Sunday, 18 December 2011

2011 year Review, 2012 plans

Ok so it's been a while since I did a blog post so said id make an effort before the year is out.

It's been a busy and progressive year and has gone about as well as I could've expected.
I had some basic goals heading in to the year, but overall was to complete the National Series and set a base line for improvement and see how I get on.

It was my first full season of triathlons, I completed my first Olympic Distance race and a few more, first near middle distance (1.5, 100, 10), along with a couple run races and first Duathlon and first marathon.
Who knew they'd all be so enjoyable and fuel my addiction even more eh?!

I managed to do 8 National
series races and though I started off around the 100th finisher, I managed to progress through the season to finish in top 30 in a couple races (CK & DCT).

That's perhaps what I'm happiest with, showing progress as the year went on and I got fitter and more experienced.
I also managed to avoid injuries, and transform my heel striking run technique to a near mid foot strike. This is an ongoing work in progress!

Looking at my training, I averaged around 8 hours a week, more in non race weeks (up to 12) and sometimes less in busy weeks.
I didn't have a specific plan, just did up a spreadsheet with basic swim or run or intervals or long session and that was it. I didn't use HR zones nor power.

I did manage to improve my swimming to be able to complete a full swim in front crawl, something I couldn't do at my first couple races!

Onto 2012...

So, where to go from here...

Well, I've learned I absolutely love triathlons, training and am very much addicted.
I've also learned I want to improve, be competitive and get faster.

So it's on to the next level.

So what is the next level and how do I get there?

I see the next level as breaking into top 10 at NS races, hopefully better. I know this will be hard, I see the same names for the last few years there and it'll be hard to make such a significant jump. But I'm going to try my best...

How is a combination of the following:
- dedicate more training hours
- structured training and tracked via Training Peaks
- coached training plan
- power meter for bike
- use proper HR zones
- planned A, B and C races
- consistency, probably key!

So I've applied the above over the last period.
I took 3 weeks off after DCT for September (bike slide cut foot).
Started back into prep then for 6 weeks, did the Dublin Marathon in middle of that and eased back running after that.
So back proper training about 8 weeks plus now.
Thankfully, I've noticed decent swim improvements and hope to continue this.

I've started training with a power meter on the bike. It really does bring effort to the next level in my opinion. I'm using a Computrainer as a trial, and looking to purchase the Garmin Vector in March hopefully. Alternative being a Powertap on race wheels but would prefer the Garmin solution if it's proven and accurate/consistent as can be used for all training and racing.
A solid will answer this for me and many others come March!

So I'm into Base 2 training now and things are going well.

I've my race calendar planned out and just making final decisions for next year.

So onto Xmas period where hopefully I don't eat too much treats and still get some training in.... ;)

More blogs to be added more regularly.



Monday, 15 August 2011

Race report - Caroline Kearney Olympic

So onto race 11 of the season...

Caroline Kearney Olympic Triathlon is a lake swim around Lough Ennell in Mullingar, followed by 2 laps of a relatively flat bike course and a 10k run around again relatively flat.
So a nice course then, and a good one for my first race on my Tri bike I picked up recently.

I registered Friday to drive the bike course as there were a few turns to be aware of and I wanted to check road surface and how tight the turns were.
Nothing major to report so down Saturday morning to a slightly misty day.

The swim was uneventful and I started in wave 1 but went offline to the right on way out, and again to the right on way back. So taking the long way again and I know I must work on my sighting more often in open water.
Out of the lake and look back to see a few, check watch at 27odd and relatively happy. Into T1 and wetsuit a little slow to remove but out into the bike. Now I had put my sunglasses on as it was slightly raining. this turned out a waste and after first couple k I removed them and stuffed them into my mini side pockets. They had misted up and the rain was hampering my vision so I was better off without.
There was a slight wind and I felt a few gushes to the 808 front but nothing uncontrollable.
My bike went to plan, I pushed and had my gel at 10k and kept up a good pace. A club mate was watching and gave me 17th after lap 1, so I pushed some more and came into t2 around 12th from first wave. Now one of my goals this season was a sub 65min 40k in Oly race. This was achieved in around 1:03 but my bike split was 1:07 due to the extra 2k - total bike 42k.
So I took the few seconds to put on socks as it was a 10k and I had new runners.
Out on the run and my feet were a little numb to start but I was maintaining sub 4min/km's so on target. Blood flow returned and I kept up the pace. I got passed by some here from about 5k onwards as the fast runners took me out. I maintained my goal pace though and delivered a sub 40min/10k for the first time in a race so I was happy.
So that was 2 goals achieved, another was a top 25 finish in a national series and I had crossed the line around 16th from wave 1, but still wave 2 to finish with some fast guys doing well so it would be close. Luckily I placed 23rd so 3 goals achieved now.

I finished in 2:16 and some 10mins behind the winner. So solid progress made compared to the start of the season.
Comparing 2 top guys in particular to 2 previous races this season:

Valentia Sprint NS:
Mark Horan - 3rd - 1:04:30
Andy Kavanagh - 1st - 1:03:50
Me - 85th : 1:18:25

So down 14mins over a sprint in first race this year!

Athy Olympic NS:
Mark Horan - 4th - 2:08:40
Andy Kavanagh - 6th - 2:09:50
Me - 83rd - 2:28:30

So 20mins down over Olympic in early July.

Caroline Kearney Oly NS:
Mark Horan 3rd - 2:05:57
Andy Kavanagh - 5th - 2:07:01
Me - 23rd - 2:16:30

So now 10 mins down over Olympic distance.

So that's some measurable improvement since the start of the season for my first year. Now a Tri bike has definitely helped, but also more specific technique and run track sessions as well as other training.

This was definitely my best race yet and a nice course so I'll be back next year.

Hopefully I can stay on track or even better in Dublin City Oly Tri and then start off season training after a short break to see if I can increase my pace all round for next season...

So 9 triathlons done this season and just 2 more left now. Or 11 of 15 total races inc duathlon and runs.

Last 2 triathlons are Tramore this Saturday (did this last year and also local to home town Clonmel). Then last race at Dublin City in 2 weeks.

So I'm off to the track for a pyramid pain session now.

Cue rain...

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Tt/Tri Bike Research = New Bike!

Howdy all,
So since maybe my 3rd or 4th triathlon last September I've known it was only a matter of time until I got a Triathlon specific bike to use instead of my road bike.
The benefits are widely researched, more aggressive position enabling better power,
Better aerodynamics, saves legs for the run etc... Lots of articles to cone across like from bikesportmichigan, bike radar etc.
Now time improvements seem to vary from a couple mins to more depending on ability, and potentially same on run.

