The following race report was prepared by Aoife Hussey. Both Aoife and her mother Sharon Meyler took part in the sprint triathlon in Carlow on Sunday, 14th May along with a large contingent of Belpark Triathlon Club members.
Some people say triathlon is not a family-friendly sport, but when you have mother and daughter entering the river in quick succession, and the daughter waiting to cheer her mother across the finish line, it becomes a special family event! Sharon Meyler and her daughter Aoife Hussey both raced in the Carlow Tri795 last weekend. We think this is the first parent/child Belpark pairing, but hopefully there’ll be many more in the future, based on our growing junior section.
Read Aoife’s race report to see how her mother and other club members helped her prepare for her first triathlon, and read about the lessons she learned on race day!
Aoife Hussey – First Triathlon
Carlow may have been my first tri but I had an advantage over the other first-timers – my Mam, Sharon! None of the training or tri-talk ever felt alien to me from listening to her for the past few years.
On the day I had someone to check I had set up transition properly and walk me through the ins and outs of it all. Standing beside the river, waiting for my wave to be called, I was nervous but was put at ease by fellow Belparker, Britta, who encouraged me to get in the water as soon as I could to acclimatise. I had been out in Seapoint with Britta and felt much more comfortable knowing she was in my wave. I was pleased to find the water had warmed up a bit in the past few weeks and wasn’t as painfully cold as it had been earlier in the month.
I found the current strong and difficult to swim against at first and it took me about 500m metres to really warm up and find any sort of rhythm. I hadn’t practised sighting enough and ended up in the bank twice! Lesson learned!
Coming out of the swim into transition I was looking forward to getting on the bike. I made a split-second decision to pull on a long-sleeved jersey which I later regretted on the bike, another lesson learned! My legs were still a bit numb for the first km or so but they soon woke up and I really enjoyed the cycle, especially the downhill on the return leg where I could really get my speed up.
Coming into T2 I really didn’t want to start the run, I’d worked hard on the bike to make up for what I knew was a slow swim. Getting off the bike my legs were wobbly and I cursed myself for not having done more brick sessions – third lesson of the day!
I found the run harder than I had hoped and I wasn’t impressed with my time when I finished but I was thrilled I’d completed it and had managed to hold my Mam off! We’d crossed paths twice, on the bike and the run, as she was in the wave after me so I waited at the finish line for her.
Overall it was a great experience and a really well run event, with even the weather cooperating and the rain holding off until the very end.