Heading down to Athlone I was really looking forward to my first Olympic triathlon of the season,Id raced well in the Valentia and TriAthy sprints and was relishing the move up in distance.This being the National Championship Id studied the start list and decided with Paul Carroll and Trevor Woods in my age group along with my poor swim that for this season a 3rd place age group finish would be a realistic target today.Arrived in Athlone and informed at registration that because of the strong currents the Swim had been shortened to just under 1k,not a problem for me as its my weakest discipline and I was only going to benefit from that decision.
Because of my Chip malfunctioning all times bar my finish time are approx.
The strong current meant the swim leg would be over in a flash so as soon as we got the go ahead to enter the water I made sure to get to the front of the wave ready to go.The claxton went and off we go,seemed like no time at all until I could see the swim finish pontoon coming up quick,so quick was it that my kids on the bank jogging back from the swim start almost missed us finishing (God I wish every swim was like that).Out of the water across the pontoon and into T1.Delighted with the swim.
Approximate time 10mins 30secs.
Its a long run from the swim exit to the bike area which suits me and I pass half a dozen guys getting to my bike,off with the wetsuit,helmet on and run out with the bike no probs and happy with transition.
Approximate time 2mins 30secs.
Out of transition and onto the bike,a few speed ramps to watch out for but no probs getting out of town and onto the bike course proper.As soon as I leave Athlone im met with a headwind and am fighting this all the way out to the 20km turnaround point.Pass through the 10km point and although the headwind makes even the small hills tough im feeling really good and decide to push on.Get to the 20km point still feeling strong,up the gears and go hard all the way back to Athlone.Into Athlone over the speed ramps under the little white bridge and dismount no probs. Throughout the cycle im passing other competitors,feeling great and am delighted with the progess im making on the bike.
Approximate time 59mins 30secs.
Another long run to rack the bike,no probs here and bike racked,helmet off,runners on and out of T2.
Approximate time 1min 30secs.
Onto the run,feeling good and although there are loads of competitors on the course the roads are just about wide enough for me to be able to make steady progress and I run strong for the first 7km then start to tire(paying the penalty for missing sessions with Rathfarnham AC) but I know im having a great race and although suffering I keep pushing to the end.Over the finish line legs tired and sore but really happy with my overall performance.
Approximate time 39mins.
Finish Time 1hr 53min 03sec
Overall placing 17th
Age Group placing 3rd