a Welsh couple sing Ireland’s call to me!

On the second lap I started to struggle and having followed my nutritional plan to a tee the only thing I can put it down too is the bug I had earlier in the week.

We didn’t see each other until the last km when Fintan passed me and bounced off to finish very strongly on the blue carpet.

Putting in a savage 38:09 10km.

My 10km time was a disappointing 43:47.

2 weeks before London I had ran a sub 40 min 10kms (a season goal) so the running was there. I had hoped for late 41 or early 42.

Overall it was a great experience and well worth the work involved.

My disappointment has faded already.

Well done to Fintan strong all-round but a savage run.

Finish times:

Fintan age group placing 106th 650 th in Olympic race
Swim 14:37
Bike 1:08:13
Run 38:09
Total 2:06:53

PJ 143 rd in Age group and 840 th overall
Swim 14:30
Bike 1:07:48
Run 43:47
Total 2:12:30

[for detailed results see this post]

A big thank you to my Family for all their support in the hours spent training in the last 18 months.

And to Don, Frank, Paul, Carol and kids, Tracy, Yvonne and Lia for all the shouts cheers high fives photos etc along the way.

Running down the finishing chute with the Ireland flag at the World triathlon Championships will be a memory that will last a long time.

But one thing that wasn’t far from my thoughts at any stage, most particularly the finish line, was how he’d have loved the whole thing.

Edmonton Canada next year or Chicago 2015 anyone?

From everyone who was over in London a big thank you to everyone in the club for their good wishes and help.

Niall O ‘Muiri was right when he famously said London is a big city.

World Triathlon Championships – London, September 2013

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London Irish. L-R, PJ Dunne, Fintan Redmond, Frank Burke and Don Morrissey

Congratulations to PJ, Fintan, Frank and Don who represented Ireland and Racing795 with distinction at the World Triathlon Championships in London this weekend. PJ and Fintan raced in the Olympic distance while Frank and Don took on the Sprint. Well done lads, your club mates are all proud of you,

Detailed results for each of the lads below. Full Results here

Participant
Name Redmond, Fintan (IRL)
Age Group 35
Number 32399

Race Info

Swim 00:14:37
Trans 1 00:02:48
Bike 01:08:13
Trans 2 00:03:09
Run 00:38:09

Totals

Place (M/W) 650
Place (AC) 106
Time Total (Brutto) 02:06:53

Splits

Split Time Of Day Time Diff min/km km/h Place
After Swim Finish 10:39:39 00:14:37 14:37 09:45 6.16 1073
After Bike Start 10:42:26 00:17:24 02:47 886
Bike Check Lap 1 11:05:47 00:40:45 23:21 02:21 25.69 850
Bike Check Lap 2 11:38:39 01:13:38 32:53 01:39 36.50 859
After Bike Finish 11:50:38 01:25:37 11:59 01:12 50.07 858
After Run Start 11:53:46 01:28:45 03:08 830
Run Check Lap 1 12:06:38 01:41:36 12:51 03:54 15.40 753
Run Check Lap 2 12:19:34 01:54:32 12:56 03:56 15.32 696
Finish 12:31:55 02:06:53 12:21 03:38 16.52 650

Participant

Name Dunne, Pj (IRL)
Age Group 35
Number 32296

Race Info

Swim 00:14:30
Trans 1 00:03:21
Bike 01:07:48
Trans 2 00:03:05
Run 00:43:47

Totals

Place (M/W) 840
Place (AC) 143
Time Total (Brutto) 02:12:30

Splits

Split Time Of Day Time Diff min/km km/h Place
After Swim Finish 10:34:32 00:14:30 14:30 09:40 6.21 1046
After Bike Start 10:37:52 00:17:51 03:21 943
Bike Check Lap 1 11:00:53 00:40:51 23:00 02:19 26.09 860
Bike Check Lap 2 11:33:39 01:13:38 32:47 01:39 36.61 861
After Bike Finish 11:45:40 01:25:39 12:01 01:13 49.94 860
After Run Start 11:48:45 01:28:43 03:04 828
Run Check Lap 1 12:03:28 01:43:26 14:43 04:28 13.46 833
Run Check Lap 2 12:18:25 01:58:23 14:57 04:32 13.24 841
Finish 12:32:31 02:12:30 14:07 04:09 14.46 840
Participant
Name Morrissey, Don (IRL)
Age Group 40
Number 21035

Race Info

Swim 00:12:19
Trans 1 00:03:04
Bike 00:37:13
Trans 2 00:03:07
Run 00:19:17

Totals

Place (M/W) 449
Place (AC) 59
Time Total (Brutto) 01:14:58

Splits

Split Time Of Day Time Diff min/km km/h Place
SWIM FINISH 10:02:22 00:12:19 12:19 16:25 3.66 487
BIKE START 10:05:26 00:15:22 03:03 439
BIKE CHECK LAP 1 10:12:42 00:22:39 07:17 02:02 29.70 415
BIKE CHECK LAP 2 10:24:24 00:34:21 11:42 01:37 37.44 452
BIKE CHECK LAP 3 10:35:59 00:45:55 11:34 01:36 37.84 459
BIKE FINISH 10:42:39 00:52:35 06:40 01:46 34.20 455
RUN START 10:45:45 00:55:42 03:07 449
RUN LAP 1 10:55:47 01:05:44 10:02 04:01 14.96 452
Finish 11:05:01 01:14:58 09:14 03:42 16.24 449
Participant
Name Burke, Frank (IRL)
Age Group 40
Number 20966

Race Info

Swim 00:16:51
Trans 1 00:03:32
Bike 00:38:10
Trans 2 00:03:24
Run 00:21:20

Totals

Place (M/W) 790
Place (AC) 99
Time Total (Brutto) 01:23:15

Splits

Split Time Of Day Time Diff min/km km/h Place
SWIM FINISH 10:01:56 00:16:51 16:51 22:28 2.67 1012
BIKE START 10:05:28 00:20:22 03:31 973
BIKE CHECK LAP 1 10:13:08 00:28:03 07:41 02:08 28.16 926
BIKE CHECK LAP 2 10:25:02 00:39:56 11:53 01:38 36.83 868
BIKE CHECK LAP 3 10:36:47 00:51:42 11:46 01:37 37.24 820
BIKE FINISH 10:43:38 00:58:32 06:50 01:48 33.33 794
RUN START 10:47:01 01:01:55 03:23 788
RUN LAP 1 10:58:07 01:13:01 11:06 04:27 13.52 795
Finish 11:08:20 01:23:15 10:14 04:06 14.67 790