Dervals Delight in Dunmore : Hook or by Crook Tri
Tuesday, 3 September 2013 | Admin
Hook or by CrookOne of my most favourite things about the Irish triathlon scene is the beautiful places it brings you to. I had never been to Dunmore East in Co Waterford ... a lovely little seaside village that hugs a sandy coastline… until the summer of 2012, when I took part in a relay in the sprint triathlon. The race was such fun and I enjoyed the bike course. I made a mental note that it was a race I’d like to complete in in full in 2013.
The Strand beach – Dunmore East Triathlon’s swim starting point
The race was listed on TI’s National Series calendar this year and it also happens to be Belpark’s club championships race so not only was there a good turn out from many clubs, many from our own were also there, togged out in green, white and black, to battle it out for the male and female club trophy.
All my races so far this year have been either river or lake swims. But the sea was flat calm on race morning, with no white horses to contend with, and actually looked very inviting. All males under 40 were in the first wave and the rest of us fought it out, from a beach start, 10 minutes later, in the second wave. The sun was out, which was great, but it also made sighting the first buoy difficult with the sun in our eyes. I just decided to put the head down, swim as hard as I could, and as long as people were to my left and to my right as I took a breath I couldn’t be too far off going straight for the first buoy! It didn’t feel too long before I was at the first buoy and I was still with the leading group of girls, so my tactics had worked! Nearing the 3rd and last buoy I got overtaken by my swimming partner Ellen Murphy and I kept on her feet until I found my legs again exiting the beach.
The run to transition is a challenge in itself! It is a steep incline along a footpath from the beach. I decided I’d take off my wet-suit at the beach and carry it into T1. It was at this stage Marie Boland ran passed me up to T1. I did lose a little time here when my wetsuit got caught trying to take it off around my ankles, but I figured it would have taken me even longer to take it off in T1 having ran for a few more minutes in it up hill! Looking back on the swim times, I was very happy with my time of 15:34 and my transition wasn’t bad either (1:03).
My bike was positioned near Anne O’Leary’s (Piranha Tri Club) and Anne, while grabbing her bike, shouted a few encouraging words about my swim actually being decent(!), before I set off on the bike. I knew Katie Fitzgerald (a strong swimmer), Ellen Murphy, Marie Boland and possibly Marie Triona Keane of swimcyclerun.com would be already out on the bike course.
The steep descent out of T1 is tricky, especially when you are trying to get your feet into your bike shoes! So I took my time and powered on once I got around the corner from The Strand Hotel. I managed to pass Marie Boland and Ellen Murphy, but it wasn’t until after the turnaround point that I overtook Marie Triona Keane on the bike. I figured I was in 2nd place, however I didn’t see Katie Fitzgerald out on the bike course, perhaps I missed her I thought. (It wasn’t until after the race that Katie explained her seat post had broken during the race which unfortunately prevented her from finishing.) On the steep incline into T2 Marie Triona overtook me on the bike. This was going to be a close battle!
Usually I love it when I get to ditch the bike and don the runners in T2. But not having run since Loughrea triathlon due to injury, I knew this 7k run course would not be fun, as my run fitness was not where I would have liked it to be. I got a few encouraging words from my coach Kevin Keane and club mate Brendan Crawford on the 1st km of the run. Marie Triona was ahead of me and in my sight going uphill – and boy was it a hill - it seemed never-ending! There was a constant gap of about 100m between Marie Triona and I that I just could not close on the run. Marie Triona beat me to the finish line, crossing it 36 seconds ahead of me with a great run of 29:08 and I crossed the line in 2nd place (finish time of 1:22:02).
Well done to Marie Triona on her win and also to Mark and Kim Doyle and Derek who also competed – it was a great day out for the SwimCycleRun.com triathletes!
Marie Triona Keane (1st) and Marie Boland (3rd)