Again training last week was pretty poor. From memory I managed to run 6.5km Monday and again on the Tuesday and the rest of the week was taken up with meetings.
Saturday 28th July - Kilkenny Tri Grand Prix Triathlon (Sprint)
Both my wife and brother in law were signed up for this and I was told I had to come down and watch, so I decided that I may as well sign up and race it.
Sign-on was pretty efficient and took less than 5 mins. We then drove out of town and parked in a camping site for €5. Added advantage of showers for afterwards. Cycled back into town and got set up in transition. I had a decent position right at the end of a rack and luckily that meant I had plenty of room. Rather than the bikes being racked in opposite directions a good few were all pointing the same way meaning very little room for shoes, runners etc.
I was in wave 9 so had a bit of a wait but it was sunny so sat near the entrance watching everyone else go off. Finally it was wave 9's turn.
Swim: I got in near the front and was nicely warmed up by the start. There was a bit of a current but it was possible to stay in position just about. Then the hooter sounded and we were off. I managed to get straight onto someones feet and after the initial sprint settled into a nice tempo. I was feeling pretty comfortable so went past the person I was drafting off as I had hit them a few times on the feet. Soon enough I had finished and I think I was third out of the water in my wave. It was a pretty tricky exit with a good few rocks in the water and I fell back into the river once and fell over a few rocks before a marshall helped me out. Time: 10:05 (43/533)
T1: It was a long T1. Back along the river bank path, up the stairs and a long run through transition to the bike. It was a long run out across grass so I put my shoes on but no socks for the first time ever!
Time: 5:00 (135/533)
Cycle: I struggled getting clipped in but one done I was off. Down a small hill and then up the only real climb of the day. It was an out and back route on open roads. The cycle was pretty uneventful. 25km or so with a few shouts at the club members I saw coming the otherway. At the turn around point I saw a couple of fast looking people whom I decided to try and stay in front of and it must have worked as I didn't get passed all cycle (except when I couldn't clip in). Coming in to the finish the heavens opened and it started to hail.
T2: A steep downhill run on wet grass to transition and then runners on and off I went. I thought I was pretty quick but I guess not.
Time: 2:04 (142/533)
Run: I overtook the wife coming out of T2 and give her a shout of encouragement (As I had bought her a book called "run, fat b!tch, run" the day before I aren't sure how good I am at motivating her
). She had a 15 min start on me so I was hopeful I was going quite well. I soon got into my stride and felt comfortable enough all the way round. Highlight of the run was coming under the bridge where two drunks were cheering people on and signing Ave Maria. I was overtaken by 3 people on the run which is an unheard of amount for me, normally much more. Running is my weakest discipline and the one in which any gains in the other two disciplines are usually lost. The run was just over 5.3km and finished in the square outside the left bank pub. It was lined with supporters shouting people home and with the castle as a backdrop was pretty good.
Time: 24:03 (135/533)
Overall: 1:21:34 (36/533)
Very happy. Was hoping for top 20% so easily beat that. Being honest though there wasn't the number of fast people that there would be in a NS race or the depth in quality.
I had a few misgivings about the race after arriving. The transition area didn't look the most secure and despite bags not being able to be left in transition there was no baggage drop area. We just took a chance and left at the side. Not ideal with mobiles etc in the bags.
On the cycle I thought the roads were too busy with traffic, several times it was impossible to overtake for a good while as queues of traffic were going past so it was impossible to pull out and at roundabouts both going out and coming back I was forced to stop and unclip and wait for cars to move off. It was particular frustrating on the way back where the left turn was coned off to keep the traffic moving but there was no marshall directing traffic so cars were stopping anyway.
On the run I had to ask marshalls directions a couple of times but nothing too bad just a confirmation it was straight on.
Will I do in again? Possibly.