LAST CALL for Lough Cutra Triathlon Training Day!!!

The training/recce day for Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon is on tomorrow Saturday 9th May at the Castle in Gort, Co. Galway with GoTri, Amphibian King Oranmore and Burren Cycling Club.

Adult and children’s triathlon training covering all 3 disciplines and transitions. Suitable for beginners as well as more experienced triathletes.

There’s also a recce cycle and run for The Gauntlet (half iron).

There is no charge for this but you are required to book in advance.

BOOK NOW!!

#Running to work, working to run!!

Sound like something you would enjoy?

Good, we are looking to speak with you.

Join our team

We have a part-time vacancy in Oranmore for a Shoe Technician. Among other tasks, the role will involve:

1) Conducting Gait Analysis to help us find the correct running shoe for the customer.
2) Many of our Customers are repeat customers so building a rapport and knowledge of the customers is important.
3) Assisting with stock management.
4) Work at events through the season.

You will be expected to –

  • Greet and engage customers who enter the shop
  • Conduct and deliver the full Amphibian King gait analysis service
  • Ability to assess results of gait analysis
  • Assist customers in helping them find the correct running products
  • Give advice and guidance on product selection to customers
  • Involvement in stock control and stock management
  • Sales processing cash and card payments
  • Stock store shelves and hangers with merchandise and point of sale material
  • Merchandising – ensuring all products are labelled correctly etc, clean and neat
  • Answer queries from customers, face to face and via phone
  • Report discrepancies and customer issues to the store manager
  • Balancing cash register with receipt and process end of day reports
  • Maintaining the general upkeep of store e.g. tidy and clean, hoovering etc
  • Work within established guidelines, particularly consistency with the gait analysis service that Amphibian King offers to all customers
  • Receipt and stock control and management of all deliveries received, e.g. checking all packing slips to ensure that all items ordered have been received
  • The Ideal Candidate will be a runner or triathlete themselves.
  • Will possibly have covered Gait Analysis in College as part of a course.
  • May have experience already within the industry.

The nature of this role may suit a Personal Trainer who is looking for extra set hours a week or for students of podiatry or physical therapy on block release from college. Good running knowledge and experience in participating in events is essential.  Experience or a background in Gait Analysis, physiotherapy or personal fitness would be an advantage.

If you are interested please send your CV to: recruiting@amphibiankingwest.com

If you know someone you think might be suited please do share this post with them.

Thank you.

Edel & Sean

Lough Cutra Castle triathlon

400LoughCutra -By Tarquin Blake

Lough Cutra Castle – Sunday 25th May 2014

We’re delighted to announce that we are going to Lough Cutra triathlon in May.

With a swim around an island on the largest privately owned lake in Europe, a stunning 90k single cycle lap through the outstanding area of natural beauty that is the Burren National Park (taking in the infamous corkscrew hill) and a 3 lap run around a 7K course entirely on the beautifully manicured Lough Cutra estate and surrounding forest trails, what’s more to want?

Amphibian King are the run partners for The Gauntlet course and we will be hosting a series of recce runs on the run course through April and May. Keep an eye on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Amphkingwest for more updates and watch our Events Calendar for dates, times & details.

Stick around for the after party for some renowned West Coast hospitality in the castle grounds.

The Gauntlet cycle route
Lough Cutra Castle – run routes

Check out the Lough Cutra Triathlon page for more information and entry details.

http://www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk/en/lough-cutra-race/

CEP Compression wear

There is always confusion about what constitutes ‘Compression’ in the expression ‘Compression Wear’.

Its a term bandied about all over the place and often is simpy used to market cheap socks and tops to unsuspecting consumers who think they are on to a good thing.

Good compression wear will have a base in medical compression where it has been tried, tested and proven. By assisting the returning blood flow from the lower leg and stabilising the muscles many athletes find their recovery time from workouts is quicker and there is less muscle soreness.

Medi compression – Advantages

  • More energy, greater endurance and enhanced performance
  • Improved circulation
  • Preventative function
  • Muscle and joint stabilization
  • Improved coordination

Fitting compression socks can be a struggle, but this is a good sign. If you can put them on like regular socks, guess what? Then they are as useful as regular socks and are useless as compression wear.

With working on my feet mostly I wear my recovery compression socks after morning runs to ease fatigue in my legs through the day. They definitely work for me.

Have you tried compression socks? How did they work out for you?

