Heave-HO…Here We Go. Saturday 8th August 2020
My First Cycle Around Lough Derg
by Abigail Grant Ryan
Nenagh-Ballina-Killaloe-Two Mile Gate-Ogonnelloe-Tuamgraney-Scarriff-Mountshannon-Whitegate-Connagh-Gorteeny-Portumna.
Bursting with Excitement
Last Saturday I took part in the Lough Derg Lake cycle. As this would be the furthest, I’d ever cycled I checked was it ok to set off 7.20am instead of the 7.30am start of 1st group. I initially was going in group 3 thinking that was slower group lucky I copped that one early enough or all the sambos at the tea would have been long gone by time I arrived Phew!
A chill in the air but sunscreen on as forecast was for a great day. Past the hurling field. Here we go! I was bursting with excitement for the challenge that lay ahead. I’d been putting in the miles over the past few months.
While craning my neck to see who was at hurling field, the starting point, I forgot to start my Garmin watch and was on way towards Newtown till I realised Oh, I was kicking myself I am going to do the longest cycle I’ve ever done, and I won’t know how long it was. Damn!
Nice and easy up towards Portroe longest incline ever but the other side is always worth the huffy puff climb. Heave-HO here we gooooooooo I whizzed down the hill no brakes applied as I had been here before and it is the closest thing you’ll get to flying like a bird.
Picture Post Card Stuff
The “look-out” over the Lough Derg in the early morning was spectacular. There was a pink tint in the water. Not only were the trees reflecting but also the clouds above. It was like a painting. I thought how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of the country with this on our doorstep. How lucky am I, my family are all asleep in bed and im up a hill looking at this.
I passed a few cyclists coming up the hill from Ballina the look of envy on their faces as we exchanged the nod/wave was funny they were probably saying I wish I were coming down this fecking hill.
Is This My Lucky Day or WHAT?
I got the green light at the Killaloe Ballina bridge, always a bonus!
I’m an hour into our little adventure I say “our” as it’s Viv and I. She’s my bike and being dyslexic I actually mis-read LIV on frame to be “VIV” and it stuck. So VIV and I are expecting company any minute so I decided it was time to drink something and eat my peanut crackers and jam (thanks Ciara Gaynor) I remember she used them in her ironman on the bike and it’s just perfect for this day out.
Onwards we go and green traffic light as I approach the roadworks. My luck is with me again as I just miss cattle crossing and someone on the road letting out a large truck too!.
Reaching Ogonalue and looking out right to lake there was another picture postcard scene. The water being so calm it looked like the boat there it was hovering over the water spectacular and only me to see it not a sole in sight. Where is everyone?
On wards and upwards matching, the down I got on the other side of lake and I was wishing they had picked Mountshannon as a stop off for food. Time to eat something again.
Mount Shannon I must come back here as it has a very cool park with an even cooler maze that both kids and adults will find fun. Passing the impressive Stag sculpture coming at end of the village.
Later I Pass a lad walking beside a mountain bike before Whitegate so I asked him was he ok as I did have a pump and a phone on me, but he said he was fine…. As I cycled on god, he’d a long way to go to the next village.
Still no sign of anyone and in a way, I was glad as the roads were not the best and I steered Vivian clear of a fair few potholes.
Longest 10km EVER and I’m TOO EARLY
23km to go ok we can do this. Almost 3 hours since I left Nenagh and 10km to go ok and I think the sign is wrong like where the hell are the signs for portumna!! Arse very sore by this stage and 1 bottle gone.
10.40 am and I say to myself god I’m going to be too early my kids were coming out to the forest park for 11am and I’m thinking I’ll have to wait till Roisin in the support car with the plate of sambos and flask of tea arrives behind the rest of the riders.
Just then to whip me out of my daydreaming a very Large German shepherd starts barking bounding towards me in a garden. Oh, I speed up big time hoping that there is no opening at the end of the wall. I could always get my bottle ready to spray at him (thank you Darren Dunne for that tip) lucky he was going nowhere…. onwards to the longest road ever towards the forest park. I thought it would never end.
Company and a Tea Party for Kings and Queens
As I signalled my hand for a right turn into forest, I looked behind me and low and behold there is 4 cyclists in beautiful lake jerseys pulling in with me…. Poor Vivian, I drove her over the cattle grid my teeth chattering in my skull and after me looking after her so well for las 3 plus hours!!!
Well what an unexpected surprise awaited us in the forest! 2 long tables laden down with every goody and sambo you could think a cyclist should not eat! It was just so lovely! What a lovely lunch! Thank you so much to all the helpers and sponsors this was needed, and we were all very grateful for it.
The rest of troop started to pile in and it was lovely to see my husband my kids. So many cyclists all together re-fuelling and was lovely to see familiar faces and Geraldine and Majella who I have cycled with over the past 2 years arriving. Both giving out to me for going ahead of the group time.
