As some people are looking for new gear I will be placing a gear order at the end of next week (28 September). If anyone wants some new gear can you please let me know before then so I can try and guarantee that I will get you what you are looking for. Here is a list of items that I can order; Cycling Jersey long sleeve (€50) and short sleeve (€45), Bib Shorts (€50), Winter Bib Tights (€65), Winter Jacket (€80), Winter Gloves (€35), Summer Gloves (€20), Shoe Covers (€30), Caps (€15), Trisuit Singlet (€35), Running Singlet (€35) and Running Jersey (€35). These prices are based on a minimum order quantity of 10 per item, if there is less than 10 the price goes up. There is about 8 weeks from the time I place the order to actually receiving it. If anyone wants new gear can you contact Keith on 0872351710.
When I climbed out of bed in Newport, County Mayo at 0530hrs on the 18th August 2012 I asked myself “what in the name of God am I doing, have I enough training done, what will I eat for breakfast, I hope the bike is ok, I hope my gear is adequate, have I enough energy bars, gels, food etc….”apparently these are all the normal questions asked of oneself prior to partaking in the unknown. For my good buddie, Ritchie (aka Maverick, kindly named by Michael Looby, which makes me ‘Goose’I presume) and I that’s exactly what it was “the unknown” more commonly known as Gaelforce West 2012.
After breakfast we drove to Westport where we were collected by bus and driven for over an hour to our starting location. A few heroes on the bus spoke of their previous experiences and gave advice on how best to tackle the various parts of the race making special reference to the feared Croagh Patrick, if we got that far (I put most of their banter down to mind games). On the way to the start line we met an earlier wave finishing their 14km run; when I say they were covered in head to toe with muck and dirt I am not exaggerating. The sight of them was met with absolute silence on the bus bar the odd gasp. The severity of the
challenge coupled with nerves was finally hitting home. In fairness, it was a bit late for second thoughts at that stage.
After queuing for toilet facilities with the other hundred or so participants on our wave and after the pre-race announcements were finished, the horn sounded and we were on our way, jogging off the beach onto the road. The run commenced with a
1 mile up hill run followed by a steep downhill run, lots of winding roads and then off road for a hilly, rocky, muddy, slippy, dangerous run that eventually brought us to a road that led us to the kayak section. With a 13.5km run in the bag, we grabbed an energy bar, drank some water, put on a life jacket and Ritchie and I proceeded to be allocated a kayak. We commenced speedily from the shore line and made some good headway, then (as everyone knows at this stage thanks to Tommy Byrnes) we turned the kayak stage into a swim. The kayak turned upside down assisted by the poor balancing skills of both occupants. We were eventually plucked from the water as we laughed uncontrollably like two little school boys. We decided to have another
go, got back into the kayak again and almost made it to the far shoreline before we again decided to go for a dip. Eventually we made it to the other side, drowned wet, spirits dampened but determined to keep going. We completed the bog run stopping every so often to retrieve our runners from the 2 to 3 feet of bog, oh and a fall head over heels by Ritchie into a stream (ha
ha). We then jogged along a road way to the transition area to collect our bikes.
After a quick change of footwear (bad advice) we moved off on the bikes, what was described as a handy bike run with a few hills turned out to be tough enough, a strong headwind proved to be problematic for some of the participants. The hills especially one of them was quite tough and long. 34 kms later we eventually we arrived at Croagh Patrick.
We took advice from Barry Hartnett prior to the race in relation to how to manage the mountain which was “pick a pace, a handy, steady pace and stick with it” and that’s exactly what we did. It was tough and long but when completed it was a magnificent
feeling. Something funny that sticks out in my mind – As we started the climb up Croagh Patrick I turned to Ritchie and pointed at a bird (feathered type) that was making an unusual sound and was standing unperturbed only about 20 feet from us, I asked “hey Ritchie, what kinda bird is that” he (Ritchie) kept his head facing down and replied in the grumpiest voice I ever heard “I don’t give a F**k what type of bird it is” a few seconds later we both burst out laughing. We were almost broken men. We completed the mountain and returned to our bikes. We now faced a 12 km bike/walk/run back to Westportto the finish line.
