Steve Macklin : TriAthlone Race Report
Tuesday, 9 July 2013 | Admin
National Sprint Championships Athlone Race Report
Overall Place 12th- 1:04:54
So my first ever National Triathlon Championships was last Saturday in Athlone and one of my main races of the year. A national championships in any sport is an important target facing the best athletes in the country. Athlone proved no less, with all the top guys lining up. One down side was the fact that all the top guys couldn't all face off man against man in one wave and make it a true race rather than an individual time trial. Hopefully this will happen in the future and I am sure this is what all the competitors want.
So I was off in wave 5 at about 2.25pm and I think I speak for all when I say damn was it good to get into the water!!! Standing in 26 ish deg heat in a wetsuit waiting to go into the water wasn't fun, you could smell the rubber from people's suits!!! Anyway into the water we went and off went the hooter. I had Stephen Teeling Lynch and Brian Harris in my wave so knew they would swim fast. I had swam well in training the previous 7 days so was hopeful of a solid swim. The start was rough enough as always and got a little elbow into my googles which caused one side to fill with water. I made the decision not to stop and fix it and ended up doing the swim with one eye!!! The 1st buoy was rough trying to get around it and once again people were pulling and dragging. Got around it and tried to relax finding some open water. Got to pontoon and felt like it was a solid swim and made the long run to my bike in transition which was at the very top by bike exit. The balls of my feet hurt from the run on the concrete but got to bike, off with wetsuit, on with helmet and sunglasses and off I went. Ill get back to the transitions later but it doesn't make for pretty reading!!!
The bike leg went good and under control which is what I wanted. The first 5km the legs didn't feel great but I am always like that, then they got going and I felt strong. I passed plenty of bodies and paced myself off 3 guys on the road all the time keeping the 10m gap. Got to the turn and then we had the wind behind us on way home so that helped. Just kept a steady pace over last 2km and got the run legs ready for what was going to be a hurt fest. Into T2 and this didn't go well, the ball of my right foot was very sore from the long run in T1 and found it hard to run on it. This combined with being unable to pass some women and slower men in the narrow T2 passage led to a slow time. I think I lost between 30-40 secs on the top guys in transitions alone which isn't good enough!!! That cost me 10th place I think.
The run went well can't complain, steady start then put the hammer down. Chased and chased and passed lots of bodies. Finished strong and happy with run performance. I had the 2nd fastest run split of the day behind Olympian Gavin Noble so pleased with that. My combined bike and run split was 4th fastest of the day so that was a positive but the swim just doesn't cut it at the moment, I think I was about 53rd in the whole field.
I was delighted to see my coach Joe Lynch getting back into some shape with an 18th place finish (after literally a couple of weeks training!!!) and his wife Aoife 2nd in women's race. Really enjoyed the day, was a well organised race with plenty of support on the course and nice to have my 1st ever National Champs under my belt. Delighted too that all the GoTri racing team did well especially Rory with his 2nd place.
There were plenty of post mortems going on at the finish line as everyone tried to match their finishing times to see what position they may have finished in. Met with Brian, Mark and Kim from swimcyclerun.com at finish line and had a good chat even though we were all wrecked!!! After the race I warmed down with Paddy Quinn, there was 2 secs separating us at the finish but we were in different waves. We joked about the potential run showdown we could have had if we were in same wave. Next time Paddy:) Headed off to Tullamore then to meet up with the athletics juniors I coach who were competing at the All Ireland T&F Championships the following day. We had an enjoyable dinner, a few laughs and got a good nights sleep. Headed out for an easy 40 mins jog along the canal in Tullamore to loosen out the legs Sunday morning before we headed for the track. The lads did great winning two medals and having five personal bests in the 800m and 3000m races. Was delighted to hear the news of Con Doherty and Chris Mintern doing so well at the European Junior Cup on Sunday, well deserved for those two guys. Will catch Chris for a bike ride and a chat over next few days and get the report on the race. Overall a great weekend of triathlon and athletics, two sports I have a huge passion for and am extremely lucky to be a part of.
So now it's back to training this week before taking in Lanesboro National Series Sprint Tri next Saturday as part of my training, more so for open water swim practice than anything. Ill travel up with my good friend Ryan O Callaghan so looking forward to it. Also looking forward to meeting up with the Sudways on Friday evening and persuading Ciaran to give up the fags!!!:) I will be training through this race as everything is now aimed towards London and the World Championships in Hyde Park on September 13th.