Check out the CEP range in our webshop and instore in Galway and Limerick

Are you looking for your first Orca triathlon wetsuit?

As stockists of the Orca range , the Orca S5 has just arrived into our Galway and Limerick stores ready for you to check out the perfect wetsuit for tri-beginners and improvers.Orca’s generation S-series wetsuit continues its evolution with the S5. While retaining many of the great features of the S4, the new S5 introduces a 5mm front panel from neck to mid-leg, increasing flexibility and buoyancy.Orca S5

The removal of a front seam ensures that it is the most flexible wetsuit to date in this range. Like its predecessor, the S5 promises hydrodynamics, flexibility, buoyancy and durability. 2014-orca-wetsuit-s5-fullsleeve-women-frontIts full neoprene coverage includes SCS coated 3-4mm Yamamoto 39-cell neoprene across the full front. 2mm Yamamoto 39-cell coated neoprene underarm and shoulder panels provides superb range of motion.

The back is made of 3mm Smooth Skin neoprene, offering buoyancy and thermal protection. Silicone-print Hydrostroke forearm catch panels increase power through the stroke, while Speed Transition calf panels make transitions a cinch.2014-orca-wetsuit-s5-fullsleeve-women-back

  • 2mm SCS Neoprene Arms & Shoulders – High stretch SCS coated upper torso and armsbecome-true-triathlete
  • Yamamoto Neoprene – Performance level durable Yamamoto neoprene provides excellent buoyancy, flexibility and thermal protection.
  • Speed Transition Calf Panels – Guaranteed easy removal of the wetsuit and faster transition times.2014-orca-wetsuit-s5-fullsleeve-men-back

Orca wetsuits are available in a wide range of sizes to suit everybody an we are on hand to help you select, size & we’ll show you how best to handle your wetsuit when fitting and removing to avoid unwanted pulls and tears.

If you are ready to know more we have a handy Appointment Maker on the website to help you get the most of one-on-one time with an advisor.
See you soon!!

 

Tri for Change?

What are we going to do about our sport?

It’s competitive but it is also meant to be fun & enjoyable. For most of us this is our Sunday game, our version of a round of golf, our going down the pub. We look forward to our exercise and testing ourselves in our next race.

What happens when testing yourself becomes reckless?

Loneswimmer.com had a really interesting piece on preparing for OW swimming from which I have lifted this all important piece:

“YOU CANNOT SUBSTITUTE A WETSUIT FOR TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE.

Just because an event allows you to enter with your limited experience means nothing. Some just want your money. Events which have real qualifications requirement are not elitist. The organisers are experienced and aware of the dangers and attempting to reduce risk beforehand.”

via “How much do I need to swim for – x – open water distance?”.

This is such an important point to make in the context of triathlon, where the sport as a whole has become a real bucket list item for people to do. As a business with vested interests in the growth and development of our sport we welcome this explosion in people who desire to become triathletes, however, personal responsibility has to be a factor in all of this.

There is no benefit to you putting your life in danger to tick a box. There is a staggering amount of people who can not swim that want to do triathlon and while they should be encouraged to learn to swim and participate in Triathlon, the dangers of open water swimming should not be underestimated.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I suppose the recent Regional Development meetings with Triathlon Ireland may have sparked off the thinking process. When you consider that this very young sport is heading for 8,000 members in 2013 and is developing as a participation sport for youths (our children are following us into triathlon in the same way that we would have followed our parents to GAA games).

That volume of members and continuing to grow year on year needs some structure.

Primarily, the key point is that I am not looking to alienate anyone, nor am I suggesting that newbies should be exiled til mature. The whole premise is to suggest a means of  making triathlon a participation sport for everyone that is safe and enjoyable.

Triathlon is definitely the sport of the moment. People from all over are drawn to the challenge of completing their first race, usually as a result of a bet, a dare or charity commitment. What they are not prepared for is the highly addictive nature of triathlon and the way it gets right under your skin and becomes an itch that needs to be continually scratched.

The training is varied and interesting, the races are varied and interesting, sure even the participants are varied and interesting!

It is this variety which leads to an imbalance in the level of the sport.

With the volume of people taking part and the rate of growth there is a danger of triathlon (in Ireland) outgrowing its own governing structures which is why I believe now would be a good time to reorganise. We have a new CEO who is listening. I’ve met him at the Regional Development evening and at a couple of events, so he is out there, watching, observing and gaining knowledge through feedback.