So I set about initial research, and have pretty much continued that for the last 6 months or so!
Now budget is always important, with Tri bikes retailing between €2k and €10k without wheels it wasn't going to be cheap. Some club mates suggested keep eye out for bargain second hand bikes as you can save a lot. This is easier said than done though and also a bike is a personal thing and you need to love it and want to train on it is my view.
So the shortlist then:

Cervelo P2C €2.5k

Amazing what a set of wheels can do for a bike..

Cervelo P3C €3.5k/€4k+

Kuota Kueen-K €4k+

Orbea Ordu Slt €3.4k

Felt B10 Di2 €4.2k

So some pretty good bikes there and in the middle range of pricing.
I was open to others if I came across any but that was my shortlist.
Mainly looking at middle range frames with Ultegra or similar components. Wheels would have to come separate as I want some Zipp tubulars.
So with test riding being very difficult, it would be hard to know I had made the right choice.
I decided to keep looking at second hand bikes and maybe test a couple to see what I could learn.
Firstly though I went to see if I could find some of my shortlist bikes to get a better look at them. has a great stock selection and had most of the felt range there. The b10 was there and I wasn't blown away, mainly as it seemed heavier than I expected. now felts are also very popular at irish races and everywhere so I was less convinced and kept looking. Despite the fact di2 was specced and I liked this a lot it just didn't float my boat.
I'm used to my Kuota Kharma being relatively rare at races and I like that.
I did up the numbers and the P2c was coming in at best value easily, and with good solid reviews and reports it seemed a safe bet. I got my measurements checked from Dom at who confirmed the P2 in a 51 would be bang on, as would an Orbea in a small etc. Orbea's had less reviews and feedback and I wasn't sure about it. But it was a nice bike and I continued my searches. So my shortlist remained unchanged and I continued looking for reviews and also checked a few sites for second hand bikes for sale.
Around here I came across a Cervelo P4 second hand for sale online. I contacted the seller for a viewing and it was in my size. This was exciting as it is a superbike and price was around the €2.5k mark so in budget.
I took it for a test ride and did have a couple issues - the oval bars were flat extensions and felt weird. Also the P4's hydration bottle was not the easiest to remove/replace.
None the less I put in an offer as it was perfect size, decent spec and a superb bike. I ended up losing the bid by €100 and that was a shame..
However, all clouds have a silver lining and the seller had a Ridley Dean that he was keeping over the P4. He said he may sell it at end of this season and would decide in a couple weeks and let me know. I could have first refusal if I wanted.
So after researching the Ridley, I arranged a test ride and was very very impressed. Both with the spec and the ride, not to mention the mint condition of the bike.
This spec is basically as good as it gets before DI2.
So he thought it over and decided he'd sell it. We agreed price and also negotiated on Zipp 808 Zedtech Tubulars which I was after so a deal was agreed and I paid the deposit.
This was always for the end of his tt season in August which suited me fine.

So below is my TT/Triathlon bike:

Ridley Dean xs
Zipp Vuka aero bars
Zipp Vuma chrono crank
Shimano dura ace rear derailleur
Campag record front derailleur
Shimano dura ace tt shifters
Prologo Nago ttr evo saddle
Zipp 808 Zedtech tubulars with zipp tangent Tyres

The crank alone is worth big bucks as are the bars, so I'm delighted with the price I got it for.
As you can see I'm a black red and White fan which matches the Tri suit too so all boxes ticked for me and I really love this bike.

I'll even get in 3 races this year before it retires to the turbo till next season.

Check out the lower bars and angles compared to my kuota road bike with Tri bars...

Now for more training to justify the purchase!!!

Update - it's taken me about 3-4 hours to get properly used to the different position. I was going to get a bike fit straight away, but figured I should get used to the position first and then see.
I had discomfort in the groin and arms area on first few attempts so figured I'd try adjusting myself first. A number of Tweaks to saddle and stem spacers and I'm now very comfortable and power is there. I could go lower but will wait till I'm fully used to it.
Very happy with the transfer to tt bike and it seems a decent bit faster and more comfortable. I've done a few bricks now and my legs do feel fresher..
Proof is on race day though so we'll see how I go this Saturday at Caroline Kearney Olympic Triathlon. This will be the Ridley's maiden voyage, Aka Betsy (the bullet)...

Friday, 29 July 2011

Race report - Focus Ireland Sprint Triathlon

So Sunday 31st July saw me reach my 1 year anniversary.
Yes it was this race 12 months ago in Dun Laoghaire that saw me complete my first triathlon and get firmly hooked from there.

Focus Ireland is a noble charity that performs work in Ireland for the homeless, and so this was my worthy cause to enter the world of triathlons when a work colleague was doing it and asked if I'd join in.

So, here we are, assuming similar weather conditions I would finally get to accurately measure what 12 months had saved time wise.
The course was the same on closed roads early on Sunday, and the only variable was twice as many entrants this time so bound to be more transition traffic and also on the bike and run course (and swim depending on waves). Weather conditions

I was excited to measure my improvements, and also had this race targeted as a Podium result and one of my A races this year.
Training last week didn't go quite as planned - I did the beast of the east last weekend and the 10k run was done sockless which left a few skin grafts/blisters as wounds. a silly mistake and resulted in very little running training as I wanted the cuts to heal fully for Sunday.
Swim and bike were fine though, and I felt a bit of progress in the pool so was keen to see how I went.

Last years results below, with a light wind and short run.

Interestingly the guys in 2nd and 3rd were from Pulse Triathlon Club which I subsequently joined partly as a result!

So I did the bike course on Wednesday as a refresh, and to see time and I was done in 33 odd, which would have got me 2nd bike split last year. I knew my run would also be similar ranked and so I was aiming for a podium.

So early start Sunday and off to registration. I should add all things are equal in that I'm using the same bike (addition of Tri bars this year), same model runners even and so it should reflect time improvements in each discipline.

I was in wave 3 this time and this meant a bit more traffic on roads, but they were closed so shouldn't be a problem.

Transition was tighter with the extra entries but still fine.
It was here I met with John Connolly and Dermot Duffy. John came 3rd last year and has improves this year so I was up against it. He finished some 16+ mins ahead of me last year.
Turns out there was a few more from the club there and we got a couple snaps at the end.

So I started the swim near the front of my wave and went out well, stayed with the front to first buoy but tired and dropped off a bit then.

