Saturday morning, everything is dumped into the car at 6AM. Collect Ger who got a day pass from the Mrs. we are on the road and heading to the big smoke. Park the car up along Chesterfield avenue the first stop is the Expo. Shamrocks everywhere… say no more. Through the Expo in order to get to registration, the bag was collected with an extra few cans of red bull.
Back to the car, Ger took charge of the stickers and did a mighty job on them, so much so, they still won’t come off the bloody helmet. Red bag (Run) dropped off in T2 we headed out along the bike route on the way to the swim start. The waters looked calm when we arrived. UL on a Monday morning would have been rougher but that would change for the Sunday. Bike prep’ d and blue bag packed, I dropped them off and we started the drive home to Limerick for a christening.
Into bed for 7PM on Saturday evening, the ever understanding Wife had taken the 2yr old and 3 month old off to Kilkee so I could sleep. I will pay for that in the future.
Alarm goes at 2AM, no time for the snooze button. Everything already in the car, I take a few sips of Red Bull thinking it would wake me up (Awful stuff) and headed off on the lonely drive to Dublin. The Toll person must of thought I was crazy with a pair of goggles around my neck.
Parked up in Phoenix Park at around 4:30AM, half asleep I climb out of the car and give a little stretch, grab the white bag and start to walk along the main avenue. A Silver Van pulls up beside me, window down a guy shouts “I’m heading that way. Jump in the back”. With the brain not functioning fully I slid the door of the van open and jumped in to find four other people in there with a smart phone giving a small bit of light as there were no windows. The van weaving around the back roads of Phoenix Park one of the lads asks “Does anyone know the fella driving?” with a response coming from the driver who we can’t see shouting “I’m John Lads, we’re nearly at the buses”. Sure enough we pulled up at the bus stop and we were on the way to the start.
A quick check on the bike I headed to the swim start, and got ready. The countdown seemed like an eternity. The PRO’s were off, keeping an eye on the route they took we were off shortly after them. The swim went well, managed to get through in 32:47. Sighting was tough as we had the same colour hats at the buoys but I followed the splashes in front of me and it seemed to work, although we did swim in excess of 2150M but reading online, a lot of people did the same distance.
Pulled out of the water by a volunteer, the swim was over and the run was on to T1, pulling the Wetsuit off to show the LTC colours, there were a few cheers for Limerick on the way to the tent.
Bike route was tough, especially when the drizzle started to come down, over the toll bridge and along the Quays was some experience. Passing the Criminal court you are hit with a small climb before entering the park and the dreaded speed bumps, those navigated and the park exited we are on the way out to the country side.
At about 25K into the bike, I had a little tumble at a sharp right hand bend. A few cuts and bruises were the result as the TI Marshal on the motorbike picked me up of the ground, I turned around and the Wheel Worx mechanic who the organisers had placed at that turn had already picked my bike up and had it mounted for repair.
Managing to save one gear for me, I was back on the bike after 11 minutes.
The rest of the bike was uneventful, great volunteers along the way cheering us on while doing the job they were tasked with a smile.
Then came the hill before entering the park. Stuck in a balls of a gear, the legs couldn’t climb so I had to get off and run it, the cleats slipping every few steps. Getting to the top I jump back on only to have to jump back off again a few minutes later in T2. The bike was over in 2:40, slower than what I wanted but glad I was able to finish it.
Volunteers again on hand to take your bag after the runners are on I was off on the last leg of the event. Before you knew it, you had your blue band and you were heading towards the big M-Dot only to turn a few metres before it to head off again on a 2nd and 3rdlap. Saw some familiar faces with the Limerick Tri gear / Go Tri Gear on which gave a little boost along the finish stretch.
With a few points on the course looping back on itself, you got to pass some of the LTC members competing. With a little nod and a high-five we continue on our way.
It was a great race, great volunteers from all over the country and beyond, great supporters and very well organised. Only a few teething problems but I think the race is here to stay.
A big thanks to Ger Shire who has helped with the swimming and fitness over the last few month