Thinking about it almost every other sport has a tiered structure with barriers to entry at all levels and people don’t complain about this being ‘elitist’, so why should triathlon be any different? I mean, take tennis, your local LTC member is not going to play Wimbledon just because they want to. They have to earn the right through practise, experience, winning tournaments over years of participation.

But people don’t die playing tennis, that’s not a comparison.

Ok, your Formula 3000 driver haring around Mondello is not going to step into a F1 car and race with Jenson Button today or tomorrow in a Grand Prix. Years of training (XBox and PS3 do not count for training!) experience, preparation etc. etc .

Do you see my point?

I would propose a multi tiered approach to development of our sport which would serve to improve the level of participation and uptake by new comers, enhance the experience of racing for developing triathletes and reward those at the pointy end of the sport.

How?

Simple enough.

You either join Triathlon Ireland or you don’t.

My structure would see:

  1. You join a local triathlon club & TI simultaneously (existing rule anyway, join a club you must be a full TI member for insurance reasons when training)
  2. Your membership number is unique and is used as your race number & database of all your race records.

From here your 1st year in the sport is all about learning the ropes. You train with the club, you learn the lanes rules of the pool & road. You learn to respect the risks of open water swimming, you are coached in all three disciplines, you learn to ride in a group, eat in a group and so on. You race at club level in Sprint and Olympic distance races, building up your record, your database of distance and OW swimming.

Into 2nd year you now have a full season of learning behind you a record of your abilities and a proven OW swim capability. Through experience you will now know your limits, you will be aware of what conditions are risky, what conditions are safe, for you. You will know what tests you, what makes you uncomfortable, what you want to achieve.

If you desire, year 2 will be where you move up to middle distance racing at club level or Sprint & Olympic distance racing at National Series level, if you want to.

Edit: unfortunately whilst I have been drafting and thinking about this issue mloc123 posted a discussion on boards.ie Is triathlon too open? which is going to develop into a sizeable debate as it catches hold. I suppose it spurs me on to complete the thought process that I had been developing here and outlined there.

People need to realise that triathlon is not just a sport that the majority of people can just do. Yes, there are some who don’t need to train hard to complete the events but the vast majority of people need months of training and knowledge in order to be ready for what the race throw at you.

If going the route of the club structure, as outlined above, doesn’t suit you that is fine too.

So, lets say you’ve no interest in joining a club, you don’t need the membership of Triathlon Ireland, you’re only going to do one triathlon to challenge yourself and then move onto something else. No problem.

There are plenty of non-sanctioned events that you can do. There are no shortage of charity events and also out and out commercial events (Ironman for example) that cater for people who just want to complete a triathlon.

In fact a whole series of fun events could be developed for people who just want to participate in triathlon.

I grew up impressed by the Ironmen and women. They inspired me to do triathlon. Unfortunately the moves made recently by Ironman Inc to stick pontoons in the water and encourage rest breaks indicated to me that this organisation has nothing to do with the spirit of ‘Ironman’ and all to do with the pure capitalism of filling events with anyone and everyone with deep pockets.

Non-sanctioned races can then over compensate for the expected levels of preparation in their athletes and provide plenty of support boats for the swim leg, relax the drafting rules on the bike leg (considering most ignore the rules anyway) and essentially host ‘fun’ events that are safe and relaxed.

People who want to compete, go the club route with TI.

As always I welcome comments and your thoughts too.

Tri for Change?

What are we going to do about our sport?

It’s competitive but it is also meant to be fun & enjoyable. For most of us this is our Sunday game, our version of a round of golf, our going down the pub. We look forward to our exercise and testing ourselves in our next race.

What happens when testing yourself becomes reckless?

Loneswimmer.com had a really interesting piece on preparing for OW swimming from which I have lifted this all important piece:

“YOU CANNOT SUBSTITUTE A WETSUIT FOR TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE.

Just because an event allows you to enter with your limited experience means nothing. Some just want your money. Events which have real qualifications requirement are not elitist. The organisers are experienced and aware of the dangers and attempting to reduce risk beforehand.”

via “How much do I need to swim for – x – open water distance?”.


This is such an important point to make in the context of triathlon, where the sport as a whole has become a real bucket list item for people to do. As a business with vested interests in the growth and development of our sport we welcome this explosion in people who desire to become triathletes, however, personal responsibility has to be a factor in all of this.

