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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Eireman in August 09

They had to cancel the swim due to safety issues due to strong winds and waves. Any other days it was calm (see photo below), it was left over part of a hurricane system from america area.

This left it as a duathlon, slightly longer then normal ones with the 112 miles (180km) cycle and a marathon to finish with.

They started us about 40 minutes later than planned swim start (so I was ahead of schedule) with 30 seconds intervals to spread us out on the cycle. The other distances had to do a run first before their cycle. The cycle was 4 loops on a closed section of the motorway (N11 J21 to J24), the road surface was the best I have ever cycled on, smooth with no potholes. However there where quite a few undulations.
Going northbound it was regularly going over 30 mph and cruising at over 20mph. There was a good picnic stop, I assume that what the P sign in Ireland means, I was stocking up on gels, drinks and bananas there.

The southbound section of the loop had more of the inclines and was also in to the headwind sometimes strong wind and a bit of rain and the odd bit of hail but was ok temperature wise. When you are going up an incline on aerobars and only doing 8mph you know its bad. With every pedal stroke I was inching my way to the finish (a joke for any locals or use google maps). I completed the 4 loops of this and back to the transition in a bit under 8 hours. My legs where already feeling sore from the inclines and I had to run a marathon.

I changed in to my running gear keeping just 3 layers on as I did not want to get cold out on the run in the wind. The run was 2 laps with a few miles through a woods and then to Tesco's in Gorey and back. Seems easy bit they seemed to take a route that found every hill in the area. I got to about 12 miles and then the heavy rain started, I made it back to transition and put my cycle waterproof on and went out for the final lap.

I was using the run/walk method which I got the furthest in an IM before my legs went, this was about 15 miles where I had no strength to run up inclines. So I had walk the many inclines and only run the "flat" and downhills. A few miles after this I was overtaken by another competitor who said I was the last person now. Quiting was not an option as I was running for charity (plug for just giving page) , Tractors don't quit they just keep going on at a slow pace!!

Once I was on the country lanes I was joined by the race organiser on a bike and flanked by two first aid vehicles.I was having a good chat to him about the event the changes they had to make earlier in the morning. When we got to the woods section it was quite dark but he had a torch with him that we had to use by this time running was out of the question I was just walking to the end. I made it to then end when there was still some spectators to cheer me over the line and quite a few first aiders.

I did the run in just over 6 hours with a total of over 14 hours which would have been on target if added my predicted swim time. I finished in the top 50 pity there was only 50 finishers which there was 63 entered plus a few relay teams.

There was no medals but I was glad of the space blanket thing.I must have been in a bad way as they took me and all my stuff back to my hotel (about 100 meters away) in a jeep and put it in my car before I attempted the 3 flights of stairs sideways style. I wasn't that hungry just some light snacks and drink, I made up for this in the following days with Irish breakfast, chips, curry chips a local thing up in Co. Roscommon. I even put on 1 lb and 1% body fat this week!! At least I have a half marathon next sunday.

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