It was close but
I just about scraped a qualification slot for Hawaii at Ironman Austria
this year. Again, despite the pain and in particular suffering badly on
the run, I really enjoyed my third Ironman race. As always, the
atmosphere, organisation and setting was something else. This year a
large Irish team of athletes and supporters added to the occasion.
Trevor Woods in his first Ironman snuck in under the Irish record
breaking the old mark by 43 seconds. The bar for us all is now set
at 9 hours 18 minutes & a few seconds.
Hawaii of course is not the place
to be thinking of records. It's a tough course, its hot (Austria topped
out at 36 degrees Celsius), humid and very very windy. The tropical Trade Winds
regularly blast parts of the bike course. That said, weather conditions on
race day have been rather benign for the last two years, so I am expecting a
stinker this year.
This is the first time I have attempted two
Ironman's in one year. Previously I have taken a complete break after Austria,
continued to eat as if I was training and put on a considerable amount of
weight. Panic usually sets in around Christmas when I would start to hit
the turbo trainer hard.
It is a little strange to be out on the
roads this time of year as the season changes, the nights are drawing in
and it's getting colder. Thanks to
our particularly wet summer we have been blessed with a magnificent crop
of blackberries. Since coming back from Austria, this has a couple of
times proved to be very useful. No matter how fit you think you are, one
fig roll and a bottle of water is just not enough for a long ride over
the Blackstairs Mountains. When the bonk hits and you can't even
freewheel down a hill and of course there are no shops around, you need
look no further than our hedgerows for a little sugar boost. I
have also noted an excellent crop of crab apples and elderberries this
season. Perhaps a self catered Malin to Mizen head cycle challenge could
be something for the future. Of course if needed, there could be an
ample supply of protein harvested from road kill along the route as
The Lost Sheep Half Ironman (Irish Long Course Championships)
people of Cork Triathlon Club granted me a late entry to this race. I
had missed out earlier in the year when entry opened. But now with
Hawaii a little over a month away it was important to get a training
race in before Kona and the Lost Seep fitted in nicely.
I drove down on Friday on my own. Eimear was having her hen night
this weekend. I have been feeling terrible all week and am on
antibiotics for a chest infection. Driving down I wasn't sure if I
was going to race and would wait until the morning to make a decision.
I knew I probably shouldn't have, but once there, with the scenery,
atmosphere etc there was never any doubt that I would start. It is
a wonderful race with a spectacular course. I have done it once
before in 2005, crashed, cracked a few ribs that still hurt occasionally
but enjoyed it.
gun went all thoughts of illness disappears and I put in a good swim by
my standards. I felt strong on the bike, climbed well but was very
nervous and sat up on the descents. I wasn't going to risk a repetition
of 2005 with Hawaii
just around the corner. And of course having written off one of
Fergus's bikes the last time I rode down the Healy Pass , I knew I
couldn't go home to him if I damaged his new one. Fergus has put a
lot of work and money (Ceramic bearings no less!) into pimping up his
bike for me and my Hawaii challenge. Once off the bike I relaxed and had
a good run on what was a testing hilly course, For my efforts and
to my delight, I managed to take out the quite substantial veteransí
1st October (13 days to IM Hawaii - Shiiiii......ttt!!!)
from the doctors. For the second time in as many months I have developed
a chest infection and been prescribed a course of antibiotics.
Very frustrating and a little worrying as time is running out.
leaving for Hawaii on Sunday which only gives me five days to recover
from any jet lag and to acclimatise to the tropical conditions. I am not
too worried about the heat, but the humidity will be a very new
experience. To help prepare for this I am planning a few turbo bike
sessions in the kitchen this week, particularly while dinner is cooking
and the heating is on. This should kick start the acclimatisation and
maybe even clear the old chest.
beginning to worry about the race which can only mean the wedding
arrangements are all in place.
Why didn't I train
harder or more importantly train sensibly!!!!!
Still sick, but
getting better. I should be fine for the big day and the race (I
hope). I am heading up to
tomorrow and flying out very early Sunday. Eimear is leaving on
Itís going to be a
great race and can be followed live on
All the talk on the web is of the grudge showdown between Macca and
Stadler. Unfortunately I won't see any of it. I have to
admire Stadler and how he tries to win it from the front. Watch
out for Marino Vanhoenacker and Craig Alexander who may spoil the party.
Hope to take a few photos in Kona and if I can I will post some here.