There is no benefit to you putting your life in danger to tick a box. There is a staggering amount of people who can not swim that want to do triathlon and while they should be encouraged to learn to swim and participate in Triathlon, the dangers of open water swimming should not be underestimated.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I suppose the recent Regional Development meetings with Triathlon Ireland may have sparked off the thinking process. When you consider that this very young sport is heading for 8,000 members in 2013 and is developing as a participation sport for youths (our children are following us into triathlon in the same way that we would have followed our parents to GAA games).

That volume of members and continuing to grow year on year needs some structure.

Primarily, the key point is that I am not looking to alienate anyone, nor am I suggesting that newbies should be exiled til mature. The whole premise is to suggest a means of  making triathlon a participation sport for everyone that is safe and enjoyable.

Triathlon is definitely the sport of the moment. People from all over are drawn to the challenge of completing their first race, usually as a result of a bet, a dare or charity commitment. What they are not prepared for is the highly addictive nature of triathlon and the way it gets right under your skin and becomes an itch that needs to be continually scratched.

The training is varied and interesting, the races are varied and interesting, sure even the participants are varied and interesting!

It is this variety which leads to an imbalance in the level of the sport.

With the volume of people taking part and the rate of growth there is a danger of triathlon (in Ireland) outgrowing its own governing structures which is why I believe now would be a good time to reorganise. We have a new CEO who is listening. I’ve met him at the Regional Development evening and at a couple of events, so he is out there, watching, observing and gaining knowledge through feedback.

Thinking about it almost every other sport has a tiered structure with barriers to entry at all levels and people don’t complain about this being ‘elitist’, so why should triathlon be any different? I mean, take tennis, your local LTC member is not going to play Wimbledon just because they want to. They have to earn the right through practise, experience, winning tournaments over years of participation.

But people don’t die playing tennis, that’s not a comparison.

Ok, your Formula 3000 driver haring around Mondello is not going to step into a F1 car and race with Jenson Button today or tomorrow in a Grand Prix. Years of training (XBox and PS3 do not count for training!) experience, preparation etc. etc .

Do you see my point?

I would propose a multi tiered approach to development of our sport which would serve to improve the level of participation and uptake by new comers, enhance the experience of racing for developing triathletes and reward those at the pointy end of the sport.

How?

Simple enough.

You either join Triathlon Ireland or you don’t.

My structure would see:


  1. You join a local triathlon club & TI simultaneously (existing rule anyway, join a club you must be a full TI member for insurance reasons when training)

  2. Your membership number is unique and is used as your race number & database of all your race records.


From here your 1st year in the sport is all about learning the ropes. You train with the club, you learn the lanes rules of the pool & road. You learn to respect the risks of open water swimming, you are coached in all three disciplines, you learn to ride in a group, eat in a group and so on. You race at club level in Sprint and Olympic distance races, building up your record, your database of distance and OW swimming.

Into 2nd year you now have a full season of learning behind you a record of your abilities and a proven OW swim capability. Through experience you will now know your limits, you will be aware of what conditions are risky, what conditions are safe, for you. You will know what tests you, what makes you uncomfortable, what you want to achieve.

If you desire, year 2 will be where you move up to middle distance racing at club level or Sprint & Olympic distance racing at National Series level, if you want to.

Edit: unfortunately whilst I have been drafting and thinking about this issue mloc123 posted a discussion on boards.ie Is triathlon too open? which is going to develop into a sizeable debate as it catches hold. I suppose it spurs me on to complete the thought process that I had been developing here and outlined there.

People need to realise that triathlon is not just a sport that the majority of people can just do. Yes, there are some who don’t need to train hard to complete the events but the vast majority of people need months of training and knowledge in order to be ready for what the race throw at you.

If going the route of the club structure, as outlined above, doesn’t suit you that is fine too.

So, lets say you’ve no interest in joining a club, you don’t need the membership of Triathlon Ireland, you’re only going to do one triathlon to challenge yourself and then move onto something else. No problem.

There are plenty of non-sanctioned events that you can do. There are no shortage of charity events and also out and out commercial events (Ironman for example) that cater for people who just want to complete a triathlon.

In fact a whole series of fun events could be developed for people who just want to participate in triathlon.