On the way Ritchie got a puncture, after it was changed we safely made our way over the line to loud applause by other competitors and onlookers.
Out of the Tipperary Wheelers I believe there were two others who took part, Martin Hickey who did a brilliant time and Barry Hartnett who burned the course up with his speed and endurance. Well done to both of them and everyone else who took part.
For Ritchie and I we absolutely enjoyed the day out, we suffered for a day or two afterwards with pains and aches but that is what we enjoy, pushing ourselves as hard as we can, doing challenges that are out our comfort zones and having a go. The t-shirt that each competitor receives when they complete the Gaelforce simply says “if you’re going to do one thing in life ….. do a Gaelforce” They are right. Brilliant experience, I will definitely do one again, the hardest part of it for me was the planning and preparation and not knowing what to expect. The good part now is that the next time we will.
One would think that we had enough punishment for one year, but no, we are currently training for the Killarney Adventure Race which takes place on the 6th October 2012. There are three races, the 25km, 57km and the 67km. Ritchie, Maurice
Crowe, Tony Delaney and I are taking part in the 67km and would welcome any other members to accompany us; Tommy Byrnes and Martina along with James and Nora Cunningham are competing in the 57km. Bring it on. (I hope I didn’t forget anyone)
On Saturday 15th August Brian Devitt and Tommy Byrnes Travelled to Ballinaboola for a cross country duathlon which is situated at the back of the ballyhoura mountain bike tracks. A small field of 22 athletes participated in the 4k run 9k bike and 4k run. The run course was very hilly taking in tracks and off road terrains of the beautiful ballyhoura countryside. The cycle proved to be tuff and consisted of forest tracks, Fire tracks, boardwalks, and some technical sections. This is the first off three duathlons and the lads who had a great day will definitely return to the other two which will be held in October and November. Details can be found at www.hhar.ie. It was a fantastic day and a very well organised event. A good result by the lads where Tommy finished 3rd and Brian 7th. Both lads had great crac and would recomend the race to club members as something to keep the body ticking over for the winter.
The Triathlon season is close to finished with only a number of races left in Septembre. Five athletes from the club finished the Galway Ironman 70.3 which consists of an 1.9K swim, 90K bike and a 21K run. Ruaidhri Devitt was the first finisher for the club with splits of 36:21, 2:40:07 and 1:45:24 which gave Ruaidhri a time of 5:11:12. Barry Hartnet soon followed with splits of 43:12, 2:47:24 and 1:30:20 giving Barry an overall time of 5:12:09. Brian Devitt recorded splits of 39:57 and 2:40:23 and 1:49:14 with overall time of 5:17:50. Keith Kelly splits were 34:56, 2:44:29 and 1:54:25 which gave Keith a finishing time of 5:26:18. Tommy Byrnes recorded times of 50:41, 2:42:45 and 2:14:04 and finishing time of 5:58:00. Claire Devitt did really well finishing with splits of 43:57, 3:10:16 and 1:56:14 giving Claire a final time of 6:00:56. This race brings to an end a fantastic Triathlon season for the Tipperary Wheelers with athletes taking parting in Triathlon all over the country and some finishing in the prizes along the way. We would like to wish Noel Ryan the best of luck in the Kenmare half iron this weekend.
On Saturday the 6th of October the club social will take place in Ballykisteen. The night will begin with a drinks reception at 7pm followed by a meal at 8pm. There will be a disco after the meal.There should be some top quality crac and banter on the night as people let off steam after a long hard season.Tickets are for sale at Byrnes Spar shop. They are 40 euro each. The event will take place in the upstairs function room which means we are limited to 100 tickets which are all printed and ready to sell in Byrnes Spar Shop in town.100 tickets sounds like a lot of tickets, however there is 80 plus members on teamer and if each one of those brings a partner we quickly run out of tickets. Unfortunatly there is a wedding on the same night which means we are limited to 100 places for the meal. My advice is to get your tickets in the next week and don't be disappointed. It will be a great night of crac and banter.
Members of the club interested in leisure cycling have decided to move the weekly cycle to Sundays at 10:30 in the mornings for the foreseeable future. Due to the club league the leisure spins lost numbers so it was cancelled. We will see how the spin goes for a few weeks. Hopefully the time will suit members.