This evening (Tuesday) I took part in the latest in the Tralee Triathlon Club mini-try series.
There were two options, and, due to hamstring issues, I opted to go for the shorter tri-a-tri version of the aquathon, which consisted of a 250 meter swim followed by a 2.5k run. There was also a sprint distance, consisting of a 750m swim and a 5k run.
Conditions were absolutely perfect in Fenit, with warm, calm water, and blue skies. There was a great turnout of over 70 athletes, with lots of members of Tralee Bay Swimming Club joining in. After the usual preliminaries from race director Bridget, we set off.
I wasn’t expecting much of myself in the swim, as I have very little swimming done this year, but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself making really good progress from the start. For once I managed to hold a good line out and back, and I think I was fifth or sixth out of the water.
Transition is usually my best part of any tri, and it went well here again! I quickly stripped off the wetsuit, threw on my shoes, and took off on the run.
There is a bit of a pull out of Fenit village, and my hamstring quickly flared up as I ran. It was fairly painful by the time I got to the halfway turnaround (where my other half Catherine was the marshall). I was passed by one other runner coming up to this point, which wasn’t too bad considering. I met Tommy and his son Ciaran coming back the other way, and they looked like they were having a great battle for first place!
My hamstring settled down a bit once we turned around, as it was downhill on the way back, and I managed to pick up the pace a bit – this didn’t prevent a young girl flying past me just after the turnaround – I was surprised at her speed, but I think she may have been the daughter of local running legend and Tri Club running mentor Maria O’Keefe McCarthy, which would explain it!
I pushed on, and finished fairly strongly, and, if I’m not mistaken, I was the second senior male to finish (grasping at straws a bit there, as several female and junior athletes finished before me, but I’ll take any title I can!), beaten in my category only by Tommy.
There was a great atmosphere back at the transition area, and I enjoyed watching the rest of the athletes finish both the tri-a-tri, and the sprint-distance event. There were some great performances, and brilliant competition. Afterwards we were treated to pizza and chips in Mikes Cafe to replace those lost calories, where we swapped war stories and future plans.
All in all, this was a fantastic evening, and is a credit to the club, the organisers, and the volunteers. I look forward to the next event in the series.