Monday 2 August 2010

Camlough/Crooked Lake Triathlon 5th June 2010

Camlough/Crooked Lake Triathlon

5th June 2010

Camlough is my nearest venue for open water swimming, I had been down a couple of times with my coach, trying out my new wetsuit, and just generally getting used to swimming open water. I also had been around the course twice on the bike prior to the race, I made sure I knew the bike course well as I planned to be out of the water 1st and needed to know where I was going.

I knew Conor Murphy was going to be my biggest competition as he is a strong all rounder, so the tactics of this race was go out hard to try and get as much of a head start as I could and then let him chase me the whole way.

The swim went to plan I went out hard and soon realised I had created a bit of a lead, I just kept the pace up and tried to get away, was out of the water first, didn’t even bother to look back and see where anyone was, just ran and ran, transition was huge and I was at the far end. I heard my dad shout “8.30” so I knew nobody else was going to be on my tail at this point. The next big challenge was getting my wetsuit off, my new helix wetsuit was awful to get off quickly but thanks to a whole bottle of baby oil and half a tub of Vaseline it came off better than usual. The only draw back with so much lube was that once I went to get my bike shoes on, (still not attached to the bike) all that lube that was on my wetsuit was now on my hands. What made it worse was that I still used cycling shoes so trying to fasten three straps per shoe with extremely slippy hands was a discipline in itself.

The bike course is very hilly especially at the start, so I tried to use the advantage of being a good climber and also being on a road bike to get a bigger gap on the rest of the field. I really put everything into the cycle I knew Conor was nifty on the bike and I was constantly checking to see if he was gaining, but I never seen him.

I managed to make it into T2 still in first place. Transition was massive so I had a long run with the bike which was inconvenient, as I racked my bike I heard the commentator announce that Conor was into T2, I knew the race was now on!

The run course was just as bad as the bike course as soon as you’re out of transition your hit a hill, and not a very pleasant hill.

Part of the course you have to take a sharp left so I seen Conor, coming up fast and he looked like he was a man on a mission, so I tried to lift it to stay away. He finally came up on my shoulder and I wasn’t going to give up without a fight.

I tried to stay with him and did for a short period but, I had put far too much into the bike and I was now paying for it, so he went past with about 2km to go. It wasn’t over, I had no idea how close 3rd place was so I just gave everything just to hold onto second. I crossed the line and still had plenty of distance between 3rd but I wasn’t to know that at the time.

I love the fact that with an open water swim tri, u can cool off in the water afterwards – very refreshing! :)

All in all really pleased with this race, and happy that I am moving up the podium, just one more step to go!!! :)

Sunday 1 August 2010

Fingal Triathlon 16th May 2010

Fingal Triathlon.

16th May 2010

First race of the season!

It was part of at Triathlon Junior weekend; The Saturday consisted of a talent identification day, where the members of the squad had to renew their times to get back on the squad and a chance for new people to get on the squad.

On the Sunday the current members of the squad participated in the Fingal Triathlon, and aquathon.

This meant that a wee weekend in Dublin was required.

As this was the first race of the season and only my second ever triathlon, it was still all very new to me and I was constantly learning.

Thankfully we had all been giving Irish trisuits, which meant that it would cut down time in transition, unlike my first triathlon when I wore Speedo jammers, and pulled on a cycling t-shirt, which lets just say didn’t exactly give me the fast T1 split of the day. J

This triathlon was a pool swim (50m pool), which I didn’t mind because I hadn’t done many open water swims and also didn’t have my own wetsuit, so that was a plus.

I was in the fastest lane of the fastest wave, with the rest of the Irish Juniors and some top class Triathletes, unknown to us at the time this lane included the top 3 men and top lady.

The swim was good, very comfortable I was in control at the front, setting the pace and feeling strong, I was passed with 150meters to go by a fellow junior athlete, this did not worry my, so I just tucked on his heels which give me a wee bit of a rest at the end of the swim which let me set my self up for the rest of the race.

I was 1st out of T1 – although not supper fast as I was yet to master the skill of having my shoes attached to my bike.

The bike leg was good, not brilliant, but still promising, it was an out and back bike course, which I had travelled in the car the night before so was confident on the route. I was passed by Bjorn Ludick very quickly and soon after Colin Bolger. I ended up going into T2 in 5th place and exited in 3rd.

My legs were very heavy coming off the bike but just ran in order to stay in position for top junior, at no point had I even realised I was in 3rd. The run was also an out and back route, but it felt like it went on forever, every marshal I meet I asked, “how much further to the turn around point” and every single one gave the same answer no matter were they were on the course; “just around the corner” I didn’t really mind this cause each time I asked I believed them and picked it up that little bit more.

I finished strong and was so happy I was 1st Junior, but it just kept getting better after I came across the line.

Chris Jones came over to congratulate me and as he shook my hand and said; “Well done Russell, good race - on that performance we have decided to bring you to the European Championships!” I couldn’t believe it, I had qualified for a major competition in my 2nd ever Triathlon! J

I also found out that I had finished 3rd overall all, but I don’t think it was possible to get to another level of happiness than what I was already at.

Soon after the results came out to confirm this and also that I had been clocked with the fastest run split, I couldn’t believe it, everything has came on so much in such a short period of time, and the best thing was I knew there was much more to come! J