The Race Report from the Ladies Page

By Rosemary Gibson

There were four Cuchulainn Ladies racing last night, Celine Mc PhillipsJan Conlon, Linda Stokes and Rosemary Gibson. Also there and providing great support as marshals and spectators were Ironwoman Gretta, Sarah Fagan, Kathleen Byrne and of course photographer extraordinaireCaroline Kerley. The weather had miraculously cleared up for the evening with the wind dropping and the sun even making a guest appearance. We were sweltering in 17° heat at registration had run out of layers to take off (that is without straying into Calendar territory!) and although I said I would if Jan would, we knew Caroline was lurking nearby with her long lens so we didn't chance it!

We pottered over to the start line while all the guys nipped up the lane for their customary Pre-Race Public Wee and we all looked steadfastly towards Greenore and pretended not to notice. There was a nice tailwind for the outward leg of the 36km out and back course from the Ballymac to Greenore.

We were touching 50kph at times and (Group 1) averaged 36kph on the way out (stats for Pat Kilboy ) and still I was struggling to stay in touch! Same old story... So we stayed clear of Groups 2 and 3 for the first leg and were passed by Race 1 (groups 4, 5 & 6) a few km before the cone at Greenore. Having negotiated the monstrous potholes after the turn, Jan and Jason cranked up the pace on the hill out of Greenore and put the pressure on. Jamie and I were dropped unceremoniously and that was the last we saw of them. I found myself alone in the wind (again) and ploughed on to Bush. This route is drags one way and head wind the other which is much more pronounced when you lose your group. Jamie rejoined me some time later and we had a vague plan to catch group 3 when they passed although usually you end up going like a banshee for half a mile and then falling off the back all out of puff and wishing you had just let them go sooner! We caught the roller coaster at the top of the hill in Lordship at the Pats and chased it for a bit and then I let it go. Jamie went with them and I was alone again.

Past Fitzpatricks and I was passed by a van advertising Coffee and Crepes. Mmmm yeah with Nutella sauce and cream .. So back to the slog, mind back on the job and my legs are getting tired now with just a few km to go. Need to perk up for the finish and look like I'm still making an effort. Great to see our supporters at the finish line for an encouraging word. There is a great buzz afterwards, finding out how everyone did and how everyone's race went. A few late finishers came in and I was glad I didn't have to tell my kids I came last this week! Only a couple of rounds to go and it's been a fun, challenging and interesting season with loads to learn and plenty of craic.