Blog » Challenge Galway
The Irish are mad, generous, and the most inviting people I think I have ever met. There were so many instances where they went above and beyond to help me out and make me feel welcome, as well as a bit of a wimp when it came to swimming in the ocean!
The race itself was a great course, with a few bumps in the road, and from what I hear, many a hill in the full-distance race.
In typical Irish fashion it rained every day I was there, no wonder the place is so green, but I settled in reasonably quickly after a few good nights sleep.
I was a little shocked to do a pre-race swim at the local ‘spot’, black rock, and see the locals swimming in nothing but togs. I figured Galway must have some tropical currents or something and looked forward to a nice temperature when I jumped in. Nope, it was under 15d and felt it. Apparently a big bunch of locals swim there year well in nothing but their togs. Good for their health they say!
I got the chance to ride the whole bike course during the week, which was definitely a good idea!
On to race day and we were greeted with much of the same weather wise. I don’t mind racing in the rain, so for me it was an extra bonus to a day I was already looking forward to. The swim had to be shortened a little bit to keep us within the ‘sheltered’ estuary, but there were still a few bumps in the swim.
I exited the water first with a few guys in tow no more than 30-40 seconds a drift. It was a long run to T1, probably about 600 odd metres, and that gave the chasers a bit of a chance to run hard and make up some ground.
There were 4 of us pretty close and after 30km we had come together. The middle 30km of the bike is on an old country road, very narrow and at times very bumpy; it would put Wanaka to shame! The last 30km the roads opened up a little and so did the heavens. At about 70km Joe Skipper caught our group and made a go for it at the front. This left 1 of our group off the back and the remaining 4 of us rode the rest of the way in to T2.
On to the run and David shot off with his ITU speed and left Joe and I, and Kevin a little bit back, to battle it out for the podium. The run was actually pretty good, I was happy considering my build up to run 15km with Joe (who went on to Roth a few weeks later and ran 2.38!), but I really wasn’t happy about Joes ‘code brown’ that made the head wind running sections interesting! Once Joe left me in his…dust… I quickly capitulated in to survival mode and was very happy to make the last spot on the podium. Another 3rd!
All in all a race I enjoyed. They have a few things to work on, but I genuinely mean it when I say that I hope to be back sometime soon.
Thanks as always to my amazing team.
Now on to France, Font Romeu and the Pyrenees to be exact, to train with one of my best mates in Tony Dodds, before the Rio Olympics.
Thanks for reading.
Over and Out.