Wednesday, 25th May 2011
Congratulations to Carrick Tri Club's Gerry Conlan on his spectacular race in Lismore at the weekend. Last year Gerry finished in second place in a time of 3.37 and this year he was back to see if all his cycle training would pay off. Waterford Adventure Race is not for the faint hearted. It is set in the idyllic surrounds of Lismore and The Vee but this doesnt make the race idyllic. It starts with a 6k trail run through a forest, then 16K on the bike uphill to the vee, run up and down the sugar-loaf (1.5k), back on bike for 16k of welcomed downhill, 6k of kayak from Lismore to Cappoquin, run from Cappoquin back to Lismore, and then the longest uphill of your life for the last 16k back to the finish in Mount Melleray. This year the start pace was slower and Gerry was in the leading group from the offset. Three of them arrived together in the first transition Gerry, Alan Lyons (Dungarvan) and Kevin Murphy (Killarney) and they would stay in this group for the majority of the race. Together they worked their way up to the Vee taking turns at the front and stretching their lead out to four minutes over the 4th place guy, a great race strategy. Unfortunately Gerry hadn't the mountain legs of the others and lost time up and down the mountain. Alan and Kevin took advantage and played the same card on the cycle down to the kayak transition pulling out a lead of over three min on Gerry. Alan took to the water first, Kevin didn't have his own kayak and so had to wait for another competitor to share with, but on realising the time gap between him and the rest of the field he was allowed to take a 2-man sit on top, which he then negotiated down the river himself. The kayak section was where Gerry excelled, having raced since he was a junior he knew exactly what he needed to do. He managed to take the lead and secure himself a four min lead. He pushed hard on the final run knowing that Alan would be working even harder trying to close the gap. With just 2 min separating them it was on to the final bike, this time they were all alone, with only the power of their own legs to get them home. There was only 20 seconds between their final cycle times, an incredible effort on both their parts, but the time saved on the kayak section had done it and Gerry finished 1st in a time of 3.14 with Alan 2nd (3.16) and Kevin 3rd (3.26), all three of them within the 2010 winning time.
Congratulations also to Elaine Mullan who came 3rd in the Womans Sport category in a time of 4.18, just 6 seconds behind second place, a valiant effort with excellent split times.
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