Out of the water in 14odd and up the steps to T1. I noted John and Dermot's bikes were gone so i had work to do! A good transition and I was out starting my bike lap 1 of 4. Now the bike is my strength and I go out hard and try to hold the pace. I'm monitoring my laps and making good pace as passing a good lot. At this stage I'm not sure how many are ahead from my wave but at least the 2 Pulsers, but race hard as I know a couple fast guys are here for glory.
Now it was much windier than last year and so the bike was slower.

I complete the bike in 34odd and dismount into t2. As i was entering t2 i hear the mc saying 2 pulse guys have started their run so not far ahead. I take the extra 10-20 seconds to put on socks this time and start the run lapping my garmin. I've targeted 3:45 or better pace per km and am pushing to reach and hold this. I reach the turnaround and see the guys are within catching distance. I keep pushing and chase Dermot down on lap 1 and try to catch John but not quite. There's a serious headwind on way back each lap and it slows me a good bit. I finish almost a min down from him and happy with my performance. My time was 1:07 which I thought was slow but it was much windier and a slightly longer run also.

Now the waiting game but it looks like I may be close to a podium.

We wait a while for the prize giving to find out the results. 3rd place Ian Farrell so I'm delighted, objective achieved. John won and finished under a minute ahead.
John's time is slower than last year representing the wind and longer run.
At a guess I've made around 15-18 mins progress over sprint distance in 12 months. Pretty happy with that.

So a great way to celebrate my 12 month anniversary and achieve another goal for this year. I win €100 voucher for Cycle Superstore and I'm
Actually delighted as 1st and 2nd got mountain bikes which I've no need for and prefer the voucher!

I'm also delighted at being so close to John. He did do an Olympic the day before in fairness so may have had some more in the tank. John beat me by 3mins in Athlone so I'm
a bit closer now it seems.
Great to have 2 Pulser's on the podium, and Dermot only just behind so almost a clean sweep!

Onwards and upwards....
And I still have to get a TT bike :)

Swim and run my main focus for next few weeks before last race.
3 triathlons remaining in my calendar so 2 hard weeks of training ahead now until
next race.

Below photo includes women's winner as 2nd place man missed prize giving.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Race report - Beast of the East

Ok so yesterday saw me do my first Beast of the East Olympic triathlon in Roundwood, Co Wicklow.

Arrived and directed to park in a field. Transition was set up beside the Lough Dan lake swim and bikes were numbered and in club order, all be it a bit tight.

It actually started misting as we were setting up but luckily dried up then. The swim was a rectangular course around 4 buoys. There were some fast fish entered and Bjorn Luddick and Stephen Early no doubt would lead out of the water.
Anyway, so the swim was a deep water start and I set off at a reasonable pace. I've been working on a better catch and more swim training so was hoping for a better result.
I did feel myself go off line but corrected reasonably early, but I definitely felt a fade around the 2nd and 3rd buoys. So better swim race pace fitness is required as well as technique!
Out of the water in 28odd which wasn't too bad but still around 40 ahead of me.
Massive difference to the 2 leaders in 19odd though! Hopefully I can bridge that gap in the off season for next year.

So into transition and over to my bike, bit of a slow removal of wetsuit and as I headed out I realised I forgot my energy gels. Ran back to get them and then out I went. Unfortunately the pockets in my trisuit are very small and as I shoved one into it it hopped out on the bike so I just had the one gel for the bike.
No harm as I knew I had another in transition by my runners that I could use on the run.
So out on the bike and a 2k climb to start the course. Lovely!
I passed a few here and made progress into Roundwood. I overtook the women's leader at this time (Derval Devanney, unfortunately crashed at end of bike but is fine thankfully).
From there it was a flat ish 10k or so into Laragh and then a left turn and about 8k of rolling hills and descents. Tough in parts and no real chance to get good speed up. The turn around point is at 22.5km and back to Laragh then. Now for the hard part!
As leaving Laragh there's a left turn onto oldbridge road. Straight into easiest gear and up the hill for a steep climb. This stretches and then eases before another climb and gentle descents.
This continues until the final hi at 37km. Heartbreakers just when you think there can't be anymore!
After this it's a sharp fast descent that was dangerous so it was a no pass zone. Into transition then and I had made up some more places. I made it around 32nd at that stage based on counting bikes ahead by the turnaround and passing a couple.
Onto the run then and I decided to chance no socks. I grabbed my last gel and as I was starting the run I tried to put the gel into my god damn small Pockets and again it hopped out! I left it and kept running figuring it would be fine. So again a 2 km steep climb before easing to gradual inclines. Tough way to start the run but I made up a place and kept going. The turnaround was at 4.5k and then a couple descents before another rolling hill then finish with a 2k descent. I made up another place but also got passed here too. Around half way I started to feel my feet blister. I cursed my saved 30 seconds for no socks and probably lost that and more from the pain. Could be worse though so I managed a sprint to the finish line.

Over and the times available straight away and saw:
28:45 swim
1:30 t1 (slow!)
1:13 Bike
:30 t2
44:30 run

2:29 finish time.

This ended being 29th and my best finish so far. Only 210 started though but still a good result. The winner was Brian McCrystal in 2:06 odd. Some motivation there as his swim was only 2mins faster than me. The man is an animal on the bike (trek speed concept with Zipp disc rear) and I think he's a cat 1 bike racer. Also a damn fast runner so he's the rare exception to the rule that you need to be a very fast swimmer to win.
Don't get me wrong his swim is good but there are guys like fish these days. Impressive to see him recover and beat a 5+ min deficit out of the water to Bjorn Luddick who's not too shabby at biking and running either and has a few race wins this season.

More impressive is that Brian works full time like most of us, and has a family so clearly he's a dedicated athlete to train and be able to produce at his level.

The beast of the east had some superb prizes at the end including Htc phones, garmin watches, zoot runners, bike fits, swim analysis as well as cash and vouchers for the age group winners. Fantastic for such a relatively small entry field.

It was a very well ran and organised event and despite being the hardest, was definitely one of the most enjoyable races this year.
I will be back again next year hopefully further up the field... Much further....

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Applying race learnings...

So with 4 national series races done, I evaluated my results and saw that yes I was improving, but more importantly it was clear my swim and run times were weaker than my bike and needed improving.
So I had a swim analysis done in and also set about joining group weekly swim sessions, though these wouldn't start for a few weeks.
There was no doubt I just wasn't putting in the distance or hours in the pool on my own and this needed improving.
For my run, I knew about forefoot running as I had tried it in the winter twice and strained my calf both times. Now however I had a bit more strength and felt a slower approach was worth it.
I only had a week till my next race in Athlone but wanted to try it as had 3 weeks off then till another race.
So I set about doing a few k's of my runs on forefoot. It was sore after but definitely felt faster
And more efficient.
I decided I would persevere with this slowly to transition towards a more efficient run technique.

