Thanks to Carmel for her report, another great read:
The road to an Ironman is a tough and lonesome journey. Throw in broken bones, battering and bruising after being knocked off the bike, terror getting back on it, bike suffering its own injuries and requiring surgery 4 weeks out (go Bob Murray and Peter Moynihan). Then on the home straight, breaking an elbow 2 weeks before the event (thanks Paul Scully for sound advice) so the day itself surely couldn’t get any harder?? Wrong!
The very first Ironman 140.6 in Ireland arrived on a day when the weather conditions were so brutal that competitors were dropping like flies before it even got off the ground. Standing in transition waiting for announcements on swim/shortened swim/no swim, in the cold rain, had the spirits lowering bit by bit. By the time no swim was announced we were already soaked and cold and tired from a 3:30am wake up call.
A Long long wait, as numbers were called back into the tent to change into bike gear and go stand by your bike for another hour while the relentless rain (39.1mm in a day) soaked us through, and finally by the time you swung your leg over the bike your mind was shutting down, the adrenaline no longer pumping and it was a matter of playing mind games to get back in the game…but back in the game we got!
Took off like bats out of hell trying to find a way to warm up before the hypothermia set in. The crowds of supporters all up at silly o clock, lined the start route under umbrellas and ponchos and screamed encouragement at us and that was it. Let’s do this Thing! For all the people who suffered for months when we were missing from their lives with our training or sleeping, and yet were here beside us all the way in horrendous weather but smiling and encouraging and motivating. If you could only bottle it! Ger Carey my bike companion and rock, with Oisin, Laoise, Fiachra and Elan ( Maebh following from work back home), 2 amazing sisters Sheila and Dee never faltering for a minute, the marvellous Mary Duggan running companion and motivator, (Denny Ryan there in spirit) all down for the weekend to cheer and boost us all on.
It carried us around the hilly route twice, through flooded roads and winds that threatened to upend you, and still they were there at every corner telling us to stay going, you’re doing great, you’re fantastic and exuding so much energy it became contagious. That was truly amazing. I couldn’t have made it back up windmill hill a second time around without my support crew running alongside me, cheering me on, willing me to keep going, pushing me off again on my merry way to T2. James and Yvonne (upended in her enthusiasm!), Noel o Meara who got me back on track many’s a time along the way and was there for the push off! Sinead, Maeve, Greg, Paul, Majella, Geraldine and Mike Buckley with his camera, all smiling and waving me on and left me feeling uplifted on the downhill to T2.
I had to ask for help to peel off the wet clothes, as my left arm at this stage was rendered useless, and help dress me in dry gear and push me out on the run course. The rest was epic! I was now in my element, I would finish and enjoy every minute of the 26.2 miles where the supporters roared and cheered and called our names and did Mexican waves outside the pub and rang bells and clapped hands and high fived us…oh my god it was truly sensational.
Now I got to see the incredible Ciara, Timmy, Eoin and Ken who had given me so much hope for getting over the line and we now smiled broadly as we passed each other knowing we were doing something incredible. Anthony Sherlock you told me I would be “the solid finest” and now I was! Returning to the chute to the finish with my support crew running alongside me cheering, videoing (Emma Buckley arrived just in time) and beaming from ear to ear. I finally ran to the finish line. I could see my crew still hanging on after more than 14 hours and I felt like this is what it was all about! I had a dream, I made a plan, I told my family and friends, they said you’re stone mad, they rowed in behind me but they never left my side and never let me stop believing I could do it. Finish times are irrelevant, it wasn’t about one day it was a Journey to a destination and hey….Job done!
So many thanks to all you beautiful people and true friends sending me love and best wishes from wherever you were on the day.
Thanks to Ciara and Eoin for their race reports, I think we should be asking for more reports in the future ye are all aspiring writers!
Last October, the hairs stood on the back of my arms as I followed our club mates competing Ironman Barcelona. I thought they were just incredible and wondered if I could manage something like that. So without much deliberating (so I wouldn’t talk myself out) I signed up for Cork.
Roll on months of “Am I doing enough/too much/anything right” I landed in Youghal.
Once I got that wristband on at registration I was like a little kid on Christmas eve. Then Carmel arrived and she was as excited as I was. We had a great time soaking it all up (sun included). The atmosphere was amazing and I couldn’t wait for Sunday.
