Saturday 18th July, and the day of the Lough Derg Sprint Triathlon run by Nenagh Tri Club thankfully turned out brighter and drier than forecasted with Lough Derg nice and calm – the breeze saved itself for up the road out on the bike route.
9 Boruvians entered along with the local Post Office Express Relay team of Maurice Dwyer, Tony O’Brien and Brian O’Brien.
Pre race, we were onshore suited up, watching as the yellow minion buoy broke loose and was heading off across the lake and wondering if it was a case of “first one to catch it wins!” but then it was captured and anchored firmly and we hopped in to warm up.
The swim start was “interesting” as it was a free for all in one wave – it was a case of swim hard, swim straight or wish you had, as there was always an elbow, hand or foot handy to slap you straight.
My advice to anyone a bit shy in the water would be to start at the back and to the side so you can choose your water and it is a bit less intimidating.
Unintentionally I ended up in the middle of the froth, which was not a little bit unnerving for the first 200m, but my self-preservation “beast mode” kicked in, decided not to panic and went for it, and even though it was a bit up close and personal at times, it is all part of the fun of triathlon swimming. One thing about swimming in such close quarters is it keeps you straight (apart from the lunatic swerving left and right in front of you) and if you can hold your line and your elbows up you can put in a great time as you are literally herded around the buoys. You don’t have time to do the scenic route!
The bike route was changed on the day to incorporate a country lane which looped back onto the Nenagh road – this made for a technical route with interesting surfaces and some very tight turns, but once you got back out onto the main road, seeing the lead cyclists tearing it back in the road got you motivated to put on the afterburners.
The wind was in our faces heading out. You might think would mean we would have a great tail wind once we turned the roundabout – but such is the law of the wind, it managed to keep a little bit left for going back the other way too. However the time to gain on the bike was on that straight spin back. The run was an out and back (up hill and back).
Colm Mc Cole was the first Boru man home – 13th overall and only 6.5 mins behind the winner, putting in ridiculous times in swim, bike and run.
He was followed in by Colm Carty thundering down the road like a man possessed, Donagh O’Sullivan who did a great swim and Paul Dorrell who did his usual powerful bike split. Gary Madden and Martin Pearl both performed extremely well and made it all look so easy! Anouk Delimata also gave it holly on the day.
Personally I was happy to finish after the bike as I am still rehabilitating after injury, it gave me a chance to get my best swim time this year, and a respectable bike split in view of the injured hip.
Brendan Watson’s debut into triathlon as part of a relay in BORUMAN progressed to an individual entry in Dromineer and did very well in his first full race! The first one is one to learn from in terms of how much of a knot you can get into in transition and how to pace yourself for all the elements, but once bitten – like night comes after day – the next triathlon will follow and the addiction begins. Welcome to the dark side!
Local tri team the Post Office Express made a great effort and came in second in the relay with a time of 1hr 18mins– well done guys!
Before you think you have to have to shell out to a posh bike to ride fast – revise that thought – while it may help a lot, it was proven by the owner of this – you need good legs, core and lungs to be a good cyclist (check out the tri bars – who needs a posh bike when you have broom handles, scouring pads and a few tie wraps? this guy came in 6th I believe!)
Well done to Nenagh Tri Club for putting on a good race, the organisers and marshals were all very helpful– nice to race local! Some superb images by Gordon Thomson here, check out the up close swim images – brilliant!
Next stop Ennis ITri – any takers?