So training continued and I Slowly applies this. I could see the benefits straight away in times but knew I couldn't use it totally for a while.

So onto Athlone for the national sprint championships - I had entered the sprint though there was an Olympic on too.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Next up - Beast of the East Olympic

Ok so tomorrow is the Beast of the East, only a short drive to Roundwood and what is going to be a very tough race.
I've been up there and did a brick on the course on Monday and man is that bike tough!
Some tough hills and it's going to separate the good from the mediocre!
I biked 1hr 16 for the 38.5k and then ran a 45min for the 10k which has a couple hills.
Now this wasn't flat out race pace, but still showed it's going to be hard. And definitely a hard bike probably the hardest I've done yet and much harder than Hell of the West.
So I'm looking forward to it as the weather has brightened up and should be good.
It's an early start in a dark lake swim and I'm hoping to apply some swim learnings over the last few weeks.
I've been doing more distance and swims, and also believe I've diagnosed a weakness in my open water swims so tomorrow might tell.

I've just washed my bike, watching the F1 qualifying now and then heading to for Early registration and to get my stickers and swim hat etc.

Come in Hamilton for Pole!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Training during race season

One thing I've learned this year is it can be very hard to train the planned hours as well as race many races.
Now this being my first season I wanted to experience as many races as I could and also learn as much as I could from racing.
So this season started early for me with Abu Dhabi in March, followed with a duathlon 1 week later but then a 6 week break to first national series race.
As it stands my season contains:
5 x sprint triathlons (3 national series)
5 x Olympic triathlons (all n.s.)
1 x 1.5k/100k/10k (abu dhabi)
1 x duathlon (4/20/4)
1 x 5mile run race
1 x Half marathon
1 x full marathon

So 15 events and pretty full, I have completed 9 of these with my 10th this Sunday.
The half and full marathons are achievements I want to include this year and focus next year on important triathlon races.

Training can be very hard during race season due to recovery and planned rest days before next race etc especially if doing races in a row - has happened a couple times with 3 weekends in a row being races.
Also due to happen again in August before my last tri this season. So the day/2 after a race it can be hard to fit in the planned hours when still recovering from the weekend especially if travel included.
I've been conscious to listen to my body, and there have been weeks of just 7 or so hours instead of planned 12+ as it's just not been practical.
I'm sure an element of this is me still building fitness and recovery abilities, but even so I know next year will see fewer races with more intense focus and plan for A and B races etc. I enjoy racing but am more determined to reach higher placings next season.

The half and full marathons are to focus me on running more as well as achieve goals here. I plan on running more in Sept and Oct to prepare for this as well as focus on running in general to improve.

What I do feel I've done well is avoid injuries. Considering this year has seen a big jump up in fitness and activities instead of my usual gym 3 times a week I think I've listened to my muscles well and rested when needed.
I've had a couple tweaks and calf strains but those seem mainly from me moving to a mid/fore foot running technique from a heel striker.
There's no doubt running is the most injury prone of the 3 disciplines, and I've been conscious not to overdo this and build up slowly.

So in summary, 2/3's of events done and happy with progress and season so far. I feel I've learnt a lot in terms of training, technique, racing as well as individual improvements in each area.

I'd advise any newbies to steadily increase training each week, especially for running, and to listen to their bodies and muscles as recovery is as much an important discipline as training.

Now I'm off to rest before race 10 this Sunday - my 12 month triathlon anniversary!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Race Report - Frank Duffy 5 Mile Run

So as part of registering for the Dublin Marathon this year, I also registered for the Dublin Half Marathon, and 5 mile race. There is a 10 mile race too id have done but it clashes with a triathlon.

My goal for my first running race was simple, use it as a fast run and continue my training.
5 miles is 8.1km so I wanted to race at 4 min km's or under for the distance. So my target was sub 32 mins.

I arrived to mass queues and managed to grab a parking spot in the Phoenix park. Grid lock isn't the word and you really need to get in early to grab a parking spot.

Into wave 1 then and I was maybe 20metres back from the leaders. Unfortunately there were a number of slower runners in front and I had to zig zag through them at the start. I found a space on the grass verge and hurried on. I knew I wanted to maintain sub 4 min km's and was happy with my first one in 3:50 despite traffic. I held this pace and followed a few similar pacers and came home in 31:15. Very happy with this as it shows I can run a sub 40 min 10k now. In fact 39 mins most likely.
This was 45 odd at the start of the year so decent progress in 6 months.

Also an interesting note from this. One of the pacers I ran with I recognised from a triathlon. We crossed the finish line at same time so I checked for names I'd recognise. Yes it was Jennifer Duffy, one of the top female triathletes in age group and I had matched her time.
A quick check back to Kilkee Hell of the West where she passed me on the run showed she ran a
Solid 41:42 for the hilly 10k - beating my 45min at same race.
So now I had matched her time and felt good run progress made here.

Next run race is the Dublin Half Marathon in September where I'm aiming for a sub 1 hr 30 min.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Race Report - Tri Athlone Sprint

So onto Athlone, with an impressive line up of the top pro's in the country out to win the National Sprint Championship Race.
Gavin Noble lined up with his specialized a couple bikes up.
He was in my swim wave too so good to compare exact same conditions done by a pro!

The swim was changed to an all downstream one but there was no current to speak of.
I started reasonable but felt myself fade a bit from my main bunch in my wave. Out of the water and a little run up to the timing mat to show 14.5 mins, not what I was hoping for especially as I swim 750 in the pool at sub 13. Anyway, something to work on now into transition. I dropped my hat and goggles on the way up to timing mat so had to run back to grab. I take these off and hold in my right hand as I pull my right hand out of wetsuit. This normally means the goggles and hat then stay in right arm of wetsuit but not today.
No harm anyway a few seconds is all, transition was ok and out onto the flat out and back bike course. Gavin Noble was in my wave and I wanted to see him as I neared turnaround point to gauge how far back I was. I missed sighting him so just kept my head down.
The bike was quite flat with a headwind going out.
I enjoyed this and made good progress. The weather was perfect and I enjoyed the bike on closed good roads. Into T2 and a good transition. With the run a 5k I left the socks out and set off. The run was a few laps through the streets with massive crowds the whole way. This made for a great atmosphere and a nice run.
I set about applying my mid/fore foot technique where possible and stuck to 4min km's.
Quite surprised then when I ran past 5km and still had a bit of a lap to go.. The run ended up being 5.75km and I was happy with it. I finished in 1hour 13mins and very close to my club mates. I felt I had made progress here in my run mainly and raced pretty hard.
I finished somewhere in the top 90 or so and a good 15mins behind Gavin Noble, race winner.

