Tri Athy report from Liam O’Rinn, (AKA Will Rymer, AKA John Ryan “Clever”).

It’s the finish of the club tri last Wednesday and I thinking that I need to get a few more sprints in to get ready for HOTW. So I decide to put the word out for a spare entrance for Athy……. It really is a wonder that after the soul searching by Ronan O’Driscoll and I prior to getting into the choppy waters of Dromineer that anyone would want to ever wish to enter cooooooolllld water again.. But there really is no guessing what people will do..

Will Rymer came back to me on Viber with an entrance to Athy… But of course its not straight forward as the entrance is in Will’s name and even if I took the “Blue pill” in the Matrix I wouldn’t look/sound/act anything like a DDS practitioner from the Cotswolds…. It looks like I was going to have to be the worst Irish impersonator of an English Gentleman since Timothy Dalton in 007…


In the end I was saved by gracious help from Will as he went to Athy on Friday and did the registration. Thus Anglo Irish relations were spared a diplomatic incident of being sussed by the Tri registration feds.

For the trip I had the company of Darren Dunn, (Dunner the Stunner), and Eoin Woolley, (Woolley the wizard!!!!). The day started with setting up the bike rack on me Mondeo… I had it set up and had just got out of the car in the Tesco car park when a buddy approached me from the back with the greeting of “niiice rack”. I had momentarily forgotten about the appendage on the back of the Mondeo and thought, “do I have moobs or what?”… Silly season was setting in.

Darren and Eoin turn up and we set off to Will’s house in Rapla to pick up the goodie bag of timing chip, swim hat, race No etc, etc… There was will, all domesticated with his two rug rats running about the place.. It really looks like Will has gone “native” in Rapla, especially when you consider that his Friday night consists of watching the late late show… (bet yer loving the toy shows Will!!!). It was a wistful looking Will that was waving us goodbye over his front gates……. You could see that Will would have really wanted to be in the car to Athy… I was going to have to make good use of Will’s registration to do justice to his help…

It was a good trip up…. I had Darren in the back of the car studying his leaving cert maths… I hadn’t heard of a Fourier equation in years and hearing him discuss it sent a shiver down my spine from when I did my own leaving soooooooooooooo many years ago. It is amazing what I don’t know about triathlons and training when I am in the company of two eager beevers that love pushing themselves… Eoin and Darren were fonts of knowledge when it came to the technical aspects of Triathlons. In all the conversation Darren gave me a nugget of wisdom with, “an honest man is an honourable man”…. Right so Darren, lets see how this day pan out and see how an honest/honourable man finish’s the race. The one thing that I really liked was being in a car with two lads that had a great chance of winning overall or their age group.. That extended to Eoin O’Donoghue and Rachel Clancy. I was in rarefied company…

We got to Athy college and parked up. Darren and Eoin went and registered and I met Eoin Sheehan, Rachel and Eoin O’Donoghue. All present and correct. Eoin Sheehan, was in his best Bridget Delaney mode and we were all putty in his hands doing the requested poses……

We went down to Transition and there was the biggest queue ever. Transition opening was delayed for an hour.. Grrrrrrr, that sort of thing would upset you… If you let it

.And fek it, I was getting hungry…. This hour delay was going to put me in an energy deficit and Johnnie boy here dosnt do well when hungry. So off I go and have a nice spicy Indian Chicken Wrap, Chips and side salad with a strong Americano.. By my reckoning I wasn’t gonna be starting till 6.00pm anyway. That gave me 2.5hrs to digest..

So, transition opens and I meet the lads individually while walking around… There really is a difference between the “Elites” and the rest of us “Trier’s”… It was “rubber bandit” and bike porn central over there. There are the Elites with the strechy rubber bands stretching muscles that I didn’t even know existed. It’s a different world alrite….. I was chatting to Eoin Sheehan and Rachel in the company of the official Tri photographer. The photographer was commenting on one of the bikes that was worth a kings ransom in the most complimentary tones when Rachel says, “that’s my bike”…

At last, at last, the race briefing and the band revv’s up and leads all the lad/ies like the pied piper along the bank of the Barrow. I stay at the bridge to watch the elite waves and maybe learn something. The try-a-tri’s go first, then it’s the elite Men’s and I know Dunner the Stunner is going to be in contention…. Lets watch this Honest/Honourable man do his stuff………. Jaysus, them lads are booting it down the river, which one is Dunner??? Aaaah there he is, fifth place and there is fourth place just ahead of him. Number four get to the ramp just before Darren and clutches the railing to pull himself up but he is a bit dishevelled/dizzy and stumbles out of the water. In doing so, he was getting in the way of Darren….. Darren was having none of it, Darren caught him at the shoulder, propelled himself forward and yer man nearly back into the water for a lap of honour… Darren is out in Fourth!!!! Was it Honest & Honourable???? I don’t know, but I do know this, it was the right thing to do in an all growd up competition. It is this edge to Darren that will bring the best out of him in future races and whatever career he choose’s. No one is gonna put Dunner the Stunner in the corner!!!

