TriAthy Triumph for Derval!
Sunday, 8 June 2014 | Admin
TriAthy Triumph for Derval!
TriAthy has something for everyone – TryAthy, Sprint, Olympic and Double Olympic distances so this race always gets a good turn-out. This year was no exception with over 2,000 athletes completing throughout the day.
For me, and for many others, TriAthy was to be the first triathlon of the 2014 season – and doing the Olympic distance (1500m swim, 40k bike and 10k run) - which was also one of Triathlon Ireland’s National Series Race - made it all the more daunting! I decided as it was a bank holiday weekend to avoid the mass exodus out of Dublin Friday evening, which meant an early start Sat morning to make registration prior to the event.
Liam Lynch a fellow Belpark member predicted, 2 weeks prior to the event, good weather for TriAthy (for he has never competed in bad weather!) Liam was right. Saturday was glorious. I joined the athletes queuing for registration, all sipping their water bottles in anticipation of what lay ahead. As I entered transition with my bike I noticed that spaces were limited. At least transition was neutralised which meant it didn’t matter where your bike was positioned. So I picked a spot near entry to T2, racked my bike, readied by gear and then fought with my Garmin 310 watch, while it pondered about taking today as its recovery day!
Rumour had it that the current in the river, while stronger than last year, had lessened a little compared to the week before. I partook in the Swim Athy 1500m distance race the Sunday before finishing in 29:40– 5 whole minutes slower than last year! I was hoping for better things today, especially as the swim was my weakest discipline.
I was in Wave 2 so I watched my training partners; Louise Keane and Ellen Murphy enter the water first and felt the butterflies in my stomach as I watched them take off after the gun start. The minutes before race start, I find, are always the worst and most nerve-wrecking. As I entered the river Eamonn Tilley wished me luck from a kayak nearby. The river certainly didn’t feel as cold as the previous Sunday but there was still a noticeable current. The swim was 600m swim upstream and then 900m with the current. My swim start was slower than I would have liked but with time I managed to catch the girls up front and exited the water in 7th female position overall (23.55). This was certainly an improvement on last week!
I had a bit of an issue in T1 removing my wetsuit but once off I darted towards the exit with my bike. I did the swim and bike of this course last year so knew it well – however I hadn’t managed to run due to injury. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go as hard this year on the bike if I was to do a decent 10k run after. So I watched my Garmin closely making sure not to push too hard. It was great to be in an early wave; it meant a lot less bike traffic and, as the roads were closed there was no other moving obstacles around to contend with! I found I was alone for much of the bike leg. There was an 8 minute gap between Wave 1 and Wave 2 and I guessed I leading those from Wave 2 on the bike with the Wave 1 somewhere up-ahead. With a bout 10k to go I started to overtake some women from Wave 1. The road surface was smooth and flat on the way back to Athy which was ideal for TT position. After 1:08:59 I was back into T2.
In transition I had the task of putting on socks – I can’t run a 10k without them - and this added more seconds to my race time. Out on the run I started slow but began to gain momentum and get my legs back. Brendan Crawford, a Belparker, informed me that Louise Keane was 30 seconds ahead of me. As I turned the corner to run along the riverbank I overtook Louise and we gave each other some encouragement. The run was tough, the bank was uneven and the long freshly-cut grass remained on the run route. A narrow single trail had formed from the Double Olympic athlete’s earlier use of the course and I struggled to keep on it as other athletes coming from the opposite direction played chicken with me. This was a very frustrating element of the course, having to hop on and off the trail really disrupted my stride and was stressful for all. I hope that this will be addressed at for next year’s race. The support however was fantastic, especially on the last 1.5 km of the run and I was never so glad to see the finish line. I crossed it in second place after Ellen Murphy. We then had to wait for the results to be released to find out who was positioned where due to the different Waves. It looked like my run (41.24) secured first place for me with Ellen coming 2nd and Laura Wylie, who had the fastest swim of the day, coming in 3rd.
Congrats too to Kim Doyle of SwimCycleRun for placing 2nd in the Sprint and to David Kildea of Belpark Tri Club and Aileen Flynn, Piranha for winning the Double Olympic. Roll on “Hook or by Crook” Triathlon, Dunmore East. I am hoping Liam Lynch has entered too.
I would like to thank Ken Murphy - Photod2h / TI Media for taking all the photos in Athy.
Check out his full album from the race here.