This race is a must do. Great atmosphere and well organised.
I they got the run distance correct to 5km it'd defo be the fastest race I've done.
It's a fast flat course and my favourite so far.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Race report - Kilkee Hell of the West Olympic

Well, onto what was billed as the toughest race of the season for me.
I was not particularly looking forward to the swim as it looked choppy and hard. But it was the same for everyone so hey.
The bike was billed as having tough hills and it was a longer bike at 45k before leading to a tough 5k uphill and 5k downhill run.

Now Kilkee is a long way away so our club had organised houses to stay at and we all headed down Friday for 2 nights to make a weekend of it.
Just as well as it took near on 3 hours to get there.. Arrived at race hotel for registration and met up with club mates staying in same house. The goodie bag was decent, a nice technical bike t shirt complete with rear pockets To mark the occasion. Snickers, energy bars, drink and the like made it up.
So race numbers and hat collected, off to the house for some pasta carb loading and sticker up bike.
Had a good laugh with club mates and we were all set. Up early for some breakfast and a peak out the window saw rain and wind in abundance. The view of the sea also suggested choppy waters so this race was going to live up to it's name!
We headed down to transition and set up our bikes. I got some elastic bands for my bike shoes for the first time as wanted all the help I could get. The swim started abruptly and then it was hell for leather. My goggles got knocked off twice, I tread water to fix and got shoved around. So that was the first 200m and it was quite rough out there. I got to the first buoy and wasn't sighting very well so Swam a little breast stroke to stay on line. Back to front crawl then and across to second buoy before returning to shore. This was a tough swim and I struggled. Out of the water in 30mins and off out on the bike. The elastics did their job and I started to put the power down and pass as many as I could. There were some clear drafters in full on groups but not much I could do about that just try to race my own pace. I found the bike course easier than I expected. Hills not as hard as billed and it was really the wind on the way back that was the toughest part.
I seemed to make good progress and into t2 in good time. Again on with socks as it was a 10k run and up hill for first 2k then eases a bit to the half way point.
Impressive views of the sea from the top as you run along the cliff.
I reached the turnaround point and the top 2 women had caught me and were chasing me down. This despite my 10min wave headstart! So I was about to get 'chicked' and though my legs fought a bit it was inevitable.
My run had been ok but not good enough. The good thing was no stomach cramps this time. I noted I didn't drink much of my 1 bottle on the bike, and had just 1 or 2 gels so this seemed to help.
I finished in 2 hours 37 mins and was relatively happy for my first hell of the west.

A great atmosphere at this race and many stayed for party afterwards. Worth the drive down and bad weather that's for sure!

My swim again being the main let down and run needing improving.
Armed with this info I set about trying to improve slightly for my next race (just 1 week away)...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Race report - Hook or by Crook Sprint Tri

Onto my third national series race and second sprint race of the season.
This is based in Dunmore east and it was a lovely day again. The swim was in a bay and seemed calm enough. My goggles leaked water a couple times but I tried to fix it then just continued. Out of the water and a long run up a zig zag path to transition. Swim was timed at 18:45 because of this, it was a bit choppy but not much so into t1 then. I missed my bike and had to turn back. On with helmet and out onto the bike course.
This was a nice out and back with a gradual climb at the start. Again I was chasing a team mate and able to judge my progress at the turnaround. I wasn't far off and tries to keep the gas down. I caught him and passed him just before T2, however I lost time in t2 again and he led by 20metres out onto the run.
This run was a 7k route with the first 2k up hill. Pretty tough, I held on but wasn't gaining on my target. He pulled away then and I could only maintain my pace.
I finished in 1:27 odd and around 70th so not a bad result.
My bike and run splits were not available but my garmin gave me these so I saw my bike was good but more run work needed.
And then there's my swim of course!!

A nice smooth course that tests you.

This was a very enjoyable race, good location and a nice day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 22 July 2011

Race Report - Tri Athy Olympic

So billed as Ireland's fastest triathlon this was a race I was lookin forward to. flat and with an easy swim it should suit me and my weaker swim skillset.
I arrived on a glorious day to set up.
This attracts a large entry of around 2,500 athletes and is well organised.
The swim was an upstream and back downstream one with not much current. I faded a bit here and came out of the water in 30mins, not the worst but hoped for better.
A relatively good transition and then out into the bike course. Now this was billed as the fastest as in previous years the bike was an out and back the main road so perfect. Not this year, it turned off the main road at 5k and included some inclines, hairpins, turns etc before back out to the main road and out towards turnaround point. Still a decent bike course and I came in around the 1hr 8mark. I took my time in t2 putting socks on for the 10k run and headed out along the river for it. I was chasing a few club mates but they has stronger runs and I couldn't gain any ground.
My run split was 44mins and nottingham best. Stomach cramped a bit here and I'm not certain why but will try adjust nutrition in next race to see.

Total time 2 hrs 27 mins and an enjoyable day.
It is a good race and I recommend it to all. I'll be back next year to better my time!



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 13 May 2011

Abu Dhabi Triathlon Report 2011

Abu Dhabi International Triathlon 2011
Race Report
Ok firstly the why...
The missus was off in India doing a Yoga teacher training course over xmas for 6 weeks so it was my turn to treat myself. I’m a huge F1 fan and came across this triathlon after watching the highlights on Eurosport or similar one evening.. The triathlon includes a lap of the F1 Circuit which appealed to me, Ferrari World, which is Ferrari’s Amusement Park is also there and the weekend coincided with the Bahrain F1 Race just a short flight away so that was that.
The Triathlon offered 3 distances and was on Saturday 12th March. A Sprint Distance of 750m Swim, 50k Bike and 5k Run... Now this would’ve been the next logical step up for me having only done 4 Sprint Tri’s to my name, but the Bike stint didn’t include the Lap of the F1 Circuit so that was out. The Short distance which I went for being 1.5k Swim, 100k Bike and 10k Run and also the Long distance which the Pro’s were racing for also being 3k Swim, 200k bike and 20k Run. No chance was I doing that clearly!
Day 1
I arrived on Wednesday morning, was glad to see my Bike Box come out fast and unharmed and headed through security. Damn they were slow, for some reason they were typing details from everyone’s passport into a computer, so it was very slow. Got through and to ATM for some Dirham (5 Dirham’s = €1) and then got collared by Jonnie the taxi man asking if I needed transport (“taxi sir”)... So I said how much to Hilton Abu Dhabi, 100 Dirham came the answer and as I knew it was a good half hours drive I thought €20 was pretty reasonable so said alright let’s go.

