The race is a 1km swim and a 5km run.
05:00 the start of what was going to be a great day except for
the 05:00 alarm call. Its great doing aquathlons as you only have a
wetsuit and trainers to sort out, but this does make transition
very strange, only a set of trainers in there nothing to set up
nothing to tinker with..... and how do you find your trainers
amongst 1500 other pairs.....
My start was 10:10. ITU rules are in the water 30 secs before the horn and you have to have one hand holding the pontoon. I take up my usual position of the centre line which is the most direct route but quite a lot have the same idea and its a bit cramped, unlike deep water starts you cant make space for yourself, there we are my chest tight against some other guys back and some other guys chest against my back a bit snug you might say.
This is going to be a proper bun fight, I quite like a start like that as it fires you up. Wow the klaxon went and I got proper mullered. I have been in starts with 3000+ guys and it was not as bad as this, pure white water fists, heads, feet really bad then bang I take a full on hit to the right temple which moves my goggles to my forehead... I take another at the first turn again shifting my goggles, on both occasions I manage to get them back in place without stopping but after the third time I thought bugger it don't bother, they stayed in place but were full of water. I had to remind myself that the main thing was to focus on what I was doing and not panic, yea not panic just focus. It worked, although I couldn't see where I was going I made the last 500m without too much issue.
Out of the water in under 16 mins not too bad, the problem now was finding my trainers amongst 1500 other pairs.
Lungs are burning and I realise how hard it is to run after the swim, I pull the pace back and control my breathing and heart rate, it works after a 1km I start to settle into a 4:30 per km pace. The run is great although hard as I have only had about 3 runs in the past few months but my body starts to remember what it has to do.
This was a great day everyone I met was chatty and friendly and it was an honour to compete for Ireland and hang out in the Irish athlete tent situated opposite the GB who by far has the most athletes there, it also worked as a great recky for the Standard distance on Sunday.
Total 00:39:44 this puts me in 50th AG place