Rachel reports on winning the Munster TT Championship

Sunday, 9 June 2013  |  Admin
Munster Time Trial Championships – June 8th2013

My usual long spin was replaced by the Munster Time Trial Championships this Saturday. After my customary trough of porridge, I drove out to Patrickswell at 11 with my friend and training buddy Sean Yelverton, who is a beast in the U16 category. We registered in the local pub and then set off up the road to the start line.

We didn’t get going until around 12:30 so I took my time setting up my bike. Unfortunately, my front wheel was flat. As it’s deep-rimmed, I didn’t really know how to change the tube… but luckily I had brought a spare wheel with me. My coach Mark’s advice to always bring two sets of wheels certainly served me well. I warmed up on the turbo trainer and did a short spin out the road so I could see what the course looked like. Despite the heat, I decided not to bring water with me, as it was only an 18km route. As I said in my last blog, I’m not marvelous at maneuvering on the bike and I didn’t want to waste time fiddling with my straw.

When my name was called to the start line, I took a gel and clipped into my pedals, as a friendly marshal held my saddle. As I’ve never done a TT race before, Mark had told me to just go as hard as I possibly could, with the goal of finishing with nothing left in the tank. Although I had my Garmin on my wrist, I didn’t look at it once. I just turned the pedals as fast as I could in a big gear. The route was straight out and back, on a smooth road with a big hard shoulder. The turnaround point included two roundabouts and a flyover. Unfortunately, Sean crashed at a roundabout, ending his race. He has some nice cuts and minor bike damage as evidence. As for me, I pushed really hard, recording an average heart rate of 166bpm. I felt powerful and in control. I gave one last effort on the small climb near the end and crossed the finish line in 27:28, having averaged 39.3km/hr.

I was delighted with my race but didn’t know my position among the ladies. I downed a recovery drink and banana before getting back on my turbo to cool down. Sean and I then returned to the pub where we registered and enjoyed some sandwiches with the other racers. I was informed of my first place finish during the prize-giving and was very happy to receive a medal. I beat the second-place finisher by only 14 seconds so was relieved not to have wasted precious time reaching for water on the bike. Pre- and post-race gulps kept me relatively hydrated in the beautiful sunshine.


Garmin File of the Time Trial:


Until Up the Creek…
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