Cloggerhead Sprint Tri & The End of the Season.

Sunday, 28 September 2014  |  Admin

The Pulse Cloggerhead Triathlon and the End of Season!

After Belfast I thought I rested enough to have one last go at racing in 2014 and end the season at the top… but I finished 2014 as I started, with second place. Second place was my favorite this year, out of all 9 races I finished second 6 times…

Place: Cloghearhad, co. Louth. The last National Series Triathlon of the season. With mild but a bit windy weather, despite the choppy sea everyone was looking forward to this race. I knew Chris Mintern was in top shape but I still hoped to give him hard time racing. 
It must be said that the event was well run with parking right beside transition and race registration only taking a few minutes. Shortly after the kids SPLASH and DASH race wave 1 was lined up on the beach and ready to put the hammer down. I’ll say it again, this is the way you should set up waves, top contenders in first wave, both male and female and let them go toe to toe. For me it makes no difference if I race against 16 or 46 year old athletes. 
So I appreciate Pulse TC setting up race start this way, thank you!

SWIM: Wave 1 lined up for a beach start in a long line looking out at the first buoy where we would be making a 90 degree left hand turn. I decided to choose the center for the long run-in from the beach and this would give me clear water. My tactic worked really well and I was untouched to the first buoy, no fighting means a clear line and a faster swim. Because I breathe to my right, I had few waves hitting me and I drunk a good amount of salt water. 
I finished the swim in 4th place and entering T1 I saw Chris. So not too much gap...this time I had a fast T1, I jumped on the bike and started trying to close the gap. 

CYCLE: A lapse in concentration early in the bike section and I turned left as oppose to going straight. Not sure why! I cycled for maybe 200m and I could not see anyone in front or behind, made a U-Turned and went back, I lost probably 45-60 sec…the last time I took the wrong turn was during my very first TRI. I pushed hard and caught Brian Harris but Chris was nowhere to be seen…he must have put some distance on me. Shortly before T2 I see Chris again and perhaps I would be able to hang around on the run and do something. 

RUN: I tried to run hard but legs and the whole body just said NO. I felt so sluggish shortly after T2, not even a chance to really get going. It seems to me that the long season finally caught up with me. I had a good gap back to 3rd so I put cruise control on and got to the finish line… I was hurting but not tired.
Last race: Last race to a season always has a different vibe, most athletes are very keen to finish long season and even with any disappointments the atmosphere is great. Everyone realizes that the winter is coming and with it hard training as well. I chatted a bit with Chris and Alex Grey as we hung about for the prize giving.

POST RACE: Post race I felt frustrated, as I know that it’s far from my best, but I’m happy considering the events leading into this race. So where to from now? Being such a long season - break is much needed. For few weeks I will do some un-schedule training which will mostly depend on my feeling. One-Two swims, cycles and runs a week…perhaps. Will try to start my preparations from November. Will I do anything differently? A lot, different training needed if I hope to be in contention for the next year. Having read TI proposal, it looks like we are going to have top races with tough competition. I am really looking forward to 2015 but first I need to forget about triathlon and enjoy few sport-free weeks.
P.S. I would like to thank to Brian, Mark, Kim and the rest of the for 2014. It was pleasure to meet all of you and represent you. Fair play for your support. 


Pictures by Monika Gagola and Martin Jancek/TI Media. Full race album here! 

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