It’s A Long Way To Tipperary
After a quick photo social distanced, we all joined up together outside the park entrance again and took off for home. Lovely chat all the way and banter. I thought it would be the easy section of the cycle, but it was quite a long journey to get back to Nenagh I kept up as best I could but lost the main crew after Ardcroney. Every corner I went around I thought I’d be at meat factory but no another long section of road ahead. I did have my very own personal escort Mary Duggan Cullen in her car behind me though, thanks Mary.
“you couldn’t have asked for a better day to cycle around the lake”.
Reached the Hurling club and said our goodbyes the synopsis out of everyone’s mouth was “you couldn’t have asked for a better day to cycle around the lake”.
What a good cause and a real achievement for me personally. I can’t wait to get going with my little friend Viv again on another day out. Thanks to everyone involved for giving up your time for us cyclists.
Thanks to all in the Tri club for all your encouragement over the past 2 years since I joined. To Paul who gave me a H.I.A. when I fell badly off the bike last October right on the side of my head and for Clever, Paul, Majella and Geraldine who made sure I got home ok that morning. I will never forget your kindness. Thanks to all the Saturday regulars for heading out with me on cycles in all weathers during the past two winters even when I was on a bike that was for a 6ft man and I didn’t even know it. Back then I never would have believed I could cycle around Lough Derg in a morning.
…….so what distance was the bloody thing after all that!!!!! Stupid watch!!!???
Next time I might even brave it to go with Group 1!
Given we are 3 months into our winter training schedule I presume everyone has saved their €10 a month for their club membership! We are taking the membership straight this year so I will post the club account details in our viber group. If you are not on this group let me know and I can send you the details.
You need to text me (Mary) as soon as you transfer as I need to track who has paid. Also, please add your name in the comments section when you are doing the transfer.
The costs are: €30 per adult and €50 per couple. Juniors are free.
You still need to purchase your TI membership separately to cover you from an insurance perspective for training and races.
The Christmas party is set for Saturday December 14th in Rockys @ 9pm. Not sure if Santy will be there but there will be a few free drinks dispensed which might entice a few out!
Thanks to Ciara for her great race report for Ironman Maryland. Massive congrats to you.
They say Ironman is all about the journey getting to the start line. Well that journey almost didn’t happen thanks to US Immigration!!! We (Jeremy, Charlie and I) were hauled aside by them in Dublin Airport after Jeremy’s passport/prints flagged something. Long story short, Charlie and I made a last second dash to the plane and left him behind! In the end he flew out the following day but it meant a 300 dollar taxi to Cambridge, Maryland on Wednesday for Charlie and I.
Anyway, checked in Thursday and soaked up some of the atmosphere with Charlie around the town (the hurleys were a great addition to the suitcase to keep Cha amused).
Plans for a pre-race swim were cast aside as all the talk was about the jellyfish infested waters!! I thought best to let the thousand plus people in front of me Saturday, beat them out of the way rather than get stung beforehand. Also, with the unusually high temperatures, there was a lot of talk and concern on my part whether the swim would be wetsuit legal or not. Pre-race run and bike also scrapped as it was so bloody hot and I had a persistent headache for 2 days.
Racked my bike and bags Friday, a little bit of retail therapy (could have done with Carmel) and it was only then I started to get excited for the race. I heard some say to let air out of the tyres as the heat could burst them overnight. Heard of at least one where that happened!
Saturday morning came and a 4am wake up call, quick brekkie and shuttle bus to the start. Water temp posted at 23.4 so wetsuit was on thank god.
Wetsuit on, and a layer of Vaseline on hands and feet as its supposed to act as a barrier to jellyfish! Self-seeded start line and a blaring rendition of the American National Anthem got the first group into the water at 6.40am. I hit the water about 15 mins later. It was brackish so visibility was nil but it was lovely and warm. The swim was a rectangular 2 loop course with a timing arch to swim under after the first lap. I got slapped and banged a fair bit on the first lap, my sighting is crap so it could have been my own fault. The goggles got slapped off once too. At times I felt like I wasn’t moving at all, especially after the 3rd turn to get under the timing arch. I learned later it was the current pulling us back to shore. On the second loop I got stung on each wrist but it was only a little sting. The current messed with us again turning for the exit and it felt like I was going further away from it than getting closer, but I eventually hit terra firma. Big hands pulled me out and yanked at my zip before I ran to the wetsuit strippers, lay on the ground and suit off in 2 seconds. Bliss. Volunteers stood with bottles of vinegar to combat the jelly stings. Many people were stung multiple times and a few pulled from the water with bad reactions, I was lucky. Into T1 after 1.19 swim, I was delighted. Quick dry off, socks and shoes on and out on the bike.
The course was lovely and flat, not a windmill hill in sight. But there was plenty of wind. It was very exposed in areas but a cool way to sightsee. There were a few crashes none of which I was involved in thank god. It was cloudy out there but still very warm. I drank something like 3 litres of Tailwind and another 2.5 litres of straight water! Got back to T2 after just over 6 hours on the bike which I was delighted with too. Change of socks again and pulled on my race belt and out I went for my favourite bit, the run.