Now we’re going past the normal taxi rank and a taxi organiser shakes his head at me... I shuffle my shoulders and think what harm, he’s small and I’m not exactly gonna be kidnapped here so if it’s a local man making a quick buck what harm. Into an old Toyota Pick up with Bike box and suitcase in rear and sun beaming down on them...

I hope there’s no bumps and all should be fine. On way out of car park, Johnnie says parking 20 Dirham. I do nothing and he says 20 Dirham, I say so you want an advance is it on the 100, no I’ll pay at end. He says no 100 Dirham taxi Plus 20 Dirham Parking. I say no. He says 10 Dirham. Now this is only €2 but point is its my €2  So i say no, I’ll get official taxi so stop. He says no it’s ok and pays the parking.
So 30 mins later and we arrive at Hotel and Johnnie is a happy man, I am too thinking grand that was a cheap fare and lesson learned. Into hotel and time for the Bike Build.

Get straight into it and with my tape measure and camera phone pictures I get everything back up and all sorted. Job 1 Done. Registration opens at 12pm so I pop down for a bit of Breakfast and then shower and gather my medical waiver and off for a 5 min walk. 5 min’s was 10 mins and in 30 degree heat at the time not too pleasant. Into Hotel for Registration, get my Race Pack, Goodie Bag, Buy a Race T-Shirt as memento, pick up a 2xu Race Number Belt as I couldn’t locate mine at home, a few GU Energy Shots and I’m off for a look around. See Macca on the Turbo Trainer at a decent pace and have a look around. Faris Al Sultan was talking to locals and it was nice to see the Pro’s at arms distance.

Back to Hotel and open my Race Pack and Goodie Bag.
Race Pack contents = 3 decent sized pull bags, lots of my number stickers, race program, Timing Chip and Swim Hat.

Goodie Bag contents = small black logo’d pull bag, medical pack (suncream, plasters, heat packs for muscle strains etc, Nivea shower gel & deodorant, Wipes, Abu Dhabi Tourist Info guide and a Ferrari World Entrance Ticket. Now the Ferrari World ticket looks like nothing but a quick google shows it’s actually worth €45 and gives free access to all rides. So I’m pretty happy with that as have that planned for Friday’s rest day.

Now the Hilton came with free water, 4 Bottles in room and I was flying through them so went looking for a Supermarket to pick up a lot more and a few snacks or so. It’s pretty close and I find the supermarket at a shopping mall with an Ikea store... They get around eh! So stock up on water, apples, mandarins, banana’s and some Pringles equivalent for snacking. Chocolate is a no as it’s lent and myself and the wifey have packed it in. Back to hotel in a mound of sweat from walking with cheap free plastic bags cutting my fingers loaded with water. I start to realise this heat is gonna be quite interesting... So I load the water into fridge, removing the beer and chocolate on offer and head out for a quick look at the Run Course. It’s right opposite the Hotel and goes around a bridge and marina type area before coming back again. I do a gentle 7.5k after warming up and picking up the pace towards the end my legs feel quite good. Back for shower and dinner at hotel then and unpack before dozing in a slight jet lagged state...
Day 2
Up at 6:30am and drag myself half asleep out of bed... Body not adjusted yet and sleep was intermittent as I got the room temperature right. There’s a practise Swim in the Emirates Palace Private Beach area where the Swim Section and T1 is located. So I head for there at about 7:15 and it’s a good 20min walk and people cycling past on their way.. I’m thinking I didn’t know there was space and security for bikes but it turns out they just left them by railings and took a chance. Some expensive machinery there so mine would’ve been perfectly safe too. So lots of folks in wetsuits as I arrive and head down the beach. I take a look around enjoying the view of the private beach for this 6 Star Hotel, which cost $3 Billion to build and stretches 1km! Seriously impressive... and not cheap to stay. Random fact they use something like 10kg of edible Gold a year on their desserts...

Into the water then and its refreshing which I’m glad about. Start my Garmin Forerunner 310XT to clock my distance and time and head out for the first orange bouy. The swim course has been marked out already as has transition so that was good. I get into my stride fine before sighting and realising I’m off course, more sighting later and I’m not swimming very straight at all. Not the only one as the current was a tad more than it looked. Nice and calm beach area being quite enclosed, but deceptive currents pushing me off course. Get to the half way point around the 15mins mark and think not too bad, heading back and again off course so I stop a couple times and straighten up. Not the best at sighting whilst front crawling but I get there in the end. 33 mins in the water and I had hoped to be faster than that. 1.65k done so whether that’s the course or my zig zagging I’m not sure. I decide to swim again tomorrow and practise sighting more. I now realise I should have bought that TYR Wetsuit I tried in Base2Race but gambled on it being declared non wetsuit and even so me saving a bit in T1 not having hassle of removing and packing into bag.
Out of the water and dry off, down at the Beach I see Dirk Bockel teaching some local tri club some swim lessons and them heading for a quick race with the tv crew filming. I bump into 2 English lads I saw when out for my run yesterday and have a quick chat before back to the hotel for breakfast. I let breakfast digest and then load up my drinks bottles and head out for a bike session. Nothing major but found some quiet roads by the palace and saw how easy it was to get up to 37kph easily and more. Some pro’s were out there too and some photo shoots being done on bikes. I didn’t recognise them but it was pretty clear from the gear/bikes and the photographers getting numerous stone on ground shots.. Look out for me in the background of a sponsored photo soon 
I go for a 1hr 30min bike and then wind it down for the day. Legs still feel good and heat is tough but not the worst when moving. Happy that bike is sound it being my first time having stripped and reassembled it. A shout out to Base2Race here for saving me when my Pedal was jammed a few hours before check in! I also learned I was trying to take it off the wrong way (tightens anti clockwise what’s that all about!), but it was jammed anyway so not too foolish – I may have assisted in the jam however...
So dinner is across the road at the Race Briefing venue and with free pasta/breads for carb loading which was nice. Back to room then a wind down to day 2 then.

