Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fergal (Elite) Until next year - Beir Bua

It is with a tinge of regret that I write this, my final blog for Beir Bua Waterford Adventure Race. Not that I have regrets from Saturday but rather that I’ll have to wait 12 months for this great race to roll around once more. I have to admit that I didn’t really know what to expect from this race, not having raced it before or ever having raced in this part of the country. It certainly exceeded my expectations from the off, registration on the Friday was smooth and everyone was displaying the Deise hospitality. David and I did a quick course recce after getting our goodie bags and racking the bikes, so we’d have some idea what lay ahead.
 Saturday morning (thankfully) dawned bright after some heavy rain the day before. Conditions were near perfect if a little cool for late May. David (competing in the Duathlon) and I decided to run together for the first run through the forest. I worried that we may have picked too conservative a pace running at approx. 4 min kilometers, as the first run was mostly downhill. The forest tracks were great and a joy to run on; before we knew it we had reached the bikes after picking up a few places. The pace had probably worked well for me as I still felt fresh. David had done exceptionally well to run a strong pace despite having not run in 6 months,  but had to start the 1st few km of the bike a little easier to fill the lungs once more. I pushed on towards “the Vee” pretty much cycling the whole way alone before catching up with Nigel Keane from Kerry who I would also go on to buddy up with for the kayak section. The climb up the mountain was murderous certainly no running here just scrambling upwards as fast as possible. I soon regretted choosing road shoes over trail shoes as the descent from the top was death defying stuff with no grip from my shoes, I eventually got down bloodied & bruised but alive. The bike to the river was winding and technical but all downhill and enjoyable stuff. The kayak was a long haul but with Nigel’s help we got through it. At this stage I knew I was going fairly well, and once I’d shook off the jelly legs from the kayak I was back running at a decent pace soon picking up a couple of places. David fresh from his impressive 4th place finish in the duathlon arrived at the roadside at this stage to voice some encouragement and let me know I was on for a top 10 finish if I could keep it going. I saw out the 2nd run comfortably enough but knew my fellow competitors weren’t far behind, so the final cycle back was done at as high a tempo as I could manage, but it was tough long arduous climb that seemed to go on forever, finally though the abbey was in sight and I cycled across the impressive finish line 3hrs41mins after setting out as 7th elite overall. My best ever finish in an adventure race. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the day and Beir Bua will be one of the 1st races on my list for next year, it’s a credit to all involved that the event went so smoothly and I never heard one negative note from any competitor, it’s great to see that a locally organized race, can be run as professionally if not more so than any race put on by one of the many events companies operating out there. I have no doubt that when word gets out this race will grow & grow and deservedly so.
 Until next years start line, keep training and Beir Bua.

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Adventure Racing Competition In County Waterford, Ireland. - Live For Adventure
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