I grew up impressed by the Ironmen and women. They inspired me to do triathlon. Unfortunately the moves made recently by Ironman Inc to stick pontoons in the water and encourage rest breaks indicated to me that this organisation has nothing to do with the spirit of ‘Ironman’ and all to do with the pure capitalism of filling events with anyone and everyone with deep pockets.

Non-sanctioned races can then over compensate for the expected levels of preparation in their athletes and provide plenty of support boats for the swim leg, relax the drafting rules on the bike leg (considering most ignore the rules anyway) and essentially host ‘fun’ events that are safe and relaxed.

People who want to compete, go the club route with TI.

As always I welcome comments and your thoughts too.

Related articles

Rosses Point Olympic Triathlon 25th May

This is a sculpture in Rosses Point, County Sl...
This is a sculpture in Rosses Point, County Sligo Ireland, for people lost at sea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2012 was my first year racing the Rosses Point Olympic triathlon which was back on the race calendar after a couple of seasons where the young (2008) Sligo Triathlon Club held Sprint & Olympic races to reestablish themselves after years of lying in the shadow of the legendary ‘Metalman’. At the time I remarked how wonderfully organised the event was and that I hoped the club would see this as a National Series race in the coming years. It definitely had the potential to be a great NS race.

My wife is from Rosses Point so this area is home from home for me.

Roll on 2013 and Sligo Triathlon Club are hosting  a National Series Olympic Race at ‘the Point’.

We drove up from Galway on Friday evening with the kids (being minded by Aunty Sinead) all excited about seeing their cousins and counting the number of ‘sleep-overs’ they would have. I hung a few Amphibian King banners on the balcony at the house and enjoyed a bit of banter on Twitter with @sligo_tri_club :

FireShot Screen Capture #113 - 'Twitter _ Interactions' - twitter_com_i_connect

There was to be a reasonable crowd at the event with 220 individual entries and 45 relay teams. That’s a huge number of teams (and until just now I didn’t think of the skew that this would place on results) and a big indicator in the number of people coming into our sport recently.

With the race due to start at 1pm my/our (as Edel is racing too) race morning preparations were a little bit out of sorts. The late start is on account of the tides. So up early, as usual, breakfast and then lay out the gear. Not much for an Olympic race, trisuit, wetsuit, goggles, runners, bike, helmet and bike shoes. Race-number and goodie bags I picked up at registration on the morning of the race so all sorted and ready to go.

IMG-20130525-01020

Edel dropped the kids up while I checked over the bikes & packed the gear away. We spun up the prom to transition and had a coffee at ‘Hale & Hearty’ where we bumped into a few familiar faces and make introductions to the Boards / Twitter crew. Dropping off the gear bag with friends we went out the course for a little bit of a warmup on the bike and to test the wind direction as its a big player in events around here.

Once back in transition, rack the bikes, lay out the shoes, place the helmet, elastic the bike shoes in place (need more elastics, almost out of my/our stock). I left arm warmers over the tri bars, if I needed them they were there, if not they could stay on the bars. Wetsuit on, Bodyglide and then possibly one of the most entertaining and relaxed Race Briefing I’ve ever attended!! 🙂

The swim was to be the same as usual, starting at the 2nd beach and swimming out, along the shore and back into the slip on the 1st beach. There was no warmup swim on account of safety, the water is cold, but it was an ‘in-water’ start at knee / waist depth. We were told it’s a shortened 1200m swim, but looking out at it (and having swam the course so many times last summer) it looked like it was more a middle distance swim.

2013_Oly_SwimRouteAnyhow, I was racing this sans watch so I had no indication of time as we all headed for the start line. Right down the beach and lots of people chatting about the beach run and the dreaded ramps to come later in the day. For now it was time to fill the suit, wash the face and neck with cold water and wait for the hooter.

Quick hug and kiss for Mrs and 5,4,3,2..1 off we go!!

Straight out to the first buoy. Bloody hell this water is cold!! Brrr!! Rounding the first buoy in the middle of a bunch there were a few stray arms and legs but I found clean water to the left and I sighted a line straight to the next buoy using the Yacht Club as a land mark I could quickly spot the buoy when sighting. I’m not the best swimmer in the world, but I make up for it by swimming straight! I hate drafting as where I am is usually Z-Swimmers weaving back and forth and I’d rather trust myself (and blame myself when it goes wrong)

Conditions were into a headwind, little bit of chop, some found it tough, I liked it.