Day 3 – Friday
So Rest day starts with a morning swim to get used to open water swimming more and sighting. I don’t head to the Palace which is open for a couple of hours again and instead go to the hotel’s private beach area across the road. Nice with pools as well and a short 200m stretch in the sea. I only do 1k here practising sighting a bit and technique. Shoulder starting to hurt a tad so I know I’m not pulling correctly and using my hand again instead of lat’s/triceps. Now today also see’s Bike and transition drop off’s before 4:30pm so I decide to get done early and head to Ferrari World after lunch. So I load up my bags, put the elastic laces into my runners, and head off to T2 on my Bike. Drop in my Run Bag and have a look around. Changing tents are nicely numbered but no numbers up yet by Bike stands. I wonder if they will be done or left blank and don’t worry about it for now.

Off to T1 in the Emirates Palace now and drop off Bike and Bike Bag/Helmet in changing tent. We were warned not to leave tyre’s inflated in the heat as they may pop, and so I deflate them just as I hear some poor guy’s go pop.. Find myself a decent position near end of a Short Course rack and I walk back to Race Registration Hotel to try get a Hat as I’ve left mine in T2 for the run and figure I’ll need it for the today. Unfortunately the 2XU shop is closed as I arrive but will be open in T2 after race which doesn’t help.
Few Pics from T1:

I head off anyway to Ferrari World in taxi and this time pay just 55 Dirham for a similar length journey. So this is just €10 for a 30min journey and I start to think that’s cheap and also I got screwed by Johnnie the taxi man on Wednesday... The cheek to ask me to pay for parking! Still it was a difference of €10 so no harm.
Into the air conditioned Ferrari World and it’s all indoors so my hat problem is no more. Straight to the Formula Rossi dubbed the fastest coaster in the world. It’s in the form of an F1 Car seating 8 x 2 people and shoots out at acceleration up to 230kmh in under 5 seconds, before going up down around and across like a normal coaster. Not the longest but pretty good I have to say. Onto a few more attractions and I’m starved and need water as I wasn’t allowed bring in my 2 bottles and apple into the indoor amusement park. I drank the water and ate the apple but still need more. So I find a restaurant for some justified carb loading and am pleased to get a spaghetti Bolognese, large pizza slice and water for €15. Not bad considering there were no other options so prices could’ve been higher. Few more attractions after that before heading back to hotel early.

Day 4 – Saturday – Race Day
So with Check in opening at 4:30 – 6am it was always going to be an early start. Fortunately the hotel accommodated all triathletes by starting breakfast at 3:30 and providing free shuttle bus to Swim location at 4:30. Now I made breakfast but as my wave wasn’t until 7:20 I just had to make sure I was there around 5:30 to pump tyres, get numbered and apply suncream before Transition closed. Left the hotel around 5:20 and a 15 min walk was grand. Into Transition before sunrise to an impressive site of Bike Porn, and the Pro’s hanging around as their wave was first at 6:20. As I arrived the announcer said it was already delayed 10 mins so plenty of notice provided. Pumped up tyres, put on my drinks bottles and energy gels and left my sunglasses on the front of bike cables. Left my bag of pump/runners/socks/top I came in on my hanger with my Bike Bag – the organisers were ensuring all our numbered bags would be waiting at end of race. We got 3 bags as I mentioned earlier – Blue for Bike (Helmet, Towel, banana and put in swim hat and goggles), White for Whatever being my pump/runners/socks/top I brought to start and Red for Run Bag which I had left in T2 the day before and had my Running runners, socks, hat and a gel pack.

So I got my number applied on arm, put on my suncream and was good to go. Down to toilets for a quick excess water drain and over to the beach to watch the Pro’s swim. Ian Thorpe was there to start the 2 Pro races which was good. Pro’s sure moved at a solid pace, had 1 x 1.5k lap done in 18odd mins, out for second lap then. Julie Dibens was strong as usual and caught up with some of the mens (womens race started 2 mins after mens).
Ready for my wave and I’m at the front of line of 200 in my wave doing the short course. Quick warm up allowed to check goggles fine and I was good to go. Horn blew and a quick 10m dash to sea and into swim. Swim didn’t go ideal, went off line a couple times on way out, but felt fine. On way back went more off line due to current and started to swim a small bit breast-stroke to ensure I was on line. Back into front crawl then a couple times and tried to up it near end. Up and out of the water looking at my Garmin of 33mins. Exact same as my practise swim and 1.65k – again the same! Damn it but hey, a few mins wasn’t going to change my race by much so into T1 for a fast transition and out to Bike. Good crowd cheering everyone and my jump onto Bike goes perfect and I’m off passing people already and feeling good. Onto main road (dual carriageway) out of city and I’m pacing myself at 37kph. This is quite easy and so I’m tempted to push more but think it’s a long race and my first one at that so best to maintain what I’m at and see towards last 30-40k if I can up tempo. Glad I didn’t push too hard on the 10k or so out to the Closed off Motorway (5 laner, split in 2 for out/back racers). It’s here as we start to go over the bridge that the wind really starts to hit us. The organisers had warned us it was looking like a very hot day and a lot of wind, they weren’t wrong. Kept going through tough patches dropping speed to 21kph or so in places, then back up to 30+. On a nice hill over the bridge I hit over 50kph before a gust of wind jigged me to the side a bit. Kept going as wasn’t too bad and enjoyed the fast section. Into more wind then and everyone is struggling with it. It doesn’t ease off until we got to Yas Marina F1 Circuit at around the 40k mark. So a tough 40k and onto the track, no wind and pure flat, I couldn’t help but put the power down and enjoy the racing line – not many were wise to this and so I made up a few more places. Out of Yas Marina and speed was back up to 37odd with the wind not against us now, and perhaps a bit of a tailwind to assist. I’m thinking sweet this should be a nice return leg but as we hit the motorway again after 20k, the wind turns and starts coming against us again... Not nice! I’m keeping a good pace still and passing regularly, enjoying the bike stint. Back to turning point opposite T2 and there’s 80k done. I feel good and start to push more for the last 20k. Make up a few more spaces and back to T2 in a decent time. I should add it was nice to see the Pro’s coming against us as we were headed to Yas Marina. Man they were fast, and working together by the looks of it!
100k Bike Stint completed in 3hrs 6 mins, so a few mins off my aim of sub 3 hours, but considering the heat and wind I’ll settle for that.
So into T2 then and rack the bike, happy to see not too many others have done the same ahead of me, into tent and on with socks, runners, hat and out the gap with gel pack in hand. I popped my Garmin 310XT off the quick release on my bike and onto my watch strap now and pacing my run. Happy to see I start off in the 4 minute kilometre’s and no jelly legs and I feel good. Aid station see’s me get a sponge down my back and cup of water which I tried to put in my mouth whilst running, got a tablespoon’s worth then just threw the rest over my head!  Managed to shout for a bottle of water at next station and carry that with me for a bit and get more water in my mouth this time! The flat pepsi seemed to help as well and I was determined not to stop and keep going. There were a number of people slowing down and stopping on the run route. One guy passed me early on and looked the slender fast runner build, he must have been doing 3min 30 km’s if not less and was looking damn fast, then just around the corner there he was, bent over and staring at the pavement.. I shouted you ok and he just waved me on. Didn’t see him again.. As I reached the half way 5k point the run course doubles back a bit, and a guy shouted go Pulse as he was on his way out towards me. I had checked and there were 7 or 8 other Irish guys entered so figured he was one and I’d prob chat to him at finish line. That prob made me more determined not to stop and I tried to up the pace, which was damn hard at that stage and with 38 degree’s of sunshine to deal with... Kept it up though and stayed ahead. I was passed by a fast runner at the end and tried to sprint but legs said sorry not now thanks... Crossed the run line in a time of 44:58 which I was very happy with.

