28 February 2011

Duathlon Race Report: An Cheathrú Rua 27/02/2011

My first race of the new year came at the end of February. i had being eyeing it up since January and only registered for it a week before the race. My racing preparations lets just say were not up to a high quality standard. Even when i registered,  i was still down with the flu but was so determined just to do it, nothing was going to stop me from participating.

I didn't get out much to train for it, the flu really had a hold on me so instead i went to the gym and put some sessions in there.  The final week, my mate Paul came down and we went for a cycle.   He left his hybrid bike at home and came up with his friends Trek.  Looking the part i have to say, with new clip-on shoes and sunglasses that can have three different shades.

We took off that day and i noticed i was peddling harder but didn't have the ability to catch up to him. I realised he was going to be my opponent on race day.  My '94 metal frame bike could not compete with this but I was the faster runner.

I decided to check online, see if they had any Giant Defy's going second hand.  I heard there were a good entry level aluminium bikes.  It wasn't the fact of competing against Paul on race day but after seeing how easy it looked for him on the bike, I want that and that's what i was looking for.  But no bike was available, I'm currently in talks with a fellow  who is looking to upgrade and sell off his Giant Defy.

Few days before the race, I went on a run. First time outside in a month I guess, Not good, I relied to heavily on that treadmill. The air was playing up my asthma so I hit for another run the next day in trying to adapt. Thinking of giving up my gym membership now so I wont have any backup options and will run in all conditions. Saying that and doing that is of course another thing.

I got up early enough on race day. Didn't have a good sleep the night before, the excitement and thinking of things that could go wrong usually hits the head.  Instead of counting sheep in trying to fall asleep, I started  counting bicycles as they past.  Porridge with a sliced banana was the breakfast and took of to Carraroe. Landed there early enough and just relaxed till Paul came 15mins later.  This was our first official duathlon race. We registered in and took a seat and began chatting. It helped settled any of our nerves.  I started to get a bit jumpy then, the last race involved in my bike, involved me changing a tyre at the very start so we went outside.  The first thing i did is take out my bike and looked it all over. Glad to see things looking up. i got changed and began warming up and we put the bikes in the transition area. Paul's friend took some photos, will look to grab them and put them on my blogs Facebook link in a few days.  We were still having the laugh while some people had the most serious look on the faces. I shouted out ' Any other amateurs here?" and sure two people in front of us started laughing and said they were and that's why they were standing far back.

The giggles were leaving me and race briefing was going on, I seem to doze off in these times but tried to give it my full attention.  Paul listens to everything so i just asked him if i wasn't sure of anything.   We all lined up and I knocked Paul over.. ah no i didn't,  them ideas must stop running through my head.  3.2.1 and off we went in the first 3.5km run. Good to get going, set into a nice stride then all of a sudden, nearly the whole 48 participants looked like they were in a 100m sprint. I looked at Paul in amazement as to say 'What the F**K did we get ourselves into?' I got the same stare back from him.  I wasn't going out the blocks fast so I settled into a nice stride. I read on the race briefing there was Cat5 hill climb. I didn't know what this was but i know it must be bad enough if they give it a name even though it was the easiest of categories I found out later.  When I turned to go up it, looking up nearly knocked me over. I just kept my head down and follow the ones legs in front of me.  After reaching the top,I wanted the running to be over and get on the bike but it was also hitting me that  I would have to repeat that again later in the stage.

After the Cat5, it was a nice decent back into the village. my first transition was upon me and all I was thinking  was the lines where I can get on the bike, put helmet on before bike, try and get in and out as fast as I could. I was wondering did I have much of a lead on Paul. When I was leaving the transition, I spotted Paul from a distance of 70meters so i hopped on my bike knowing he was going to catch up to me. The cycle was a two loop course (21.5km) and I was hoping to be still in front of him by the first loop. it was a nice cycle, Around 6km i seen Paul behind me by around 50 meters. I gave him the thumbs up, wait, it was more like my middle finger. Then i wondered since it was only a quick look, i was hoping it was Paul and not some other person. I was like thank god  when he pulled up along side me, I knew he wouldn't stay there for long as I be hunting him down on the final run.  I tried to tail him for a good while and was only a few meters behind when we had finished the first loop.  The second loop, I looked as it as if i was chasing a deer, but this deer kept getting further and further away. I should have put more speed into my downward cycles but was looking to relax whenever i could.  As I was entering into transition area, Paul was about 100meters ahead in the run, I knew  my work was cut out for me and off i set with my wobbly legs. I just put one foot in front of the other hoping i would catch him.

Paul Fahy tackling the Cat5 climb

I got around to that hill again, I seen Paul nearly at the top walking it, I though to myself I have a good chance to catch him now, but when I was running it, I realised I can't even manage to run up it, I walked for 10 seconds, tried again, only lasted another minute. God i knew Paul had me now.  Two guys passed me out, it turns out they took the wrong turn, poor lads.. big red markings on the road and already ran the loop in the first time. Its a wonder how they missed the turn. So it came to the downhill. Paul still ahead but I found something else in the tank, I began to increase my pace and realised my legs were doing good. I had a good chance of closing in but Paul found some other memento and dug deep to hold on beet me by 58seconds. I came in at. 1:40:17


Name RunTransitionCycleTransition 2Run Total
Paul Fahy 21:30.9 1:00.3 52:25.1 1:03.9 23:19.4 1:39:19.7
Paul Mc Donagh 20:01.3 0:34.8 56:55.4 0:29.1 22:16.5 1:40:17.3

Thanks to all the people still clapping us in, they could have long gone home. Gave Paul a big high five and we tried to catch our breath and did a few stretches. It was nearing 3 o' clock and the Ireland rugby match was about to start. I was thinking of this match throughout the race, and a beer.. That is what my motivation was working on. We got changed quickly and headed to the pub to where the afters of the race were held.  There was tea, biscuits, scones and cakes on offer. We seen the cake early that morning and was eyeing it up. When I arrieved at the table area with the food spread out, the cake wasn't in sight. It was handed out but nothing was going to stop me. I went to a table where it was handed out and grabbed a few slices for myself and Paul. went up on the bar stool, downed a pint of bulmers with ice and cheered on Ireland to beating Scotland.

It was a good day overall and hopefully there be many more. There is a smaller duathlon on in Ennis next month.I like getting souvenirs at the races.. have them as memories. The Ennis one is first 50 entries gets a t-shirt.  At this duathlon we got a snood, I believe that's what they are called. Will be giving it a try out, stop the cold air from getting in, all good for asthmatics i believe.  Also forgot to mention. The weather on race day looked like it was going to rain but the sun broke out for the whole time during the race. :)

Big thanks to all the people at Trisport, organisers and stewards. caters and mainly to the people coming out and showing there support. Hope ye all had a good day too.

Seán Ó Mainnín has a great selection of photos online here under Carraroe duathlon.

Official Results can be found online here

Thanks everyone for taking time out in  reading my post. It was a long one. Two cups of coffee to write it.

1 comment:

Hellie said...

Great post Paul, pics are fab! Sorry Im so late getting to the party, been up the walls! Wish I'd been there to help out with camera work! Count us in for the Ennis one and there's a bed here for you as well after!

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