Ballybunion Sprint – 17 July 21
Swim: Maybe more of a run/swim. The start time was 11am and it was already pretty hot. Start times were set around tide times. We started on the ladies beach (for those familiar with Ballyb) in front of the sea rescue. As the water was quite shallow, we were running into the sea wondering when best to start swimming. Off we went out to the first buoy, then swam parrallel to the beach towards next buoy. Rounding this was met with the glare of the sun so hard to see anything. Swimming back to towards the beach it wasn’t long until we hit sand again so more running through the water. Then it was the lovely uphill run towards transition. This hill proves difficult on a normal day!
Bike: For those who have ran the Ballybunion Half Marathon before, the cycle route is this run route in reverse. One word – hilly. We head up the Doon Rd, out the coast road. We head down then towards Beale and back in the coast road. I really loved the bike route though. Felt strong on the bike and worked with a Belpark competitor to pick off people ahead of us.
Run: Where it all went wrong! I had ran this route a few times so knew it was going to be tough. We had a nice climb of about 1km in the middle. A combination of the heat, overcooking it on the bike and that negative voice getting louder had me walking up the hill. Then it was a combination of walk run until I was down the hill and even then a bit more walking before I hit the last 500m. Was a bit disappointed with the run but overall it was great to be competing!
Organisation: It was very well organised, no fuss or anything just a lot of excited people at the start, happy to be racing. It was well marshalled and the road was closed for a section in/out of transition.
Would you recommend the event?
Definitely and I will be back there again next year. Chill out on the beach after!
Like many, this was the first race of 2021 for me. It was the first ever race by the Ballybunion Triathlon Club. Been saying for years that it is a great spot for a race so when I saw it advertised I had to sign up.
The heat was the main concern for most people. It was possibly the warmest weekend of the year! Given the start time, we would be racing in the hottest part of the day. But as we reminded each other at the start…it’ll be grand! Great to see a few fellow Limerick Tri at the start and loads of people cheering us on.