By Anna Rowan.
The club championship points had been a talking point of many the recent T3 training sessions. The girls being x points and the boys being y. But who was counting? Everyone was. The pressure to preform was on: The plans to party at electric picnic were off. The main contenders began to consider: Will I do Mourne or Dunmore? What will that mean for my points? Who else is racing, and where?
Fifteen T3ers headed up to Mourne as the T3 club event. The sunny morning evoked a calmness and/or relief amongst the triathletes. Registration was very quick, transition was straightforward and everyone seemed very relaxed.
Pre-race, Ed C modeled his new headgear from the goodie bag while serving up fig rolls to all T3ers. John looked after Mark’s medical needs while Dr Eddie wandered around transition chatting to fellow nordies as if he was a spectator. Zoe gave him a gentle reminder that he was actually there to race so he hastily donned his wetsuit. Everyone was happy.
T3 group photo – The president had that in hand too and produced the camera. The TI photographer took the opportunity to take a snap of an exceptionally fit looking T3 team. Cahir amused Eddie when he got his guns out while Tesco Dave was smugly thinking to himself – keep trying!
Laura and Aideen opted for their own ‘world championship qualifier’ photo instead and a very nice photo it was too.
The lake was choppy but warm as a bath. In the midst of everyone settling into the water, the horn suddenly blasted and we were off. It had been decided to merge all 342 racers into one wave. The choppy and crowded water seemed to initially unnerve many of the swimmers until they settled into the swim.
Zoe got caught in a bit of a fracas. She called a kayak to her rescue then had a change of mind. She pushed the kayak away, kicked hard and completed a 26 minute swim time – Go Zo.
Cahir got a blow to the head (was that you Ben?) and opted out. When no kayaks responded to his call for “help” he remembered that Kevin was not racing so the T3 prize might be his. The Avenger, dried his tears, replaced his goggles and battled towards buoy 1. He fancied his chances and they paid off for him beautifully.
Ironman Ian was not going to call any Kayaks to his recuse. He kept the mayhem at bay by shoving any swimmer who came to close off him – Peter would be proud Ian.
First person out of the water was Dr Eddie at 24:25. Nineteen seconds later Aideen was closing in on him.
Although “Chaos” and “Carnage” were how ‘world champion qualifier’ Aideen Allen, and ‘half ironman finisher’ Mark Foran, described the swim, the T3ers did very well.
Transition times highlighted the split between the ‘had’ and the ‘had nots’: Those who had read Ed C’s Tips and those who had not.
Those who had included:
- Ed C (1:39): you certainly practice what you preach
- Cahir (1:48): nearly forget to take his wetsuit off and did forget to say hi to Aideen.
- Tesco Dave (1:52): Blink and you’d miss him
Those who had not (time omitted for sensitivity)included:
- Laura: practice closing your new helmet before the world championships. (Take note Zoe and Anna).
- Ian: have your cup of tea after the race.
- Anna: it does not matter what socks match your pink runners best.
Rolling hills and strong winds resulted in an exciting and challenging race. Two cyclists got a bit carried away on the first steep downhill and took each other out of the race (no T3ers involved).
Dave was very close behind Dara and fancied his chances. He knew another victory over Ben was in the bag and set off in pursuit of Dara.
The last 2K downhill on the main road was bliss. The wind was on our backs and the road condition was perfect.
Finally, the vertical climb into the park could have been too much for Mark’s hip but he had been sorted out by John so no worries there.
Cahir was first in from the bike just about managing to hold off Ed C. Next in was John – what a brilliant cycle for you boys. Laura ripped up the road leaving the remaining boys for dust [Yes Ben that was Laura saying hello as she zoomed by you]. A new helmet and a new PB for Laura (1:16) – fantastic stuff.
If the public cars where back on the road during your bike do not despair! Zoe and Anna, your cone helmets are ordered and you should have them for the next brick session.
Dara could barely keep the smile off his face when he saw Dave obediently heading for the naughty corner. Dave thought he had done what it took to shake Dara and had also aspired to catching Laura. But fair play to Dave, he took his two minute penalty on the chin (take note Jonathon) and although he never caught Laura, he did manage to wipe the smile off Dara’s face at the finish line!
Everyone talks about the beautiful forest run. It could be almost the perfect triathlon run except the double dogleg. Doug’s six-week no-carb diet made little difference to the pain it bore not to mention the toll it paid on Aideen’s calf.
The water station at the bottom provided the perfect excuse for many racers to take a breather and some (wearing pink runners) were even spotted walking, but not Ironman Ian. Still fully charged after his cup of tea, he took three strides and was up the top of the dogleg – well done Ian. Chuck decided not to let the dogleg get the better of him. Precious seconds lost would leave him open to endless ridicule from Gary. He charged that dreaded dogleg (twice) just for you Gary!
Mr President ran an excellent race and waited at the finish line offering hugs to those who needed it. Dara needed that hug when the photo finish showed that Dave had indeed just pipped him at the post and Laura needed a hug just ‘cus!
So it was just as well the Avenger dried those tears as he stormed over the finish line to be the first T3er home in an amazing 2hrs and 24 minutes. Well done Cahir. He was followed by Ed C and Tesco Dave.
Most T3ers described Mourne as a great race and a tough race.
With the crowded choppy water, the windy and hilly bike, and the double dogleg, world champion qualifier Laura Shilling suggested to an official that the race could be renamed Monstrous Mourne! He scoffed at the idea saying he hoped to make the race harder next year. He may have had a point to be fair, for triathletes like Tesco Dave it was not hard enough. He skipped off afterwards to see if anyone needed wardrobes or anything else moved – no wonder he is now a top male athlete in the Club Championships – great race Dave.
Well done everyone – it was a fantastic day and a great turnout for the evening celebrations in Donnybrook – good to see Barry too.
So how are the points looking now on the leaderboard?
Girls 4th with 2735.88 points
Boys 16th with 2872.83 points
But do not despair boys, the season is not over yet!