Anna Crooks Flying high
This is only the second time I have raced Athy. I did the sprint last year as my first race of the season and to be honest I didn’t really enjoy it but after having a disappointing race at Joey Hannon I was looking forward to giving it another go.There were plenty of Go Tri team mates racing across the Olympic and Sprint courses so it was a good team atmosphere
Athy always attracts the top triathletes so I knew it was a good field and it would be a hard race. I am not too keen on ‘wave’ races. It makes it more of a time trial rather than a pure race. There were some big names in the wave ahead, so the mind set going into it was just go as hard as possible for as long as possible.
I lined up in the swim with Andree right next to me. We are used to racing each other by this stage so we always try and push each other. The up-steam part of the swim went ok, I think we pretty much swam stroke for stroke side by side. At the turn around buoy Andree went ahead though and built up a bit of a lead heading into transition. She had a really good swim.
T1 was fairly uneventful.I was just happy to find my bike. I could see Andree up ahead of me so I began to focus on catching up. I was actually fairly happy with my bike. I caught most of the faster swimmers but there were still plenty of strong bikers chasing behind me. I managed to hold them all off though until T2.
Wave races mean than you never really know where you stand in terms of overall position. The race numbers help but its still hard to work out. I thought heading into T2 that I was leading my wave.
So I set off on the run feeling good. Luckily the cross country course suits me. I got to 4K and no girls had past me on the return leg, which meant I was gaining on the wave ahead. Then they past me, about 2k ahead. Jennifer O Connell also past me coming back and she was in my wave, so I knew I wasn’t leading the wave. The turn around point seemed to take ages to reach and I was so happy to see it.
I was finding it tough now and on my return leg saw some good runners chasing behind me. I never thought I would catch Jennifer but as the 7K approached mark I could see her ahead of me. I took me until 8Km to catch her. It was then a case of mind over matter. I had to try and run as hard as possible as I wasn’t sure how far Rachel Clancy and Vanessa Fenton were ahead of me in Wave 1.
So a sprint finish with myself but i was delighted when I crossed the line. It was great to be cheered, and get chance to cheer on so many friend