Nice steady rhythm from me but as I passed buoy Nr.2 my hamstrings went PING! like guitar strings. It must be the cold because I’m not a big kicker. It was so bad, I rolled onto my back and looked for a kayak thinking this is bad 😦

A deep breath and I rolled front again, stretched out straight in the water and left my legs trailing behind. Mind over matter I ‘thought’ the cramps out of my legs by willing them to relax as I pull stroked my way back through the group that passed me whilst I floundered.

Around the last buoy and into the shallow water, seemed to be a bit of a current pushing back down the course as I needed a couple of adjustments on the way in and this would explain the swim times on the course if we were swimming into a current.

With no idea of my times, I was racing to see where I was in transition.

Disappointingly it was quite sparse (as usual) but I thought I had swam much better than normal and hoped for a few other bikes in there. Hey, ho, I’d just have more fun catching people on the bike 🙂

2013_OlyBikeRoute

As bike courses go, this is a testing little number. Simple enough, 3 loops and back into Transition. But it often looks easy on paper.

T1 was sharpish, wetsuit off, helmet on, push button on Polar power pedals, ‘Start’ on head unit, de-rack and away! (NB rear mounted bottle cage is a great bike hanger). The mounting line was a bit cluttered so around the outside and run on for 3-4 meters, flying mount and onto the shoes. One lad stuttered and started and fapped about in front of me trying to get his feet into shoes near taking me off the bike with his meandering across the road.

Transition bike tip – get up to speed and then put the feet into the shoes once you’re rolling.

Pushing down the prom there was a headwind which hit as you come around by Austies threatening unsteady front wheels then push out to Cregg where the left turn brings you up and around the rolling bit with technical turns. You really need to time your charges up the hills to get the best of the momentum then back down to the main road turning right at a well marshalled junction to hammer it all the way back to the turnabout at the top of the prom.

X3 times around the loop and then drop back into transition for a swiftish change to running shoes.

Apart from obvious drafting on the bike again (are people really that ignorant of the rules and etiquette?) one person I passed insisted on surging back up the inside of me to argue about me pulling in front of him (having completed the passing manoeuver). I advised him to cop himself on, read the rules and stop drafting off me to which he charged up the inside of the next person (after tucking his number over his belt).

T2 fairly sharpish, rack, helmet off shoes on. Feet and shoes were damp from the rain that had started so I struggled to get the feet in at first (I find talc just clumps, so need some other approach). Out of T2 and left to the ramp, down the slope and onto the beach.

2013_Oly_RunRoute

Running up the beach we had to cross the stream at 14th which on a summer day would be lovely, but not today. Cold water into the shoes, thankfully, straight back out due to the holes in the bottom of the Saucony Fastwitch 6. Up to the cone where Sheila corrected me about my number call out and off in pursuit of my wife.

This is not a nice run route. The ramp up and down to the beach is an awful steep ramp putting quite a bit of pressure on the calves so I speed walked up and ran over the top. Up to the village green and around the finish area I was into the middle of the fist 4k loop when I caught up to Edel. As this was the first time I’d managed to catch her in a race having her tell me to race on and not stop with her was weird.

Leaving her to her own race, it felt strange dropping my Mrs. but I ran on to the 2nd loop. Down the ramp again across the beach and back, the day was getting miserable. Rounding the finish area again all that was left was the 1k to transition and back to the finish line where a welcome Kinetica Protein bottle, banana and more yummy Good4U sprinkles.

Waiting for Edel to appear, shouting her on to the finish it was my chance to welcome her home for a change.

Something tells me I’ll have a tougher battle the next time though!

Great day out. Another cracking race organisation by Sligo Triathlon Club. The post race set up with cake, curry and showers is something else (I missed this as we went back to the house for warmup). Well done to all the organisers and sponsors on a great spread of food and prizes and I’ll definitely be there for cake next year!!

Any problem areas? The only criticism (constructive) is the run route, it’s a tough challenging route that’s easy to manage from a logistics point of view, but very tricky for runners to find and maintain a rhythm. Also the ramp is slippy for descents and awkward to traffic manage.

Otherwise “fandabbydosey!!”

Rosses Point Olympic 2013

Swim: 00:37:20

T1: 00:01:10

Bike: 01:15:18

T2: 00:01:20

Run: 00:48:42

Overall :02:43:49 (14th in Cat)

 

Back again in August for the Sprint distance race.