Athy is a pain in the glutumus maximus with all the waiting around… Especially if you are wave 11 with 7 mins between waves.. The math is easy. Darren and Rachel will be finished before I put a toe in the H2O.. Ok, lets do a nice warm up… a Grand 10/15 min jog will do fine.. It’s getting close to my K.O. so I best get it done fast… Off we go, pounding the roads, slap, slap, slap of my flat soles against the tarmac.. Just like tapping the bottom of a Ketchup bottle. Ooooops, I feel a Paula Radcliff moment after that Indian wrap… This warm up served two purposes so…

It’s 5.55pm and we are finally allowed into the water. The water is coooolllldd and I need to warm up or I will have a full body shrivel…… Certainly Ramon wouldn’t need his shoe horn to get me out of the wet suit……This is a large group of men and they have been standing around for over 1.5hrs. You can see the whole lot of them strain their faces and the water temp raises by a degree or so… Mna Na hEireann, how do you put up with such Neanderthal behaviour????

Yer wan’s Christmas toy cap gun goes “Clap” and we are off…………….. When im in the middle of it a swim I feel like Im bustin a gut but I know that if you are watching me from the bank that it seems much more pedestrian…. I can concentrate on this swim, there are no sea horses in this river trying to get on me back, (I understand they don’t like fresh water in the first place but was it really because there were no Mna in the water and that the Fir Na hEireann can be more civil???? Jus trowing it out there lad/ies??). The swim turnaround was a breeze, there’s no choppiness or waves and the current is working grand taking me back to the ramp.. It’s also handy havin the centre ropes on the RHS where I can see when I breath. It’s all coolaboola till about 20 meters from the bridge where the water is shallow and Im stroking hard with my left hand. Ooouch, there is a metal grid in the water and I scratch my hand badly off it… I hope its not cut and if it is cut, WWWD? (what would Will do, seein how he is a doctor n’all). I get out of the water and examine my hand, grand, no cut, drive on ta hell and don’t be a big Gurls blouse… The difference between Valentia and Athy is massive, no dizziness getting out, just move forward and the faster the better. At T1 there is no seat for me to set me arse on and take off my wet suit so I park it on the ground and get changed. On with Socks, bike shoes, top, helmet, take a good sup of watery orange and clip, clop, clip clop off to the beep, beep, beep. The firkin wind was terrible on the way out but I prefer that to going against it coming back in.. “Put up with it Ryan and shut yer whinging”… I am on the bike for 5 mins and there is Eoin Woolley streaking past me from wave 12…. It gets old hearing the rumble of the carbon wheels in my right ear and then seeing them streak by….. Tiznt the wheels Clever, it’s the hours they put in that get them this fast…..  Jaysus, I have a lot of catching up to do in the three disciplines………..      I think of myself as an Honest/Honourable man and would never, ever, draft…… But, I know for a fact that Will Rymer has!!!!!!!!!!!      Ya can never trust them Sasanach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!      Ha, Ha……..

We get to the bike turnaround and off we trot with the wind on me back, Big gear front, small gear back and get the legs burning.

Back to T2, beep, beep, beep, clip, clop… Clip Clop… Bike racked, Helmet off, shoes off, runners on, big gulp of water&orange and off for the run…. Beep, beep, beep… The run has changed since the last year but in a good way. There is no two way traffic along the canal but it is slippy in places and I have a time that I want to make… I just about make it but I make it. I havnt sullied the good name of the Rymer family

The weather turned nasty, nasty, nasty and no one was hanging around… I’d say I cycled as fast back to the car as I did in the race… I only noticed the misery of it all once I didnt have to focus on the racing… I don’t know about Athy Lad/ies, it’s a loooooonnng wait and a looooonnng day to pay for something that each of us could do in Dromineer.. At least it is the real deal and everyone gets to measure up against our peers and ourselves….. And I get to hang out with motivated people that I can learn from…. I must congratulate all the lad/ies with connections to Nenagh Tri club.. What a set of achievements… We all know how well Darren and Rachel did but big kudos to Eoin O’D and Eoin Woolley who both did magnificent………..Will I do this event again? Ask me next yr.. Now I need to focus on “by Hook or by Crook” & then HOTW.

 BRING IT OONnnnnnnnn.

Comments are closed.