Steve Macklin : Mourne Race Report
Sunday, 1 September 2013 | Admin
Mourne National Series Olympic Distance Race Report
So Saturday was my last National Series race of the year heading north to Castlewellan Co Down, a beautiful part of the country and one that brings back many fond memories for me personally. I spent a lot of my childhood summers up in Newcastle Co Down as my mother is from there and my grandparents lived there for a long time. My grandfather was a keen golfer, cyclist and mountaineer so inspired me when I was younger to get involved in sport. He passed away due to cancer a couple of years ago so this was a race I always wanted to take in, just a pity he couldn't be there to watch it, I'm sure he would have loved it.
Anyway I headed north from Dublin on Thursday where I spent two days working and getting in some training with Joe and Aoife. Joe and I did some bike work in Phoenix Park, we swam with Pulse crew in Killiney and Aoife kicked our asses at the NAC!!! Training has gone great except for a little bike crash two weeks ago which meant no swimming for 14 days, something I can't afford to miss. On the Friday I did some course recce and checked out swim course and bike course. At the time I thought the bike course was easy enough but how wrong I could be, amazing what some strong winds can add to a course.
Saturday morning came and off I headed to the course at 8am. I saw the start list and it was loaded with a lot of very talented guys. I knew this one was going to hurt and hurt it did!!! Full results here http://www.irishtriathlon.com/index.php/2013/08/castlewellan-mourne-triathlon-olympia-tri-club/
6th Overall in 2:08:47
The swim was in a lake but there was a strong wind against so choppy waters back against you. 700m out to first buoy then 100m across then 700m back in. Everyone started at once so quite a messy start with about 350 people. Joe and I discussed plan after pool set Thur and decided on a different approach to the swim and I did exactly that and it worked out great!!! The man knows his stuff, cant beat experience. I found some feet and headed to 1st buoy trying to keep relaxed. Getting around it was messy but got around safe and on more feet until buoy number 2 and the 800m mark. Was feeling comfortable and wondering if it was too slow on not. Around last buoy and it was 700m to slipway and again found feet and stayed relaxed as knew a tough bike and run awaited. Up onto the slipway and started the 200m run or so to transition. Spotted Eamon McAndrew from Sligo TC just ahead so thought swim must have been pretty solid. Ended up about 22nd fastest on swim.
Had a solid T2 no issues and one of quickest of day.
I under estimated the bike course after doing it the day before, what a difference some strong winds and cross winds can make!!!! Ended up being quite tough but I always kept things controlled as knew there was a tough 10km coming. Stephen Teeling Lynch and Joe both warned me the day before about burning too many matches on the bike course. Left transition and right next to Eamon McAndrew figured I must have been in 20's after the swim so work to do. Eamon hit it hard enough from the start and it was too much I thought so I left him to it and did my own pace, passing some bodies on the climb up to the 4km mark. Tough stretch into strong winds. Settled into a rhythm and kept this to the 10km turnaround and did a quick count and I was 14th. Same rhythm back to the 20km turnaround and then is was back out for one more lap. Legs were feeling ok, not great but I guessed everyone else was feeling same with the course. Spent a lot of bike on my own as the top 8 or so were clear. A lot of the others seemed to be grimacing and working too hard on the bike, there was a tough 10km of running to come!!! Worked away passing a few until the last 500m hill up into transition and ended up catching Eamon on this hill and we headed into T2 neck and neck. Biked well and ranked about 10th bike split.
T2- 65 secsGood T2 and again one of fastest of the day.
Started off the run at a solid pace somewhere about 3.30 per km I'd guess. I knew Eamon was a strong runner and sure enough he steamed by me about 500m in but seemed to be working it too hard to catch the guys in front. I sat off him and kept my own solid pace, there was a long way to go. At about 3km we had the 100m steep hill and I caught him here and we then decided to work together for remainder of race. We worked together well and helped each other through a bad patch or two and passed body after body. The surface was tough enough to run on was gravel so not the fastest of surfaces. And it remained that way all through the race, we worked the pace staying together, on the last time up the hill I lost Eamon getting 8-10m gap but waited for him as we had agreed to work together. He got a new lease of life then at 8km mark when Aidan Callaghan and Muldoon and Mcyrstal all came into view (Damn it shouldn't have let him back into it haha). We steamed past Aidan and could see the lads in 2nd, 3rd and 4th but ran out of time. Happy with run which was a true 10km on tough terrain. Enjoyed the battle with Eamon too, cheers for the help we'll meet again:) Congrats also to Charles, Brian, Cormac and Kristofer on some great performances. Also to fellow GoTri team member Anna Crooks on her win!!!
So another top 6 National Series race finish (Never ever finished inside top 12 in a NS race until this year) and just 47 secs off another podium!!! Now all the work is done, so some recovery then full steam ahead for the last race of the season at the World Championships in London on 13th September. Will chat with Joe and Rich about the plan for race day but feel ready for whatever is thrown at me in Hyde Park. Can't wait!!!
Pictures by James Shelly/TI Media