Joey Hannon : Race Report
All week I had been contemplating switching back to the Sprint race as I had only done a Try-a-tri before, but I wanted to get the Olympic distance under my belt before HOTW and Joey was perfect as it was a pool swim.
Morning of the race, I had my porridge and headed over to UL to rack my bike. The nerves were creeping in, but thankfully I bumped into Roisin in the car park, so we walked up together and that calmed the nerves. Having a 3 hr wait for my race was a pain as I just wanted to get on with it, but I decided to go over to my parent’s house to relax until 10. I spent the 2 hrs trying to find airport transfers for their upcoming holiday, very frustrating when they can’t make a decision between them, but in hindsight, it completely took my mind off the race.
For the swim I had been advised by people at the club to put in a time of about 2 mins better than what I had hoped to do it in, but I didn’t want any pressure so I added 2 mins and paid for it. I kept getting stuck behind a person that wanted to breaststroke half the length and then front crawl for the rest. The marshal’s would let me through, but then they would draft off me and I was being told to let them through which meant that I had to breaststroke a few times for each length. I got out of the pool in 39 mins, which was slow, but I was completely fresh for the bike.
The bike mount was tough on the hill and my pump went flying when I got on, no time to pick it up, just prayed I didn’t get a puncture! I felt really good on the bike and slowly started to pick people off out on the course. On the way back I couldn’t believe that Rory and the Elites were already near the turn-around point on the course…they must have started 45mins after me!! The wind was very light which was great so I felt good coming back into UL. I decided that the run back to transition was very long so I’d get out of the shoes on the bike. I opened the straps on my right foot and when I went to take my foot out of the shoe, I accidently unclipped and I thought, sod this!! I put the shoe back on and just ran back into transition. At this point I was satisfied with my time and felt good for the run.
About 500m into the run I started to feel nauseous, but thought it would pass once I settled into the run. By the time I got to the 1k mark I was suffering badly, the thought of 9k more was torture. When I slowed my pace right down I didn’t feel too bad, so I decided to just plod my way round the course and get it done. Laurence and Sue were great out on the course, where they were positioned, you passed them a few times on each lap…at first when Laurence was shouting at me, telling me I looked too comfortable, I wanted to go back and stick his flag where the sun doesn’t shine [Symbol], but it was great to see friendly faces and get some great encouragement. Coming back to the 5k turn was great, there was a bunch of Go-Triers near the finish line and they were LOUD!! Once I got to the 6k point I had to walk, I didn’t feel well. For the next 3k, I jogged for a few hundred metres, walked for 20 seconds, then went again. It was a bad end to the race considering I felt so good coming into T2.
All in all it was a great day. The distance has been done, so now that will give me the confidence for HOTW. As I had hoped, I have learned loads from the race and now have 2 months to get things sorted before Kilkee. It was great racing as part of a team and the encouragement from everyone was class. Roll on Lough Cutra!