Event name: Celtic Warrior
Distance 70.3/ Middle
Like everyone else my plans for 2020 and 2021 were all up in the air. I signed up in 2019 to compete in what would have been my first Ironman 70.30 in Staffordshire England but due to Covid-19 restrictions I had no option but to push it out to 2021. The new year came with a lot of uncertainty around travel so I decided it was in my best interest to defer competing in the UK at that time. I then turned my eye to the Lost Sheep in Kenmare Co.Kerry, but again like Staffordshire the race was unfortunately cancelled too. After some searching online for triathlons to compete in I saw the Celtic Warrior in Mullingar being advertised and seeing that it went ahead last year it gave me some hope that it had a good chance of going ahead again this year.
So I signed up… and low and behold it got the green light!!!
This would be my first middle distance race. As race day came closer my nerves began to worsen. I wasn’t sure whether me being nervous was due to the fact that it was my first middle distance race or my first race in 2 years, but looking back now i can say it was a bit of both but I got through it in the end!
The swim took place in Lough Ennell, it was nice and warm in the water and very clear which helped me as I’m not much of a swimmer. It was a mass start so I hid out towards the back as to not get caught in the washing machine! It was a 2.5 loop swim and the sighting was made easy thanks to the large orange marks in the water. Coming out of the water there was cheering from the marshals which to me was a mini victory as I made it to the end of the swim. (49mins including T1)
The bike course was 3 loops of 30km on rolling hills with one or two drags. I passed a few people on the bike, it was good for my own moral as I had one or two hiccups on the bike. The first hiccup where I thought I had forgotten my gels so I didn’t have anything on the bike, but if I had dug a little deeper I would have found them and the second, was when I had a little accident where I came off the bike at the 45Km mark. Of course things only got better when it started raining for the rest of the bike course. It was great, everytime you passed the aid station the music was playing and people were cheering so you would have a new song in your head for the next 30km. I made it to T2 after 2hours 52mins.
The run course was 4 laps of just over 5km for the half warrior and the full Warrior. What made it great was that whether you were doing the sprint, Olympic, half warrior or full warrior we were all on the same loop with everyone cheering and pushing each other on. I got off the bike aiming for a steady run but of course I shot out of the blocks for the first 2km. After a talk to myself I calmed down and settled into a steady pace. When I hit the 13km mark, I started to feel my legs giving up and the mind over matter battle began. At that point I started alternating between walk-run as I approached the water station to give myself a little break which was needed. It wasn’t the run I was hoping for but its one I’m proud of. I completed the run in 1 hour 48 mins.
Would you recommend this event:
Yes i would highly recommend this event, very well marshalled, fantastic atmosphere, very nice course, well marked out and easy to follow while on course.