Dun Laoghaire 70.3 August 19th.
I had spent a small fortune on this super aero helmet, comes with cool visor. It was going to make me so fast, it would totally be worth the money.
I could see bugger all out of the visor, as the mist and rain came down. The camera man, stood up in the Wicklow mountains, was also having a hard time of it too, by the looks, of this picture. Sum's up part's of the bike perfectly.
There is a brilliant, highlights video on the Ironman Ireland, facebook page, giving a great flavour of the event. Below's snap shot, shows Pro, Tina Deckers, riding in the Wicklow mountains. I love the comment below. Highlights how tough everyone found the bike. It was a relief to hear other people, say they found it super hard. I was worried, it was only me, who felt they were pedalling, and going no where!.
In summary. My fancy, expense aero helmet, wasn't particularly aero, when I was sat upright, struggling up hills. Whilst the visor, covered in rain droplets and misting up, meant I could see bugger all. I did spot the roaming sheep, on the road, just in time though. The thought did cross my mind, that I should have stuck to my cheap as chips, Tesco, own brand cycle range gear.
Despite the whinging and moaning, about expensive kit, being a waste of time. I started to feel chuffed about another 5th place finish. Consistent at least. After a post race Guinness, watching the All Ireland Hurling. Blimey, what a sport, so brutal. Watching it made me feel very tame and weak in comparison. I started to reflect on my 5th place finish. Another race, another roller coaster:
"Keep in the group, keep at in"
On feet, "Crikey this feels easy"
Move round Tina Deckers, and get on the front of the group.
"Argh, bit harder on the front"
Slide back to swimming next to Tina. Smart move Suze, nice (positive, self congratulatory talk! pat on the back, give yourself a Guinness when you finish)
Lost concentration at the last bouy, our group gets split. I emerge from the swim with American Nicola Falcaro.
"Are my breaks, on? I feel like I am going nowhere"
No it's just uphill , into a headwind.
"Wish, they had Guinness, at these feed stations"
And then, as already stated, the mist came down, and my visor, became a nightmare to see through. Though, once the mist, lifted, the views were incredible.
The camera man, snaps friend Rob Flack, on the bike, at the top of Sally Gap.
I came off the bike in 3rd, having picked up 2 places. Though 3 of us, 3rd-5th were super close together. I led the three of us into transition, and came out last. I didn't even do my hair or wipe my nose. Poor effort from me. Though, being sent to run a lap of T2 with my bike, by a marshal, didn't help. Especially as I frustratingly saw, the other two, run straight to the rack, and into the change tent as i was the far side of transition. Maybe it's best, to ignore marshal's directions next time.
Summed up as, headwind out along the pier, with tail wind coming back.
Non eventful, I felt OK, but I didn't have the legs to catch the two American's in front, and 6th pace, was a fair distance back. So I consolidated 5th. Securing, the final prize money spot.
The run, went out and back, and out and back, along the sea front, again and again and again..!
Well that is how it felt. It was a nice relief, to turn and head onto the carpet for the finish. The crowds were fantastic on the run, thank you for the shouts of encouragement.
Always good to make the carpet, and cross the finish line. Fist pump, for the 4th 70.3 race of the year and my 2nd, 5th place of the year.
Another race ticked off, more learnt. Mainly.....
If your legs hurt, going up hill into a headwind, don't worry, everyone feels the same.
If you can't see through your visor, due to the rain and mist, you should probably take it off (noted for next time).
I enjoyed some downtime, post race, visiting the west coast of Ireland. To enjoy a long season, i have taken the tactic of plenty of short breaks, after races. Recover, drink Guinness and then I eased back into training.
My results of 7th at Marbella (April), 6th in Staffordshire (June), 5th in Edinburgh (July) and 5th in Dun Laoghaire (August) resulted in, receiving an email, saying I had been selected my first GB elite spot for the European 70.3 championships in Ibiza, Oct 27th. Result.
This was my big goal for the season. GB selection for Ibiza, alongside completing the 4 "home" 70.3 races (Staffordshire, Edinburgh, Dun Laoghaire and Weymouth) with Weymouth this weekend, I hope to tick, that goal off the list as well.
Good Luck, for your end of season races. If you see me in Weymouth, come say Hello and if you too are heading to Ibiza, see you at the after party!