On Sunday 26th June Mike took part in the Challenge Galway Full Iron distance triathlon and I took part in the 70.3 half distance.
The full Ironman distance consisted of 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42km run.
The half distance consisted of 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run.
We woke at 3am to a very wet and windy Sunday morning in Oranmore. After a quick breakfast we headed down to the swim start for 4am. Looking at the weather I couldn't believe that all these people (including ourselves) left warm, comfy beds to take part in a triathlon.
Mike was off at 6am in Oranmore bay for his 3.8km swim. The water was bumpy with a lot of surface chop and swells. The rain was falling horizontally, but despite the conditions Mike finished his swim in 1hr 5mins. I met a smiley and pleased Mike as I made my way down to the pier for my swim. One kilometre into my swim my wetsuit opened and within seconds was full of water. One of the canoe marshals zipped me back up again.
Mike completed his 180km cycle without any hick ups. It rained most of the time and when they hit the Co. Clare roads the road surface noticeably deteriorated. By the time we hit the route for our 90km cycle it was like an obstacle course, strewn with so much bike debris, from whole water bottle gauges with their water bottles still in them to small under saddle pouches.. bars, gels, bananas.....
Back to T2 by which time the rain had broken up into heavy mist showers. The run was quite enjoyable taking us from the docks along the seafront to Salthill and turning at Blackrock. There was great support from spectators in the city. I completed my Triathlon in 7hr30mins and Mike completed his in 14hr55mins. We were very pleased to finish considering our training was pretty much nonexistent in the months leading up to it.
We thoroughly enjoyed our events. Sadly, we found the organisation and health and safety standard offered by Challenge Galway to be way below par. I did write an email to express our concern about the athletes safety on the day.
So let's now look ahead to our next challenge....