Derval sails out of Lough Key with a bag of swag

1 CommentFriday, 13 September 2013  |  Admin

Lough Key Triathlon 2013

There were no directions in Lough Key Triathlon’s briefing on the approach you should take to Lough Key Forest Park if approaching by boat!
 Lough Key Triathlon 2013 Pirate Ship

Thankfully the staff of Carrick Craft Cruisers supplied us with navigation maps to get us from Carrick-on-Shannon to Lough Key where we moored Saturday evening in plenty of time for registration.

Captain Kevin Lough Key 2013             
The approach to Lough Key, with skipper (aka Kevin Keane) looking quite pleased and in command!
Saturday evening was a wash-out and the ducks were having a great time at the Forest Park. By the time we arrived transition was already set up. I cringed at the thoughts of racing in this wet weather and it reminded me of how lucky we were to have had such an amazing summer – racing continental style!
But Sunday morning turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The wind had died down and the sun started to peep out from behind the clouds. I made an easy stroll over to transition with my bike. The transition zone was neutral and there were no allocated spaces so each athlete had to select their own transition spot. I racked my bike next to Kim and Mark Doyle who were very relaxed with a bit of banter between them, over who would beat who …
 Kim (5th overall) and Mark

There was a great field of athletes there, Kevin Thornton from my Belpark Tri Club was kitted out his Base2Race gear and Aichlinn O’Reilly, a junior from Westport Tri Club was also in the first swim wave. The women’s field was also well represented with Katie Fitzgerald, Marie Boland, Jennifer O’Connell and Joanne Doran. Jennifer O’Connell was returning from injury and Katie had missed out in Dunmore East Tri due to bike technicality so I knew both would be chomping at the bit for a go at podium position! The race got off to a very smooth start with the women and 40-45 males and over in the 2nd wave. The lake water felt cold getting in but we all got plenty to time to warm-up before the start whistle blew. I had planned on trying to stay on Kevin’s feet (he was doing a relay) but someone got between both of us just at the start and the gap was just too wide to close. I spent most of the race swimming on my own from buoy to buoy but didn’t find if too long before I was out of the water again and approaching T1.
As I was exiting with my bike a spectator shouted 13th woman to me (I was actually 14!)  – I hadn’t any idea how the swim went time-wise but figured it hadn’t gone so well given my position! I put the head down and mounted the bike. I lost about 30 seconds trying to get my right foot into my cycle shoe, the tongue kept getting caught in my foot. This cost my valuable time. When I finally got going I began to overtake some women I knew or recognised from other races – Marie Boland, Vanessa Fenton, Triona Ryan, Edel Tighe. The 23k bike course looped around the lake. It was an undulating course with a few technical corners. As I approached T2 there was no sign of Katie or Jennifer, I knew I would have to work hard on the run to catch-up.
The run was 300m short of 5k on a lovely trail thought the lough key forest park. I made up sometime on the run to get into 3rd position and I could see Katie ahead with about 1k to go but I ran out of road. My run time of 19 minutes left me in 3rd place behind Katie who finished 17 seconds ahead of me in a time of 1:14:54. Jennifer O’Connell had a great return from injury coming 1st in an overall time of 1:14:21.

 female podium lough key triathlon 2013
Jennifer O’Connell (1st) and Katie Fitzgerald (2nd)

Kevin Thornton not only won the race (in a time of 1:03:35) but posted the fastest bike split of the day too. We are both pictured below looking very happy with our trohpies for fastest male (35:38) and female bike (40:46) splits. Kevin and Rob Dagg’s relay team also won their event. Our boat was laiden with heavy blocks of granite on the trip back home …. Shusssh, don’t tell those Roscommon pirates ☺ !

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