 

 

Rosses Point Olympic Triathlon 25th May

This is a sculpture in Rosses Point, County Sl...
This is a sculpture in Rosses Point, County Sligo Ireland, for people lost at sea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2012 was my first year racing the Rosses Point Olympic triathlon which was back on the race calendar after a couple of seasons where the young (2008) Sligo Triathlon Club held Sprint & Olympic races to reestablish themselves after years of lying in the shadow of the legendary ‘Metalman’. At the time I remarked how wonderfully organised the event was and that I hoped the club would see this as a National Series race in the coming years. It definitely had the potential to be a great NS race.

My wife is from Rosses Point so this area is home from home for me.

Roll on 2013 and Sligo Triathlon Club are hosting  a National Series Olympic Race at ‘the Point’.

We drove up from Galway on Friday evening with the kids (being minded by Aunty Sinead) all excited about seeing their cousins and counting the number of ‘sleep-overs’ they would have. I hung a few Amphibian King banners on the balcony at the house and enjoyed a bit of banter on Twitter with @sligo_tri_club :

FireShot Screen Capture #113 - 'Twitter _ Interactions' - twitter_com_i_connect

There was to be a reasonable crowd at the event with 220 individual entries and 45 relay teams. That’s a huge number of teams (and until just now I didn’t think of the skew that this would place on results) and a big indicator in the number of people coming into our sport recently.

With the race due to start at 1pm my/our (as Edel is racing too) race morning preparations were a little bit out of sorts. The late start is on account of the tides. So up early, as usual, breakfast and then lay out the gear. Not much for an Olympic race, trisuit, wetsuit, goggles, runners, bike, helmet and bike shoes. Race-number and goodie bags I picked up at registration on the morning of the race so all sorted and ready to go.

IMG-20130525-01020

Edel dropped the kids up while I checked over the bikes & packed the gear away. We spun up the prom to transition and had a coffee at ‘Hale & Hearty’ where we bumped into a few familiar faces and make introductions to the Boards / Twitter crew. Dropping off the gear bag with friends we went out the course for a little bit of a warmup on the bike and to test the wind direction as its a big player in events around here.

Once back in transition, rack the bikes, lay out the shoes, place the helmet, elastic the bike shoes in place (need more elastics, almost out of my/our stock). I left arm warmers over the tri bars, if I needed them they were there, if not they could stay on the bars. Wetsuit on, Bodyglide and then possibly one of the most entertaining and relaxed Race Briefing I’ve ever attended!! 🙂

The swim was to be the same as usual, starting at the 2nd beach and swimming out, along the shore and back into the slip on the 1st beach. There was no warmup swim on account of safety, the water is cold, but it was an ‘in-water’ start at knee / waist depth. We were told it’s a shortened 1200m swim, but looking out at it (and having swam the course so many times last summer) it looked like it was more a middle distance swim.

2013_Oly_SwimRouteAnyhow, I was racing this sans watch so I had no indication of time as we all headed for the start line. Right down the beach and lots of people chatting about the beach run and the dreaded ramps to come later in the day. For now it was time to fill the suit, wash the face and neck with cold water and wait for the hooter.

Quick hug and kiss for Mrs and 5,4,3,2..1 off we go!!

Straight out to the first buoy. Bloody hell this water is cold!! Brrr!! Rounding the first buoy in the middle of a bunch there were a few stray arms and legs but I found clean water to the left and I sighted a line straight to the next buoy using the Yacht Club as a land mark I could quickly spot the buoy when sighting. I’m not the best swimmer in the world, but I make up for it by swimming straight! I hate drafting as where I am is usually Z-Swimmers weaving back and forth and I’d rather trust myself (and blame myself when it goes wrong)

Conditions were into a headwind, little bit of chop, some found it tough, I liked it.

Nice steady rhythm from me but as I passed buoy Nr.2 my hamstrings went PING! like guitar strings. It must be the cold because I’m not a big kicker. It was so bad, I rolled onto my back and looked for a kayak thinking this is bad 😦

A deep breath and I rolled front again, stretched out straight in the water and left my legs trailing behind. Mind over matter I ‘thought’ the cramps out of my legs by willing them to relax as I pull stroked my way back through the group that passed me whilst I floundered.

Around the last buoy and into the shallow water, seemed to be a bit of a current pushing back down the course as I needed a couple of adjustments on the way in and this would explain the swim times on the course if we were swimming into a current.

With no idea of my times, I was racing to see where I was in transition.