It goes without saying we were all deflated and disappointed Sunday morning when the swim was cancelled. It was rough out there. I thought “that’s it, the day is ruined”. Boy was I wrong. It was the most exhilarating, emotional and epic day.
The bike doubled for the swim. The rain never relented and neither did the support around the route. Strangers stood all day in the rain cheering us on. One guy half way up Murphy’s Hill sat in a camp chair under an umbrella and encouraged us up. That was a tough hill, but I knew that worse was to come with Windmill hill only a few miles away!
I had planned to try ride up Windmill on the 1st lap and walk the 2nd to spare the legs for the run……best laid plans!!!
Here, yet again the crowd was unbelievable. They roared, I roared, they roared more. I made it up, both loops, still in the saddle. There were tears in my eyes after both climbs, not pain, just emotion. I’m starting to sound really soppy, but it was simply amazing.
I got back to transition and dumped my cycle gear with a wet thud into its bag and off I set. My family was just outside as I started the run and the cheer gave me a great boost. I’ve never ran a marathon before and I didn’t know what to expect but all I can say is if you are planning on doing one, bring the Nenagh crew for support. Seriously to each of ye, thanks so so much. I don’t how you did it. Every time I passed, big smiles, cheers and high fives. Ye never left the course. It was the most enjoyable 4 hours and 20 mins of running I have ever done in my life.
And when I got that final loop yellow armband on, and put down the bag of salty crisps id been eating from the final feed station, I ran to that finish line with a big smile on my face.
The day for me was made by firstly hearing that the legend Carmel had made the bike cut off with her broken elbow, but secondly with the tremendous support crew that travelled and smiled, cheered and whooped us on!!
I’ll be booking ye for my next one.
An Irish Summer
‘Well, there’s a girl that comes here once a week to clean the house, you know! She’s from Poland and they’re very religious, wasn’t she down at mass the other morning and there was only fifteen people there! And do you know what she says to me, ‘The Lord isn’t happy’, the whole town was down getting ready for the Ironman. She was going out the gate and she turned to me and said it again ‘The Lord isn’t happy’ and she’s very religious you know!’
‘Ah Noreen, and there’s my poor mother above in Tipp on her knees lighting candles.’
‘But sure wasn’t Saturday fine and look at today isn’t it gorgeous!’
Norín was right about one thing, what occurred on Sunday, the one day in between, was biblical. It read like a typical Hollywood script: a lovely peaceful country town, news of a storm starts to filter through, people panic, the storm happens and then the sunny aftermath.
Last swim in the pool on Tuesday, we’re tapering, won’t do much, sure we’ll just go handy and stretch out. Having a bit of craic in the lane when Ken says, ‘I’m getting booties and a neoprene hat.’ ‘Ah go away will ya, sure the lake is grand now.’
‘Don’t know, the lads in Planet Tri reckon the organisers are worried about the water temperature.’
‘You’re gone soft, tis no wonder the Toome crowd win nothin’ anymore!’
The seed was sown. That night I found myself down one of them social media rabbit holes, where the theme is how cold the water is going to be down in Cork? Sure wasn’t it only two weeks ago I cramped up in transition in Lough Cultra. Jaysus I wonder, but sure I’ve swam in the lake a load since and I was fine, and I’ve been dosing myself with magnesium tablets, double dosing in fact, and I’ll be horsing the beetroot juice next week. Damn it I’ll throw Ken an auld text and tell him put me down for a hat and booties. Just in case.
I suppose every area must have one, I don’t know what you’d call them, Clare had Biddy Earley, they’re still waiting above in Mayo for a few lads to die off so Sam can go home, there was the octopus at the world cup, the postman with the weather predictions in Donegal and then Nenagh’s very own Mr. Stallion.
‘Oh Buckley, the 23rd of June is goin’ to be a washout.’
‘Go away you, ya soft townie ya. You went off to Barcelona to do an Ironman, more like a little sun holiday for yourself!’
Could the fecker be right? Is there more goin’ on in that head than we think? (insert X-Files music here)
Probably the worst thing about the Ironman was the day before, putting down time. Joe my neighbour in Norín’s caravan site was doing it as well.
‘The weather’s not looking good for the swim tomorrow. I was just down there at the athlete’s briefing and they mentioned shortening the swim.’
‘Jaysus is it that bad?’
‘There’s 18 mm of rain to fall tomorrow between 2am and six in the evening.’
