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.