Athlone National Sprint Championships
Just a brief report about the National Sprint Championships that was held in Athlone this year. 8 of the club headed up for this years race and everyone having different hopes.. it was going to be a fun day. With Athlone not being too far away from Nenagh it wasn’t a bright and early start which was nice 🙂
Registration was swift with all the volunteers which I didn’t expect with such large numbers in the race. Numbers and timing chip all got, back to the car to get the bikes and some food. Bikes assembled, me and Eoin went off to find the rest of the group and set up our transition. I will never forget the length of the transition. My guess it was 600 metres from end to end.
Back to the race. Transition set up for everything, we gathered on the bank of the river with wetsuits in hand, waiting until the race started. Para-triathletes up first then Try-a-tri, followed by women then men for the Sprint. With the amount of people in the race I wasn’t surprised the waves were about 20 minutes behind schedule. Wave 3 were called and 4 of the girls were off, the usual goodbye’s were said like it was the end of the world! Wave 4 was called and Cliodhna headed off all alone as usual. A long wait until wave seven when Eoin headed down to the swim start. Next up was myself and Ross O’Meara. I would like to say we were in the water before we knew it but like everyone else before we were left cooking in our wetsuits for around 15 minutes before we could get in. Bad decision to pull the wetsuit up so early! My swim was simple enough, got clean water right from the gun so no complaints. The girls didn’t have as much fun with Sinead nearly losing her goggles around the first bouy and Cliodhna losing not one but both of her swimming hats. Out of the water and into transition. With such a long run in transition, made things difficult but soon enough we were on our bikes.
The cycle was simple, out and back on a bypass with 2 roundabouts to be dealt with, almost identical to the North Tipp Sprint. The turn-around couldn’t come soon enough with most of the out section of the bike uphill. Hit the turn around and soon enough we were at the dismount line. Off the bike and another long transition began. Leave t2 and onto the run.
The run was more of a maze than anything with small loops and out and backs and pedestrians constantly crossing roads, it was hard to stay moving. With it being 2 loops you always had a fair idea of how far was left but one by one we all got to the finish line without any problems. With almost everyone happy with their performance it was an enjoyabe atmosphere after the race. With plenty of tan gotten it was a great day out.
The first man home for the club was Darren Dunne in a fabulous time of 1:05:59, followed by Eoin O’Donoghue (1:10:11) and Ross O’Meara (1:20:45). First woman home was Sinead Kennedy in a spectacular time of 1:24:03, she in turn was followed by Majella Moyles (1:25:27), Cliodhna McGrath (1:25:31) Anita Egan (1:33:52) & Mary Donnellan (1:42:22). All club members put in a great performance, and yet again achieved National Series points for the Club.