Then the panic on social media. It was all everybody was talking about. Some angry, some confused and some secretly delighted. Then Norín popped her head into the caravan.
‘Billy’s cousin from five fields over, just rang there a while ago to say, there’s 23 guards above in the village and there’s four priests down on the beach ready to give the last rites.’
‘Ah Norín, what about the lads who don’t go to mass!’
‘Them ironmen, more always go out than come back.’
‘If it’s that Bad Norín they won’t let us out.’
I went to the briefing myself, knowing it would be mostly waffle, but hoping to hear more about the swim. The chirpy girl on the stage was trying her best to raise spirits, but everybody had the same thing on their minds, the swim. We were told it was extremely likely to be shortened and to be prepared to wait around in the morning. Ah sure even if we do half the swim it wouldn’t be too bad. I’ve so much gear bought at this stage, Clever and myself could do an expo down in Youghal Quay on Sunday evening.
Well as they say, the heavens opened for the whole day on Sunday. There was no swim, so even if I managed the rest of it, would it still count? Feck it there’s plenty of frauds walking around the town at home, sure isn’t the King Fraud himself a founding member of the club!
‘Hey Foxy, you made it lad, great stuff.’
‘Well done Eoin. That weather was incredible. We did it!’
Foxy is a Cork lad I trained with on the course earlier in the year. His face tells its own story, sheer relief mixed with emotion. I guess he saw something similar in mine.
‘Get some of that pizza into ya lad and go over and get a rub.’
That weather was incredible, but as much as the dark clouds lashed rain down and the wind fought me every inch of the way, chinks of light break through. The craic with the lads in the pool and the stories in sauna (don’t ask!), taking King Kenny’s throne on Dolla hill, early morning runs with a sprinkling of theological discourse, porridge muffins, being somewhat organised, the words and messages of encouragement, the people of Youghal and surrounding area, lunatics on Windmill hill, the faces from home who came down to roar us on, my clubmates and fellow competitors winning their own battles, the faces of my two biggest supporters in the world after I crossed the line…… and many many more.
These Ironmen were forged long before the 23rd of June.
‘My brother was down in the Walter Raleigh Hotel and there’s a mortuary set up down there.’
‘Ah Jaysus, Norín! I must be some eejit so!’
A few words of wisdom from Timmy Kelly on his experience of Ironman Ireland.
Here are just a few words on the weekend. The atmosphere was unbelievable from the minute we arrived on Friday. Saturday was the same and so was the weather, sunny! Then it all looked like it was going to go wrong after months of training and hard work. Our worst fears came true with the weather conditions forcing the swim to be cancelled (which was the right decision). It was a massive disappointment, especially as it was our first Ironman! Anyway, with the bike and run still going ahead it was time to get our heads back in the game and go get it done. Wow, the bike was, in one word “EPIC”. From the support from complete strangers cheering us on at every turn and km in horrendous conditions, to what is one of the most memorable and special moments I have ever had which was the infamous windmill hill, it had everything! Windmill hill saw people walking up, including a few pros, to people falling off their bikes. Crowds lined both sides of the road cheering you up that Hill, and in my case, I had James and Yvonne Sheehan roaring at me so much that I was afraid to stop! What an adrenaline rush, made all the more memorable as we got to do it all again a second time! I think that is what got me around the second loop on the bike. Onto the run and again, unbelievable was the support on the route and it was made so much easier by the club members that were lining the street cheering and keeping us going. I know I can speak for the rest of the crew when I say ye really did an amazing job in helping us all get over that line on Sunday.
What a day and what a weekend.
During the weekend gone by, people were out sun bathing, eating 99’s and having BBQ’s…….. on Saturday. So hopes were high for anyone that was travelling to Cork on Sunday for the Ironman!!!! Well………… that hope died a death on Sunday morning when the first indications of s*#t weather was en route, with the swim leg of the Ironman being cancelled.
Nenagh had 6 hardy, well prepared triathletes in Cork for the Ironman and no one would argue with us all saying that they 100% did the club proud. You wouldn’t throw a duck out in the weather they had to endure. There might have been no official swim but its safe to say the water deposited on Sunday made for a very wet cycle and run, the sea might have been warmer!
Words I took from the viber messages to describe the weather were: “Non stop rain”, horrendous”, “miserable”, “monsoon”, “brutal”.
