The last two weeks were all about the lead up to yesterday’s Challenge Galway Triathlon. I would be racing 180km for the first time ever. I reckon the longest biking section in any adventure race is about 55km and apart from a few long leisurely 150km cycles I have never thought of racing this distance. So what better way to check out the distance than to do it. Last Sunday Rachel Nolan and her friend Linda O Connor were heading from Clare to Galway passing part of the route I would do this Sunday. I had promised to lend a hand so myself and David hit off Sunday in the heaviest rain of the summer and crazy wind. 75km gruelling kilometres later we met the ladies and cruised another 100 kilometres home. They have since finished 2100 kilometres in seven days, an unbelievable accomplishment. Maybe some day I’ll try the same.
The week since has been mostly taken up with work and a little training. I’m fully back to painless running which is class.
Biking Challenge Galway.
It all started at 6am yesterday. Myself, Fergal the swimmer and John the runner made up Team Club Vitae for the relay of an Ironman distance race. We are all strong in our fields (even though my biking is still in need of work). I would of been most comfortable running but this race was after all called Challenge Galway.
FERGAL completed the 3.8km swim in 55 minutes and I was away on the bike. It was never going to be as wet or windy as last weekend, however, 125 kilometres later I was feeling a little less confident. It rained, the mist gathered, the roads were slippy and the wind was increasing strength by the minute. The only thing strangely enough that I enjoyed were the hills! Yes, I’m an adventure racer and hills are my friend. The flat road sections and even downhill meant alot of tri bar cycling and this was taking its tole. I was maintaining a good average until around half way. A few gels, a scare when a bus decided to disobey a police man by pulling out on front of me, and I was away again. The 40 kilometres post 125km were good with a tail wind and even though I was struggling I knew I would get there. This relay racing is different in so many ways, most of all not wanting to let down your team mates. I arrived into transition in Galway 6 hours and five minutes on the clock, gave my chip to John and off he went. As always Emma and my folks were there to cheer me home, my best fans and their faces bring a smile to me no matter how crappy I feel. Three hours forty one minutes later Joh arrived and we all ran across the line together, finishing 7th in the relay. Not bad in a race of such calibre. My introduction to the ironman complete.