26 October 2010

Duathlon Race Report

I went down to Kerry on Friday night. Stayed in a Ashfield B&B in Kenmare where I got a good nights sleep.  the journey down was one of a kind with the road passing through Killarney national park.  I couldn't not take in the amazing views since it was so dark at that time. I had to come to abrupt stop in the car with sheep and fighting goats giving it hell for leather at each other. 

I knew 10k of the starting course was on my way into Kenmare. I drove that road and got an awful shock. It was 10k of straight uphill and i was wondering what did i get myself into. My first duathlon, i should have started on a smaller scale and not at the other end.  Well we enjoyed our hosts in the B&B and woke up on race morning and looked straight out the window.  The rain was still crashing off the ground. Out of no where came a blue sky but it didn't stay out for long.

We took to the road after a great breakfast and went to register. unfortunately there was no T-shirts to commemorate the day but it looks like the last duathlon of the year so I compromised.  I would rather have a t-shirt then to get food at the end.

Before the race was about to start, I just had a quick look at my front tyre and noticed there was alot of air had left the tube. I quickly went to pump it but seemed to loose the remainder of air left.  Panic stations went to high alert and the race is off.  My mate Paul said 'will I stay with you?' but last thing I wanted to do was ruin the race for both of us so I told him to get on your bike and head off.

I thought I had another 10mins before the off time so that kind of annoyed me as well. My clock must have being running slow or something.  I quickkly asked two stewards for help and they new the fellow who was over the race and to my appreciation we got a new tube in very fast. I would be still there another 10 minutes if not for them.

Off I went,  about 6 to 7 minutes behind and was dehydrated with stress but a few gulps of energy drink and I set my eyes on climbing that mountain. I am not used to cycling much never mind up a mountain so when it was 5k in, i could see my eyes rolling to heaven. I said three hail Marys and put my head down and dug deep.  I overtook my first cyclist and began to set my sights on each one after that. I knew i wasn't going to catch many but one more is one less from the bottom.

I seen Paul way up in the mountain. He had a distinctive blue t-shirt on and I realised i was closing in on him. When we finally got to the top at Molls Gap and Paul was about a minute ahead. We were now in top gear heading downwards and  I thought my bike would catch his hybrid but he was flying and took to the sky like a rocket. I had to look around and wonder did i take a wrong road as he was well gone.  By that point I knew i wasn't going to catch him on the bike .

It wasn't raining much but did have a few drops. I had only runners on and they kept slipping of the pedals. there were not so easy to slot back in and I had to do this about 20 times.  I will surely invest in cycling shoes and clip on pedals after that. I think i would have lost about 3-4minutes with all that carry on.

I came across another fellow who had his bike upside down. Another tube replacement was taking place. I shouted out to him  'I know the feeling'.  Sure anyone i was passing of even the people watching on. Id give them a comment or two.  Well into an hour of the cycle. My man hood fellows were getting sore.  Also need to invest into cycling shorts with good cushioning protection.   But I motored on, still had energy to give but was dying to get of the bike and start running. On entrance to Kenmare I drank the remaining energy drink and then the cycle was completed. As I was entering, Paul was just exiting. I think i was only about 25 seconds in the transition. I passed two girls in there who were just doing some stretches.  Paul also stopped in the transition area and had an energy gel. He said he couldn't take it out during the cycle with it being up his compression top and was also wearing gloves.  I would have loved a picture of him trying to get that

There was a smile on Paul's face seeing me coming since he knew about the trouble I had starting off with. I caught up to him on the run and was going to stay at his pace for awhile but he told me to continue on. I then looked at my jelly legs and told them to move. not much of a response but was still catching a few runners out there.   The two girls that i overtook in the transition came by and passed my.  At the 3k marker, I took a bottle from the drink station. I asked a girl whats the remainder of the course like.  She said its mostly downhill so with my legs recovered from the cycle, I was putting in some good strides and set my eyes catching up to them two girls again.  

I usually have a little bit of a sprint at the end but i couldn't see the finish line so I pushed hard in the final half of kilometer. I overtook the girls again and just kept running and running feeling the line was coming soon. The turn off was at the entrance to the school and i came across in a time of 2:16

The feeling of achievement was rolling all over my body. I couldn't remove this big grin over my face.  My target for the race was 2:20 and i bet it. Paul passed the line shortly afterwards with a time of 2:26. We went into the school canteen area where food was provided to replenish our system. We grabbed a meal and a cup of tea and talked about the race.  Basically reliving every moment again.  the winner was well gone by that stage but for our first race, our only objective was to complete it and we did that.

Celebration time,  well it was a Bank holiday weekend so we went on the strong stuff for two nights.  Plenty of beer was drink, plenty of stories told and lots of songs being sung.   We don't believe in rest and the day after the race,  a friend asked us to help him knock down a wall.  Well we didn't hit the wall in Kenmare, but we hit it Ballylongford. 

Brilliant race, brilliant weekend. now back in Galway thinking of whats next and need to get back into some form of rhythm's. I wish there was pictures but nothing has being uploaded to the site. Ah there will be plenty of more races with plenty of more pictures.

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