Monday, June 22, 2009

Mullaghmore Sprint Triathlon 20 June 2009, Sligo

I love this little race. Mullaghmore is in Sligo and the race is run by the local sailing club. Its my third year in a row to do this and I already know I'll be back next year. I've yet to have a bad race here and last Saturday was another one of those days when everything just clicked.

We travelled down on Friday afternoon and as usual stayed in the hotel, the pier, 100m from transition, perfect, registered, had dinner and an early night.

Race day:
It wasn't the best of days, weather wise, but it was the same for everyone and sure you're getting into the sea so will be wet anyway!! I racked my bike bang in the middle of the transition and set out my racing gear. The race kicked off at 10.30 and I was in the first wave. I positioned myself slightly to the left and legged it when the whistle went off. There were a few doing the regular zig zaging but I stayed clear of them, kept sighting every third stroke and after about 150-200m took a left and headed back to the slip at the sailing club. The tide was out so about 40m from the slip everyone had to stand and run out. I exited in roughly 13mins and then ran up the slip to transition, 32 second transition and off I went. I'm cycling well at the moment so put the hammer down. I passed a lot of people during the first 10km, especially on the hills, well drags. At the turnaround I was 24th or 24th. On the way back I worked hard and passed another 1 or 2 along the way. I was feeling great so went with it. Transition was a little longer for T2 about 1 min, then off I went. 

I exited the transition right behind one guy so decided to stay on his heels until I found my running legs. I stayed with him until the first hill then passed him as another guy passed us. I decided to push myself to stay with the guy who had just passed us. I was breathing hard but knew Jim was ahead and really wanted to catch him. It took ages to close him down but just before the 3km mark (all the climbs are in the first 3km) I got there. I tried to look controlled and strong as I passed, so Jim wouldn't jump onto my heels, he didn't. With only 2km to go and the remainder downhill I kept the pace high and pushed ahead. About 1km from the end you have to turn into a cul-de-sac for 100m, on the way out I could see 4 or 5 athletes close behind me and knew it wasn't going to be a comfortable finish. It was hard to keep pushing, my shins were aching in the last half km. I kept looking back to ensure I was keeping the distance. The guy in front was suffering too as he kept looking back at me!! There was no way I was going to catch him, I was happy just to stay in the position I was in. There was a great crowd at the finish so the run in was pretty good. I finished in 1.10min, which for the course is pretty good. The guy behind me finished 7 seconds later!!!! Jim was just under a minute back.

The post race celebration was like old times. We watched the rugby and drank the night away. It was a late one and even worse was the headache Sunday morning. Roll on June 2010, can't wait to go back.

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