Disappointingly it was quite sparse (as usual) but I thought I had swam much better than normal and hoped for a few other bikes in there. Hey, ho, I’d just have more fun catching people on the bike 🙂

2013_OlyBikeRoute

As bike courses go, this is a testing little number. Simple enough, 3 loops and back into Transition. But it often looks easy on paper.

T1 was sharpish, wetsuit off, helmet on, push button on Polar power pedals, ‘Start’ on head unit, de-rack and away! (NB rear mounted bottle cage is a great bike hanger). The mounting line was a bit cluttered so around the outside and run on for 3-4 meters, flying mount and onto the shoes. One lad stuttered and started and fapped about in front of me trying to get his feet into shoes near taking me off the bike with his meandering across the road.

Transition bike tip – get up to speed and then put the feet into the shoes once you’re rolling.

Pushing down the prom there was a headwind which hit as you come around by Austies threatening unsteady front wheels then push out to Cregg where the left turn brings you up and around the rolling bit with technical turns. You really need to time your charges up the hills to get the best of the momentum then back down to the main road turning right at a well marshalled junction to hammer it all the way back to the turnabout at the top of the prom.

X3 times around the loop and then drop back into transition for a swiftish change to running shoes.

Apart from obvious drafting on the bike again (are people really that ignorant of the rules and etiquette?) one person I passed insisted on surging back up the inside of me to argue about me pulling in front of him (having completed the passing manoeuver). I advised him to cop himself on, read the rules and stop drafting off me to which he charged up the inside of the next person (after tucking his number over his belt).

T2 fairly sharpish, rack, helmet off shoes on. Feet and shoes were damp from the rain that had started so I struggled to get the feet in at first (I find talc just clumps, so need some other approach). Out of T2 and left to the ramp, down the slope and onto the beach.

2013_Oly_RunRoute

Running up the beach we had to cross the stream at 14th which on a summer day would be lovely, but not today. Cold water into the shoes, thankfully, straight back out due to the holes in the bottom of the Saucony Fastwitch 6. Up to the cone where Sheila corrected me about my number call out and off in pursuit of my wife.

This is not a nice run route. The ramp up and down to the beach is an awful steep ramp putting quite a bit of pressure on the calves so I speed walked up and ran over the top. Up to the village green and around the finish area I was into the middle of the fist 4k loop when I caught up to Edel. As this was the first time I’d managed to catch her in a race having her tell me to race on and not stop with her was weird.

Leaving her to her own race, it felt strange dropping my Mrs. but I ran on to the 2nd loop. Down the ramp again across the beach and back, the day was getting miserable. Rounding the finish area again all that was left was the 1k to transition and back to the finish line where a welcome Kinetica Protein bottle, banana and more yummy Good4U sprinkles.

Waiting for Edel to appear, shouting her on to the finish it was my chance to welcome her home for a change.

Something tells me I’ll have a tougher battle the next time though!

Great day out. Another cracking race organisation by Sligo Triathlon Club. The post race set up with cake, curry and showers is something else (I missed this as we went back to the house for warmup). Well done to all the organisers and sponsors on a great spread of food and prizes and I’ll definitely be there for cake next year!!

Any problem areas? The only criticism (constructive) is the run route, it’s a tough challenging route that’s easy to manage from a logistics point of view, but very tricky for runners to find and maintain a rhythm. Also the ramp is slippy for descents and awkward to traffic manage.

Otherwise “fandabbydosey!!”

Rosses Point Olympic 2013

Swim: 00:37:20

T1: 00:01:10

Bike: 01:15:18

T2: 00:01:20

Run: 00:48:42

Overall :02:43:49 (14th in Cat)

 

Back again in August for the Sprint distance race.

 

 

Tri an Mhí CXIII – Irish middle distance National Championships

CXIII_2013_posterThere has been a ton of discussion about this race, most of it surrounding contingency plans for when, in the event of a curtailed or cancelled swim, what was going to be the likely format. Lots of people wondered about the water temperature.

Bottom line, we all had the training done (or should have!) and we were all there to race the conditions that were thrown at us on the day.

I’ve written previously about the rules under which decisions are made on race conditions, emphasis on the swim in particular.

This is my race report, not a rant, though I will point out a few negatives I was not happy about and points likely to make me think twice about next year.

Continue reading “Tri an Mhí CXIII – Irish middle distance National Championships”