Tralee Tri Club Mini Tri Series

Last night was the latest in the Tralee Triathlon Club Mini Tri Series, and there were two distances on offer – a Tri-a-tri, and a Sprint distance.

After my exertions at the weekend, I decided to opt for the tri-a-tri (though I nearly changed my mind on the way out!), while Catherine was doing the sprint.

When we got to Fenit, there was a good crowd starting to gather, and Race Director Sinead was getting everything organised. It would also, incidentally, be the first night the club tested our new timing system.

After a bit of chat, and getting my transition area ready, I gathered with the other short distance triathletes for final instructions, before we set off.

The swim was to be straight out to a buoy, around it, and straight back in – looked nice and easy….
As soon as I was in the water, I discovered that it wasn’t going to be as easy as it looked – there was a choppy swell, and, because of the direction of the waves, and my inability to breathe bilaterally, I swallowed a LOT of water on the way out. As is usual for me, once the swim got difficult, my sighting went out the window, and I ended up doing a bit of a zig-zag course, despite Trish’s best efforts in the kayak to keep me on the right line.

I finally got back to shore, coughed up a few litres of seawater, and trotted to transition. I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t actually in a bad position – I thought coming out of the water I’d be last!

I pulled off the wetsuit, grabbed my shoes, and got the bike on the road. This would be my first ever spin on the brand new Ribble Aero 883, and I was a little nervous setting off, as I hadn’t done any shakedown spin at all, and wasn’t even sure I had it set up right for myself.

Ribble bike in fenit
My Ribble 883 looking very pretty near transition in Fenit

As it happened, the bike behaved faultlessly, and felt very close to perfectly set up. I’m more used to Shimano 105 gears, but the Ultegra are so similar that the only difference I noticed is that they seem to be a little smoother. The weight (or lack thereof) of this bike is immediately apparent – it just leaps forward, even with my low power, and it handled beautifully on the fairly rough roads of Fenit.

The outward leg of the cycle was fast and pleasant – a slight climb out of Fenit, followed by a mix of mostly flat or downhill. We turned around 2 miles out, and I immediately discovered that I’d had the benefit of a strong breeze behind me until now! This meant a lot more work on the return leg, but I kept going as hard as I could, and, for once, nobody passed me on the entire cycle.

Back to transition, and I parked the bike (I really must learn to do a flying dismount off this bike. Though it may necessitate some hospital time). A quick change of shoes, dump the helmet, and off on the run.

The run was nice and short, and, despite my tired legs from the last 2 weeks, it was one of my better runs off the bike – I didn’t have nearly the amount of “jelly legs” I usually have – maybe doing a couple of ultras the week before a tri helps prevent it….

The run was on the same route as the cycle, except much shorter, with all of the outward leg climbing, but, happily, all of the return leg downhill. Again nobody passed me on the run, and I came across the line in exactly the same position I had come out of first transition – definitely a first for me.

I waited on for Catherine to finish her race, and she came in strong. After some chat and a change of clothes, it was time to head home and put the feet up.

This was another well organised and well attended Tralee Triathlon Club event – well done to all the organisers and volunteers. I look forward to the next one.

My distances and times:
Swim: 0.28 miles (450m) in 12:50 (distance from my watch – seems long)
Bike: 4.12 miles (6.6km) in 16:12
Run: 1.16 miles (1.8km) in 10:12
Total time incl. transitions: 41:28

If you are in the area next month, make sure you sign up for the annual club triathlon on July 30th!

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