Wicklow Adventure Race-26th April 2014
My first ever adventure race and I picked a bloody hard one to start off with, a 73 kilometer adventure race in Glendalough.
I wasn’t really sure what way it was going to go for me. I knew I wouldn’t do terrible but at the same time I knew I wasn’t in too bad a shape. At Christmas time I wouldn’t have even dreamt of doing it, that and I was carrying an extra 2 stone of weight.
I drove up early Friday afternoon to get my things together and to sign on. When I arrived I took a look around transition and the start line.
Saturday morning came and I completed the Gotri pre race ritual of a light 20 minute jog before breakfast.
The first run went pretty well until the descent on spink mountain where 6 or 7 passed me (my descending down the hills isn’t too great yet).
The one thing I was bricking all week leading up to WAR was the kayak stage. I’m not the best when it comes to water, Gerry O Brien and Brendan Cross could tell you that. On the day I was fortunate because I was paired with a lad that had experience on the kayak. By the time we got off the kayak (Stage 3) my fingers and toes were numb and I can safely say that if I wasn’t part of GoTri that I would have pulled up at this stage and called it a day. The day was horrible, socks soaking wet and close to hypothermia but I ploughed on.
The one thing that I was delighted with was that I didn’t get a puncture because my pump blew off the bike half way through the final bike stage. I swore to myself that if I got one close to the end that the bike was going into the ditch and I was running the rest of the way. Luckily enough I didn’t get one.
I suppose it’s important to say that I’m happy with the overall result of 19th place in a time of 4hours 50minutes. I know with another bit of work on the bike that I can do even better. My big goal isn’t until Killarney in October but this definitely was a massive step in achieving a good place in Killarney.
The one thing that really struck me in Glendalough was that every competitor was nice, friendly and encouraging you every step of the way. At the end of the race my bike was in transition, a 3km trek up the road from the finishing area and some randomer gave me a lift back up to collect my bike.
If it wasn’t for the help of Paul Tierney, Stephan and my GoTri team mates I wouldn’t have even completed the first stage of the race. The Monday murder sessions, running sessions and kayaking really did help me to the finish line. Now all roads lead to Dingle in June.