Rachel maintains her podium streak at Loughrea
Monday, 5 August 2013 | Admin
Loughrea Sprint Triathlon – August 4th 2013
I visited Loughrea for the first time ever last Sunday. Although there were a few clouds in the sky, I was greeted by warm weather and a rain-less day. Miracle! The afternoon start did not necessitate an alarm clock, which was a nice change. After a swift registration, I cycled down to transition at 1:30 and readied myself for the 2:30 start. The place was very busy, with young triathletes finishing up for their successful Junior Champs and seniors preparing for the National Series sprint.
I found “157,” set up my area, reviewed the entries/exits to transition, chatted with Limerick Tri members and did a short warm-up. After the lengthy race briefing, everyone made their way to the swim start, with men under forty hopping into the placid water first. Five minutes later, the horn sounded for the female triathletes… and I was off.
I started front and centre in the swim. I was greeted early on by a sharp forearm to my face, which, luckily, didn’t dislodge my goggles. I found feet to follow for around half the course and swam in my own space for the rest. I was happy with my 12:41 split. I climbed out of the water and ran along the spectator-lined path to transition. After a 1:14 T1, I mounted my bike and set off on the 20km route.
Garmin Swim: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/353734537
The first 4km was on closed roads but the entire course seemed very quiet. There was no traffic to consider, which allowed me to settle in and focus only on my effort. I pushed hard and really enjoyed the small inclines and long, fast descents. After negotiating a series of speed bumps, I dismounted and returned to transition, clocking a split of 34:14. Forty-five seconds later, I set off on the 5km run.
Garmin Cycle: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/353734542
Reportedly flat and fast, the run route was actually quite undulating. I was informed that I was in fourth place but didn’t immediately go into crazy-chase mode. I found my rhythm and moved into third place at about the 2km mark. Before the turn-around, I saw Anna Crooks and SwimCycleRun’s Derval Devaney ahead of me, who held on to first and second place, respectively. I was delighted my 20:03 run split allowed me to retain third, with a finishing time of 1:08:57.
Garmin Run: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/353734549
Overall, I was very happy with my race because I felt strong in each discipline and enjoyed the fast, un-technical, dry course. After milling around the finish line and dipping my legs in the cool lake, I had a quick shower and abandoned my gear in the car. I then indulged in a lovely post-race meal at the Loughrea Hotel. Well done to all the finishers and thank you to all the organisers and marshals, who ran a smooth and safe event for triathletes of all ages.