Challenge Galway in bullet points.
- A cracking weekend in the Emerald isle.
- Wet, windy and wild weather.
- Organisers who went out of their way to make the pros welcome.
- Avoid city center hotels in Ireland that have their own bar unless you want a free private disco in your room all night, every night.
- Walking down to catch the bus to the start as the rest of Galway was walking home after big nights out was memorable. As was the hotel serving breakfast in the bar that was also still serving pints.
- One of the most relaxed pro-races I’ve done. Overall the event is brilliant and while there were some organizational teething issues I’m sure these will get ironed out by next year.
- Overtaking hundreds of age-groupers doing the long course event on non-closed roads was at times sketchy, particularly with the rain.
- Somehow I got marshaled off course on both the bike AND the run. They definitely need better signage and more marshalls.
- Retracing steps in a race sucks, particularly when you’re chasing.
- It’s a good job I’m small as not many people would have been able to squeeze past the JCB driver who decided to block the exit from T2 exactly as I was trying to run out (same JCB driver also tried to run me over on lap 2 of the run. I must have done something in another life to annoy him).
- Cracking support, particularly from Galway triathlon club (I even got cheers when I was off course on the run!)
- Overall (without detours) my swim was on par, my bike solid but not spectacular and my run is coming back. Hoorah for no injuries.
- The best trophy (enormous crystal cut glass vase) I’ve won to date
- Not often I get to share a podium with someone shorter than me – Laura Siddall and I may have lost the race but we won the Erdinger shower!
- Emma Bilham had an incredible race and is a girl on the up. We’ll hear her name a lot over the next few years. Congrats for a cracking win.
- Hanging out with mum for a few days in Galway was fun. We don’t often get time to do that. We even had our own mini-Glastonbury experience watching Ireland lose the football in the rain on a big screen at the finish.
- The live music in the finish area all weekend was a winner.
- I’d like to say I got drunk on Guiness but that would be lying.
Despite a few ‘pinch me’ moments it was a brilliant weekend. Definitely one to remember, though as much for the comical moments as the racing! Thanks to the Challenge Galway team for making such an effort to look after us pros so well.