In an effort to do at least one new race every year, I chose Kilrush as one of my races for 2017. It is a small national series sprint distance race based in the small town of Kilrush, Co.Clare and was held this year on the June Bank Holiday weekend. As it’s a fair drive from Dublin I decided to make a weekend of it and headed down with some family.
The race was on Sunday morning at a decent hour of 1pm (so none of this early morning panic needed). Registration was on the Sunday morning from 9 so it was all very civilised. Now, it was all sounding like a great set up until the weather stuck its ore in and decided to throw some strong winds our way and sure of course there had to be the obligatory rain shower too. That said, it’s a great race for everything being close by. There was ample parking in the town, registration was 2 mins from all cars and the transition area was right beside that. As a bonus, there was a SuperValu shop in the middle of it all so the coffee wasn’t hard to find.
When it was close to kick off we left the shelter our warm cars and headed to the harbour where we listened to our race brief. There was a great atmosphere with everyone raring to go. The swim route is a non-tidal sea swim around a harbour area. Strangely you entered the water at a pontoon and swam around 100m to the start line. While initially this seemed a fair distance to have to go before even starting it was a nice little warm up before the official start. The race start was fairly manic (as always) but it was a short enough swim to the 1st buoy and the once around the 2nd the group started to fan out. The swim exit involved a hop (or in my case a flop) onto the pontoon where we ran the short distance back into transition to start the cycle course.
The cycle course is challenging in that it was 22km hilly course made that bit more difficult by the strong winds. Of note, the roads are not fully closed during this section of the course so it was not a surprise to meet a few cars along the way. That said there were plenty of marshals along the route making sure everything was very controlled and safe. The route was an out-and-back so at least you felt at some points the wind was a help. Despite, losing my race number in the wind along the route I was delighted to see transition again where I could pull myself together and head out on the run course.
The run route a lovely circuit with fabulous views of the countryside all around, this was however made a little difficult to appreciate in the first 2km due to the hill we had to climb. In saying that once you got there it was a lovely rolling road down back into the town to the vision of the finish line.
There was a super atmosphere around the finish area as everything was once again all close by. The spectators were all cheering and had great entertainment throughout the race. There was a burger for all athletes and some rocking tunes to keep the spirits up. Overall, it was a great race, one that I found challenging but I would highly recommend.
© Fingal Triathlon Club