Everyone got their medal as they crossed the finish line, and straight into cool recovery room for some cool drinks and air.. Next door then to collect my bags and fortunately I spotted my Pump sticking up in the 600 row and said it looks like the grey pump at the back. It was and all my bags were together so nice and easily done.

I hung around a bit waiting for the Irish guy but no sign of him. The beach was beside so I went into the sea water to aid recovery and it was also nice and cool. Spoke to a few other English lads and then saw the Pro’s enter T2 and head out onto the Run. As they had 2 laps and 20k to do I grabbed my gear and cycled back to the hotel a few mins away. As I headed for the hotel I was parallel to the run route and saw a few of the Pro’s heading out. Then I saw Eneko Llanos (Defending Champ) by the side of the run route and walking back. He didn’t appear injured but had obviously pulled out for some reason... Back to Hotel to drop off my gear and a quick shower and back to watch the Pro’s finish. Premier Timing had told us our times would all be online immediately so I did a quick search on the laptop and my times matched my Garmin and had me at 4hrs 31mins. I knew last years winner was just under 3hrs 30 so I had hoped to get closer to this, but this wasn’t realistic in the conditions and for my experience/fitness being only 7 months into training and my first race of this distance/heat.

Back to The finish area to see Frederich Van Lierde win the Pro Men’s and Julie Dibens win the Pro womens about 20 mins later.. I had heard when Julie won last year she was in recovery for a couple of hours after puking and retching and not having a good time. This year she won the womens by 5 minutes, crossed the finish line, got her medal, then straight into medical puking up again. Why spoil a winning formula eh! Shows how the Pro’s really push themselves past the limit for that $50k Prize Purse.. Fair play. No sign of Macca but Crowie came in 6th and well placed. Turns out Macca pulled out half way through the Bike with a broken cleat of all things... I don’t know what he said to his Shimano Mechanics after that but I wouldn’t be impressed! He had dropped out of the top 10 at that stage anyway though so chances were gone.

There was a Presentation Party with more food opposite my hotel that evening where each of the Age Grouper’s and Pro’s were presented. Unfortunately Julie Dibens still wasn’t well enough to leave her hotel and collect her cheque! There were a few other prizes for fastest lap of F1 circuit, fastest Bike, fastest Swim etc which were good. That pretty much brought my week to a close and I had an early night and then disassembled my bike and packed before chilling in the hotel beach area till I headed to the airport...
It was a fantastic experience, great race and very enjoyable. Seriously nice Route if only the wind had been easier it would have been nice and faster for me. Abu Dhabi is probably a few years behind Dubai and is undergoing a lot of development at present. It’s a very clean city and with polite people so I am glad to have made the trip and complete my first almost middle distance Triathlon.
Feelings after the race were I could have gone faster on the bike, I need to improve all areas of fitness especially swimming and overall what a great experience it was. Most importantly I was happy to get the nutrition and energy right at not having to stop and the energy gels went down fine. It’s made me focus more on training and think more about racing sprints all out with nothing to spare so if you see me struggling on a run or collapsed over a finish line this year, you’ll know why! I’m still relatively new to this sport and 2011 will be my first full season and I can’t wait. Roll on Valentia Island in 4 weeks! I’ve got the bug now and will try follow in Jonathon Lyon’s footsteps of was it 14 races in first season? I have my calendar done up and at the moment 2011 will see 9-10 tri’s, 1 Duathlon and finish with the Dublin Half Marathon and Full Marathon... both my first Marathon’s! Let’s hope I can stay injury free and follow in Johnny’s footsteps. I’ve set some ambitious goals so we’ll see how I do.

Only two downers on the whole trip were Etihad Airways excess luggage charges.. It was a long haul flight but cost €350 for return of my excess luggage. Damn that Bike Box is heavy, but sturdy thankfully. It’s €10 per KG each way above the limit of 23KG. They do allow a decent amount of hand luggage but even so. So I’ll have to factor this into next year!
Total Costs were:
Flights - €540
Hotel - €500
Race Entry - €70
Food/Sundries - €150
Bike Excess - €350
Total = €1,610

The other downer was the Bahrain F1 being cancelled just a couple weeks before. I had Grandstand Tickets and my flights for this on the Sunday but it didn’t happen obviously. Maybe next year...
I really enjoyed the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, training in the heat, swimming in the warm sea and most of all the Race itself. I do plan on continuing this and doing 1 International Triathlon each year all going well. I’ve a feeling the ironman bug will kick in mid next year so we’ll see what happens there.
1.5k Swim - 33 mins (no wetsuit was bad idea)
T1 – 3mins 30 - I’m not that slow it was a large transition area!
100k Bike - 3hrs 6 mins (how hot and windy!)
T2 – 2 mins 30
10k Run - 45 mins (happy)
4hrs 31mins total time.
Placed me a respectable 158th out of 771 entries, with 578 finishers or 135th out of 450 males exc relays/females. Not bad for my 5th Triathlon and first above Sprint Distance! ... arrell_675
Happy to report no stopping at all, no injuries and a smile on my face the whole way around the F1 Circuit!
Pro's found their distance tough too (ok it was twice what I did), Macca retired with a broken cleat, Eneko Llanos (defending champ) retired on run with stomach problems from dehydration and Julie Dibens won by 5 mins then spent 1hr 30mins puking and in medical tent recovering! Madness!
Incredible race, Well Organised, tough but very impressive.
I’d recommend it to everyone as although it’s not cheap, it is very different and with a superb entry and organisation.