The Blue Suit

Get a coffee………

Ok then so after Brighton marathon it became all about getting ready for Limerick and the ETU Age Group Duathlon Championships.

First things first, disc wheel finally put back together and a 24.36 10 mile TT on a wet and windy course. On the course in question I would usually be unhappy with the time but given how everyone else did I actually had quite a good evening. Matt also dropped his bike off.

Thursday was annoying really as I had a busy day at work and had things which needed doing but in reality I was thinking about Limerick and getting the car ready. Collected Rach from the station and was home about17.40. Planned to leave the house by 1830 but this all went badly wrong. Let me explain. 2 people and 3 bikes is easy as you have spare seats for things. 3 people meant careful with the bikes and get all the wheels in and all the clothes yet still leave Matt somewhere to sit. In the end Matt had space and Rach did although she did lose a bit of leg room.

We had a cabin on the ferry over which was fab, in the morning Rach and Matt told me about the choppy sea and foghorn, I heard nothing :¬) We stopped for breakfast about 60 kms from Rosslaire at a cafe that only took cash :¬0 This meant I had to drive into the town and get some.(this was a common theme in Ireland) As we approached Limerick we decided to use GPS technology to get to the hotel and so we arrived in the middle of nowhere and regretted that choice. A quick call to the hotel and we were soon there( we discovered that everywhere is “Oh about 10 minutes”).

Decided we should test the bikes before registration so kitted up and rode down the N18, this was interesting and fast so we got off there and headed into town on normal roads this is when Rach decided to hit the pothole that was the size of MANCHESTER and explode the front tyre. Being organised we had a tube and levers but NO PUMP fortunately we had some “funny foam” and this got us moving but not before I had been a stroppy ass as I changed the tyre. I think Matt just wanted to laugh and Rach wanted the ground to open up and swallow her. Later on this whole event was quite funny and we did learn our way around town.

We drove back into town for registration and team briefing. Good t-shirts and I expressed a desire to be Irish as they had cool kit. I can’t really talk about the briefing as I was asleep although I came round in time to ask about disc wheels, compression clothing and hair styling. Dinner was at the steak house after I had a haircut.

Race day

Up around 6am we had breakfast sent to the room. Bike loaded and headed to the start. As we crossed the bridge Rach stopped “F*CK, I have forgotten my chip” Matt and I responded together “so have I”  talk about removing transition worries. We charged in dumped the gear and ran back to the car returning to the hotel and grabbing chips. We were back around the event by 8.45 so we dropped Rach who went to the start while Matt and I parked the car. Over to the start by 9 and was able to wish Rach good luck and then Matt as he was off 5 mins before me.

My race.

Run One – Off way too slowly having once more failed to start far enough forward. No worried though as by 3kms I was clear enough and running with a group of 3 others, the only frustration for me was a twingy hamstring AGAIN which made me a little cautious but I was moving ok.  After the 2nd lap of the run I learnt a few lessons so moved decided I would move to the front of the group before the twisty section this allowed me to plot my path and avoid the slower people who were in front of me. Worked a treat and as I headed out on to lap4 I only had an Irish chap for company. Came into transition and was clocked at 36.14(a 3,53 first KM accounting for a lot of that and being over-cautious the rest). I had hoped to run closer to 35.30, impressed at how well measured the course was.

T1 – nothing silly just followed my usual calm approach.

Bike – as always I spent the first 300 metres dodging the “experts” who insist on putting shoes on the bike and then weave up the road !!!!!!! Went out hard and on the first 2 laps I was moving very fast indeed. I  flew past Skunk, and except for the dead turns which if hit in traffic really slowed you down all was good. On lap three two things happened. I heard Rach shout that I was catching her and sadly realised I had gone out a little hard. How did I know? Burning legs and noticing that I was feeling the wind much more(it did pick up really it did). Lap 4 and I caught Matt who like me had gone out hard and was feeling the same pain I was. No more drama though and a good dismount saw me passing people as I legged it into T2. Time – 60.05(just missed the hour which was disappointing but still good)

T2 – More places to me as I was out and running quickly.

Run Two – cadence was good but stride small as I rushed out of transition and I could feel how hard I had worked on the bike. Unusually I was passed by another runner who was on the same lap as me(he beat me by 30 seconds in the end) which helped to get me going and slowly my pace picked up. On lap two I started to see other red numbers and this helped me push the pace a little more. I was stunned to see the finish arrive with a time of 16.33!!!! Total time for the event was 1.54.53(Last run was 2.8miles as the officials made a boob and cut a corner off)

All in all 41st 8th in AG and 3rd Brit. Yes I can bitch about my hamstring AGAIN and yes I can complain about my weight but the reality is I am making good progress and had a good race so I’m going to be happy with how I did.

Discovered that Rach was 6th lady in her AG and Matt finished exactly half way in his AG. Also saw that El Skanko was pretty pleased as well. Happy days. Headed back to the hotel for showers before coming back to collect bikes.

Coffee time for us, we were joined by Nigel, Miss Cybernetics and Joan(Team Manager) where lots of chatting about results followed. Later we headed back to the hotel and Matt joined me for a 30 minute shake down run before dinner.

Sunday arrived and I was up before 7Am and headed out for a 60 minute run, I wanted to get out early so I could join Matt and Rach on the bike. Into town we watched lots of the open race and yes I wished I was racing. Gave us a chance to cheer on @smcgui . After that Team Dark Lord went touring on TT bikes. This is not good up-country lanes and not on Zipp 404 wheels. It was however awesome as we were joined by 3 locals and we got a cracking chain gang going as we came back along the N18. It was finally Coffee Time AGAIN :¬) before watching some of the Elite ladies race which with SEVEN entrants was disappointing. A chat with Anja(Dutch Gold medal winner) and an exchanging of email addresses was good and then we said our goodbyes. Loading the car for leaving was very straight forward and Matt may even have a little more room, MAYBE…….

The hotel was brilliant and they looked after us really well, having a subway nearby also helped. The drive back to Rosslaire was 100% drama free as well. I hope the UK part of the journey is as smooth.

Right now I am sitting in the club class lounge on the ferry although if you read this in an hour I am not :¬)

Great weekend !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


2 Responses to “The Blue Suit”

  1. April 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    hi mark, do you have a duathlon training plan by any chance? suitable for AG improvers

    • May 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Hi there

      I write customised plans based on what people want. I don’t have a default one size fits all approach. I can happily give you some direction though. Drop me an email.


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