Shane Hegarty on high-fiving Roses, getting lost in transition, why there’s nothing like a closed road and other notes on Saturday morning’s Tri Kingdom Come FENIT, organised by Tralee Tri Club
It was a fine morning in Fenit, with only a few spits of rain – nothing compared to the couple of monsoon days there had been earlier in the week. And it was a good thing, because the swim was choppy enough as it was.
Competitors first walked the length of the beach to the starting point, where the two waves went from a roving start line in the water and headed straight for a yellow buoy only 35m or so away. At that turn, depending on your position, it was elbows and feet and general mayhem. Me? I picked an inside line that couldn’t have been better calculated to get me milled by the pack. It was like being being stuck inside a tumble dryer filled with limbs.
After a challenging swim, not much fun for right-sided breathers, triathletes emerged to find a selection of Roses of Tralee waiting to cheer them on. One of them high-fived me as I left the water. This was surprisingly thrilling. [Pic above was posted by @podsta]
Having realised that a tight, packed transition area would need me to be extra careful about remembering my bike spot, I spent ages in advance memorising the run in and my exact place. Then, during the race, I ran straight past it.
A closed road! They’re rare enough in races. Some races have partially closed roads, while others are completely open and often busy with dangers, so this was a treat. The course itself was straight up to a turning point and back (and a little short, but they told us that in advance). Great marshaling and a nice smattering of support, which built as we came back into Fenit.
Found my spot this time.
A good course, on which you were only ever going up, or coming down a slope. TD Martin Ferris was at one of the turns. He did NOT high-five me.
On a personal note, it was the first race in 12 attempts in which my run was the strongest discipline. It’s the very first time I got off the bike and felt really strong(ish). I’m training for the marathon at the moment and that’s made a world of difference, as has a little tempo and interval running.