Peter Goes To The Sea Side

We're hoping to start putting race reports and blogs from our members up on the website to keep things fresh around here. 

To kick things off Peter Barry took time out from packing his bags for London where he will be representing the Deise in the world triathlon championships to pen this report for us.

So sit back with a cup of coffee and enter the terrifying world that is Peter Barry's mind:

By Hook or By Crook, Dunmore, August 31st 2013.

I like reading race reports and I believe that we should have an area on our website to accommodate them.  For some reason though, everyone in the club is shy about putting them up so perhaps this will start a trend!

Registration was on the Friday night in the Dunmore Sailing club and it went like this;  In the door, checked the race number and wave, straight over to Olive and the gang and back out in 5 minutes, after a few quick chats.   It was so efficient and easy that as I was walking out the door, I had to check that I’d got everything that I needed.

When I got up on Saturday morning, it was a lovely sunny day.  I arrived in Dunmore and cars were arriving from everywhere.  2 lads from Carrick were parked in front of me and a Kilkenny athlete (nice colours) behind me.  All were busying themselves with their gear and bikes.  The transition area was set up as usual, Mike Moloney and Aubrey were checking the bikes. 

Mike; “You might want to tighten up those back brakes”.

Me; “Sure, will I need them?”

Mike; “I suppose, not at the speed you cycle”...

Marshals 1, Me 0.

Big bad Ger was hanging round transition “looking busy” whilst wearing a blue and white top (circa 1982) supporting Waterford, preaching about Sunday 8th September and the hurling final.  The word “bandwagon” sprang to mind. 

Off down to the WTC designated transition area (self designated, Slatts!) to note that it was after being infiltrated by Rolf, who was lying flat on his back on the grass verge; I can only assume in a state of deep meditation.  David Devine was staring at his bike, psyching himself up, his headphones on and I could clearly hear Lady Gaga but he claims that it’s always ACDC.  Mind you, the claim only came after the race as he spoke to no-one all morning.  I dunno!  Pio had his supporters club hanging around and was stepping out the line he would take through transition.  Good idea but what’s with the measuring tape?  Eoin Lyons was sitting down getting a head and neck massage.  I assume the young lady in question wasn’t his sister.

Transition was a hive of activity and it was good to meet people from other clubs, everyone was there; from experienced racers to the nervous faces of the first timers worrying about the swim.  We have all been there, trust me.  The legend that is Mac had a full section to himself in transition, only he could manage that with over 400 athletes around.  There were plenty of Kilkenny people around, wearing nice colours.  (I think we should change our club colours; I must have a chat with Slatts (chairman), but he might not be the best person to discuss this with as he was wearing a cardigan all morning, “”North Face” or not, it’s still a cardigan). 

The briefing was a bit like being at a funeral, a big quiet crowd with a few smart arses whispering down the back but once it was over, the walk down to the start was nice and relaxing; as we looked out into the harbour, we could see the stillness of the water.  It was perfect.  There were plenty of people down at the slip which adds to the occasion and the sense of excitement about the day.  My own supporters club were down there; my 2 little girls are not yet embarrassed by the sight of their dad in a figure hugging wetsuit or trisuit.  Sharon is a different story though!

The swim was a beach start with a little sprint and run before diving in.  My overriding thoughts here were to keep the goggles in place, thankfully they stayed where they were.  Off fast and settled in nicely as we moved out to sea.  There were no complications thankfully and as Counsellors beach came into view on the return, I could see some athletes already running up towards T1.  God, I’d love to be able to swim like that!  As I got out of the water, I noticed Pio in front of and for me, that’s a good days work.  I got through T1 as quickly as I could and set off on the bike.

Coming out of t1 and through the village is fun.  There is no time to be looking around waving to my little fan club as its fast and “technical” as David Devine would put it.  Up the hill I went and rolled on.  It’s a nice bike route, no huge hills, a good surface and on Saturday, there was no wind.  I passed a couple of cyclists and got passed by a couple also.  As I was approaching Jaybees, I found myself in the grass verge as I had a short lapse in concentration, I was expecting to fall off but I popped the bike out.  No time lost but a fright.  Eddie O’Keeffe came by;

Eddie; “You alright?”

Me; “Yes, flippin Gay Byrne was right about dozing at the wheel”

Eddie sped off then, that was the last I saw of him.  I should have said that I needed help.

At the turnaround, I counted 13 ahead of me.  Sweet.  I’ll take that.  At this point, a goy from Piranha and I had a brief discussion about the rules surrounding drafting.  There were points made, fingers wagged and declarations of intent to follow up the discussion after the race.  The last little climb before the descent into the village saw me being caught by a couple of more cyclists.  I reckon I was 17th or 18th at this stage. 

Dave Devine was leaving as I was racking my bike, he was looking fresh.  I had no problems in T2 and was looking forward to saying hello to my little fan club in the village.  They didn’t let me down.  Pio passed me at this stage looking like he was out for a Sunday stroll.  Oh to be able to run so comfortably!

The next 2km was going to be tough.  It’s a nice climb and you can see other athletes ahead of you as you run.  I was passed here by a couple of athletes also but they didn’t pull away on the hill.  The rest of the run is perfect, nice flat country roads with the descent back into the village.  There was a new type of water station available to us; it was a buffet style rather than the usual a la carte or waiter service.  Well it was for me anyway, the Devine brothers standing looking at me like 2 altar boys as I ran past.  Maybe Olive told them not to hand the water to athletes so they could get a refund from Jim O’Brien or maybe they were too lazy to pick up the bottles strewn across the road.  I’ll ask Slatts, he knows everything.

One other athlete passed me as we were approaching the village.  Aubrey was on point at the junction with the (other) legend that is Dots.  Dots was trying to control traffic and a raucous bunch of gentlemen who had left The Spinnaker and were on their way to a wedding.

Dots; “G’wan Peter Barry”

Me; “Thanks Dots”

Muppets in wedding suits (in a mocking sort of way, fuelled by a few pints); “G’wan Peter Barry”

Me; “Thanks lads, some of ye could do with a bit of exercise like this, those suits are well stretched on ye”.  (Please note, I only said this in my head.  There were at least 10 of them!)

Aubrey; “Go on Peter, sprint to the end”

Me; “I am flippin sprinting, Aubrey”.  (Again, this was only said in my head).

The next marshal provided plenty of encouragement also, but I guess he had to as he was my father in law.  Thanks for helping out Vinny.  The thoughts that were probably inside his head were; “How did I let my beautiful daughter marry this tool, look at the state of him!”

The finish is great as it’s lined on one side by people and most importantly, it’s the finish!  Siobhan Kennedy removed my timing chip and she looked happy.  Not for me mind you but for Eoin, who is showing unbelievable potential and of which I’m sure she is really proud.

I stumbled into the park and lay down for a rest.  The rest didn’t last long as the fan club arrived.  They were duly dispatched to get some water.  I met many of the fellow athletes in the park and lies were told, excuses were forged and promises made for the next race.

It was a great day, the weather was excellent (well done Gavin on that), race organisation was class, the goodie bag was good and the support around the course was brilliant.

I was happy with my day, I was out of the water with Pio – I’ll take that.  My bike was almost 90 seconds faster than the previous time I did the race and I ran the 7 (and a bit) km at 4min pace which I would also take.  23rd overall and 9th in Age Group.

Happy? Very happy, very happy.

Ps - I kissed and made up with the Piranha goy.  


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