But words I saw to describe these warriors were: “Awesome”, “Great club”, “phenomenal”, “Nut Jobs”, “inspiring”.
Times were: Ciara 11:52:06, Timmy 11:39:48, Carmel 14:46:49, Eoin 9:46:58, Ken 12:58:58, JP 11:52:35
With requests for shower training sessions im taking it that these heroes want to do another one!!! Sounds like Windmill Hill made an impression!
Also, well done to all the supporters who travelled down. It sounds like a friendly face and someone to high-five on the run helps motivation when people are in the depths of torture.
We are all looking forward to a race report or two from our Ironmen and women so put those warm happy memories on paper!
Its been a busy few weeks with running our own club races, but this weekend we get to sit back, relax and watch some of our members take on Iron Man Cork. There have been a lot of early morning lake swims, hilly club cycles, and the odd long run. But now its time to put all that practice into full motion.
Everyone on the committee and all our club members would like to wish everyone participating, the very best of luck. We have no doubt there will be a lot more tattoos earned by Sunday evening!
To track our athletes click on the below link and add in their name.
It was a busy weekend of activities with people racing at Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon and others taking part in the Tour De Conamara. We had podium finishes and people so famous they made it into a promotional video! And its only May yet! For the Iron men and women training for Cork, Lough Cutra Castle allowed them to feel half the torture. Only 4 weeks to go!!
Only 3 weeks left until the club open water triathlon the “Lough Derg Sprint”. We would encourage all club members to take part in this race but please ensure you have someone who can help marshal in your place. The text for volunteers will be sent out shortly. Please help promote this event by sharing our LDS posts on Facebook.
Now that people have described the water as “balmy” we are starting the Dromineer triathlon series this Wednesday May 29th. The stop watch starts at 7pm sharp so make sure you are down early to get your transition ready and are in the water, acclimatised, for 7pm. We would ask that people support this training event and start at 7pm with everyone rather than all different times prior to that. Its safer especially with open water no matter how experienced you are! Remember the Pike??!!!
As you all know Hell of The West is our club away triathlon on June 29th. Accommodation has been sorted by Clever, but for your race entry you must do it yourself! So please follow this link to complete your race registration. Click Here.
The Lough Derg Sprint is only 4 weeks away! So please spread the word about this open water triathlon, especially the fact that we have a try-a-tri. The swim for the try-a-tri allows you to stand as it is peer-to-peer, so it is very safe.
The following is a brief from Limerick Triathlon Club (LTC), the host of our first race in the 2019 league:
To all competing triathletes in the TRIMunster League 2019 and participating clubs:
Congratulations to all of you that competed in the first race of the inaugural TRIMunster League; The Joey Hannan Memorial Triathlon held in the grounds of the University of Limerick this past weekend.
The sun made a welcome appearance for the standard distance race and made for a great start to the league. In the men’s league five of the age groups were represented so at the top of the table there is currently a 5-way tie. In the female league, four age groups came in making it currently a 4-way tie at the top. Below is a link to the complete scoring after our first of nine races in the 2019 League. If there are any mistakes with the scoring please let us know: email@example.com.
TRIMunster Race Scoring
We certainly expect a shuffle at the top after our next event in Up the Creek on the 2nd June. Enter Here.
It is too early to look at the club cup competition at the moment, but as a LTC member I am glad to see a lot of LTC represented in the points. Given it was one of our home events this isn’t unexpected.
All races are still open for entries at the moment with the exception of The Lost Sheep which has already sold out, so get registering folks.
Yours in Sport, Richard Chapman, LTC Chairman.
This week is week 2 of the Nenagh 5K run series. It’s not looking like we will get tanning weather but the rain is warm and looking to clear for 7pm!
This week is count down week. You will all aim to finish at the same time. The clock will count down from about 35mins so you will start at a time with an aim to finish when the clock reaches zero!!
Results from last week:
March of many weathers has left and we are into April showers! This means its time for the return of our 5k/3k run series. This is a popular race suitable for all levels and anyone can attend, not just club members.
We will be looking for a donation of €3 per head with all funds going to a charity. If you have a charity suggestion please let us know and we will look at all options.
Please arrive early to collect a number and be ready to start at 7pm sharp!
We are only 18 days away from the North Tipp Sprint! Please make sure to keep spreading the word about this race! We will be putting out the call for marshals soon so get your high-vis vests ready and soften the butter for the sandwiches!