Bloody hell, it was HOT!! The sun had come out and it was about 28oC with serious humidity on top of that. The first 6 or so miles were a horribly boring out and back, through deserted streets which we would have to do twice, then back past transition and through the park before an over and back through the town. There were some great supporters along the route, sitting drinking beer in their gardens along the route with music blaring. One guy sat drinking beer on top of a ladder with his garden hose which he’d spray over us on request. One stretch in the town had about 100 yards of cobbles which got amazingly tough as the day went on and you really had to concentrate to find your feet on them! On my first loop coming out of the park I spotted my mini support group of Jeremy and Charlie. It was just the boost I needed and tried not to get too emotional so just plastered on my fake running smile.
I ran the first half and once I hit the 13 mile mark I broke it down aid station to aid station. Run/walk to each station, then walk through it taking ice on board along with the odd orange quarter. I took 2 gels on after 10 miles each (had 3 but lost one) and a salt tablet every hour. There were people cramping, and puking, and lining up for the porta loos but I managed to avoid any gut problems. I think the addition of salty peanut butter crackers on the bike with my ride energy bars helped. 2 long loops followed by a shorter 6 mile loop. I got to the last turn around and that was it, I was going to run to the finish! The last half mile was all in the town, and there was a great atmosphere there. Lucky sods were drinking beer all day. I was gagging for a big slice of pizza and a cold beer!
That red carpet, it is just fab to get to run along it and hear your name called out (or that of your old family car!) Sierra Cairns, you are an Ironman! It was very emotional running up that carpet and no matter how many times I’ve told myself to keep it cool, I was crying and dancing all the way! 4 hours 56mins run, a lot slower than hoped but happy overall.
It was an amazing experience that I am lucky to have had. Charlie was there at the finish line and I happily hung my medal around his neck. We hung around for a few minutes before I went for a Normatec boot session at the expo (bloody amazing) before heading for the food tent, I was ravenous. Until I saw the offerings…..rice and beans! Sweet Jesus, I can honestly say after 12 hours 27 mins talking to myself I swear I never once said mmmmm I’m gonna have rice after this! So once we got back to the hotel I sent poor Jeremy out for beer and burgers! Shower, Beer, Burger and Bed! Perfect end to an amazing day.
We are officially back this evening starting with Berties circuits at 7pm in the GAA complex in Nenagh. Get your week off to a good start!
Keep an eye on the phones for the turbo text to book your bike! It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get one, you can always BYO and a turbo!
Membership! Yes it’s that time again where we come begging with the poor mans hat but…. its your funds that keep the training sessions going. Once we receive the memberships and associated email addresses we can start emailing out the sets like last year from Darren.
Not a great day to say get ready to run and cycle the roads given there is a hurricane off the coast and it looks like the roads are rivers with todays rain!
But….. we are made of hard stuff and have had a month off to create a good lagan jacket! Official training schedule is now agreed and starts on Monday October 7th with Berties Circuits in the Nenagh GAA complex at 7pm. Keep an eye on viber as some people will do a run before this. Its great to have this class back as its a conditioning class that will really help during next years race season.
Below is the schedule. Regarding the turbo bikes John will be doing the usual “fingers on the buzzers” so stay tuned to viber!!
We had the AGM last week with the end of year swim. Our numbers of dolphins were low but well done to everyone who braved it. The committee was re-elected with some new fresh eager faces to help.
It remains as John Meagher, Mary Donnellan, Cliodhna McGrath, Ronan O’Driscoll, John Ryan and Paul Scully. Welcome to Ken Hassett, John Leinster, Mary Duggan and Ger Carey who have volunteered without any peer pressure….. to help with club away trips and other fun stuff!!
The main thing to note for 2020 is that there will be no NTS or LDS. Whilst we are not a club in it for the money, we were incurring loses at these events and there wasn’t a lot of benefit added for the work everyone had to put in. We have decided to put the work into the club members instead with the help of the new committee to arrange events for our members.
Ironman/woman: Well done to Ciara who added another IM medal to her collection at the weekend. A race report on the jelly fish is required!!
Monday: Circuits in running complex at 7pm
Tuesday: 6:30am swim. 7pm Turbo. 8pm masters swim
Thursday: 6:30am swim. 7pm run set on Dromin Rd
Friday: 6:30am masters swim
Saturday: 9:00am cycle
Sunday: Check viber
Another triathlon season has come to an end and we are marking it as we usually do, with the end of year swim, followed by food, drink and fights over who wants to run the club because I know people are queuing at the gate for this job!!
The swim will start at 5pm sharp from Youghal to make the most of the day light. The water will be piping hot with the weather forecasted this week! We will have cars there to ferry people around and collect bags.
We would greatly appreciate any help from kayakers to ensure we don’t lose anyone or if someone decides they are too hungry to last the whole swim!
If you can’t make the swim please try to be in Garrykennedy for 7:30pm for the AGM. We will provide finger food and a free pint for your troubles. Also, please come with an open mind into volunteering on the club committee. We have committee members who have been happy helpers for 7 years so a little siesta is well overdue! Its your club so it would be great to get some fresh eyes and opinions (before the free drink!).
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!