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Ironman Cork 2019 Race Report.

Posted by Damian McKeever on

I signed up for Cork Ironman late last year. I’m a bit of a dreamer been honest, so even though I had never completed an Ironman in the top 100 in my age group. I told my Wife and Kids we were going to Kona after I qualified. 

 

My only other result of note was in a previous Ironman when I was second man home from my country. Now in fairness I selected Afghanistan 🇦🇫 as it was the first country on the list, I assumed I’d be the only one from Afghanistan. Until Abdul decided he was going to give Ironman a shot and beat me in the run 😖😖. Then he tried to become Facebook friends with me 😒. 

 

I’m 97 Kilos so I assumed if I lost 20 kilos I’d be sorted and Kona here we come. I told the girls in Avoca I was on a diet and they kind of laughed I don’t think I had buy in from all my support crew. The happy pear were keen to come on board and sponsor me free porridge every morning.  It turns out it’s a lot harder to lose 20 kilos than those ads make it out to be. I trained hard but I only lost 2 Kilos by the time race week arrived. Kelly and the kids were still optimistic about Kona ......... me less so. Although I didn’t have the heart to tell them. I trained about 10 hours a week at least 5 of those were in the water so if nothing else I’d put on a good show in the first leg. 

 

I went down to test the water the  day before, there were a few Americans there. They were suited booted and gloves everywhere covered I was just in my togs. They found the water freezing 🥶 and never got deeper than their waist. It was 14 degrees roasting 🥵. I sort of knew at that stage the swim probably wouldn’t be happening, in the end it was a rough old day and sensibly the swim was cancelled. 

 

In my previous Ironman I’d never have my bike checked in until the morning of the event and the race director usually knows me by first name because I’m so disorganised. I usually lose numbers bags shoes anything really. The Barcelona race director actually met me on the morning of the race after his staff were frantically looking for my misplaced bike bag and his words when he saw me “not this fu*cking dope again” his English was very good.

This was different though everything went smoothly I even checked the bike in that night, admittedly it was technically after transition was closed around 7 but it was a full 10 hours before race start. 😮

 

Went back to the hotel Jamie and Neil were getting ready, Jamie is really serious and has proper ambitions in his age group. He writes like motivational stuff on his arm before the race. He had like “Pain is Temporary”I thought about what I could write on my arm that would keep me going “pain is temporary but fatcam will slag me forever”. 

So we got there the morning of it. Swim cancelled bikes leaving every 6 seconds. One of my few outstanding qualities is been able to deal with excessive heat or excessive cold my body seems to adapt easy enough. So I thought I’d wait to be one of the last to leave thinking that would give me a good chance. Big mistake the weather got worse the longer we waited eventually about 2 hours after the official race start we were almost kicked out of transition. Reluctantly I started my race.

 

First 30k relatively uneventful. At about 34k I saw my first one, kind of tanned man standing with his bike taking shelter whilst wearing a trisuit, I don’t want to be called racist but I’m guessing he wasn’t from Ireland unless he’s on the sunbeds. This was a regular enough feature throughout the bike course like every 10k or so you’d see someone with a foil blanket or something. 

 

Bike was shocking bad, like I’m not strong on the bike but I did the first lap handy enough in 3:30 gave the same effort on the 2nd lap held the power the same np 200 watts but took me 4:10🙈. Ger Kennedy shouted at me and ran beside me giving me dogs abuse going up windmill hill. I got to the top alright but then I cried 😭 for a little while. I stopped at the special needs bag, I didn’t have a special needs bag but I decided to stop and have a rummage through the guys bags they’d all passed through at this stage found a nice hang sand which and a can of Coke. 

Came into transition with 3 other lads. One was American the other two weren’t very chatty. I went running in to get my bag the other lads had enough weren’t going onto the run. I was at the back of the field spending so much time in the holding pen and not been fast 💨 hadn’t helped. 

 

It didn’t get any better on the run. Just never felt great on the day from the start, I can’t blame the weather as I genuinely don’t think I was that bothered by it. In the end it was walk run strategy mostly walking. Definitely keeping food down was a problem thankfully I don’t get problems at the other end but I just struggle to keep eating and drinking it’s as if my stomach can only hold so much and it can’t process it until I stop moving. The rain ☔️ on the run had me chaffed to bits on the inner thigh despite shorts and body glide. 

It really took everything I had even at the last bit you go past your bike on 40k to the finish line at this stage I was walking. I knew once I crossed the line he was going to send me back 2k to get my bike. So I made a deal with myself I wasn’t going back to get my bike I was going to finish go to bed and deal with that shit in the morning. So that’s what I did thankfully Jamie who bizarrely was still buzzing the next day (he’s a pharmacist I must find out what he takes) went down and got my car there wasn’t many bikes left 

 

So the run was just under 6 hours 🙈🙈🙈. The bike was 7:37 that gave me a total of 13:49........there wasn’t too many people behind me. 

I got home Kelly had cancelled the open top bus 🚌 that was supposed to take me through the streets of Greystones as the the towns first Kona qualifier. The Happy Pear 🍐 have sent me legal letters saying they were never a sponsor of mine and they want all references of them removed from social media. They claim they give free porridge to everyone, that won’t wash in court. It’s a week out and my family have managed to put this whole fiasco behind them. 

Kelly has hidden my bike and said it’s only embarrassing the family by going out in it. Maybe I could concentrate on swimming the channel or something instead next year, just not another Ironman. I told her that there was a very high fatality rate on the channel, she rang one of the boats and secured me a place for 2020. 


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