Rostrevor Race Report
My name is Rodrigo and I am a member of Piranha Tri since January 2012 and would like to write a few words to describe the wonderful weekend 16 of us had in Rostrevor, County Down.
First of all would like to thank Greg and Claire for organizing, since everything was perfect and I can confirm everybody enjoyed it a lot. The idea of the weekend was not just to train, but also to get to know each other a bit better and to have fun. Most of us did not know the rest of the people, but by the end of the weekend it looked as if all knew each other for years! So here it goes…
We did hit the road after work at around 5.30 pm, with loads of enthusiasm and excitement for what was coming. Trip was somehow short and luckily did skip most of the hectic traffic. It was not until around 7 when we got into Newry, Warrenpoint and then into the town of Rostrevor. We took the Kilbroney Road (Hilltown direction) as per the instructions provided. Eventually, we were supposed to find a Monastery, and afterwards a set of trees. But it was difficult to find the cottages; illumination was very poor on the road. We were not sure where we were, or whether the right road had been taken. And were thinking in asking a local, however was difficult to find one on those country side roads. Is at this moment when we noticed there was small red light flashing ahead of us. “It looks like if somebody is cycling”- we thought. A cycler on this road! At this time! There is no light, is dangerous! Yeah, as you hear it, and with a big bag, in the middle of the night! What the f.ck! We got close to it and noticed this strange cycler had a bag of sausages and a bottle of vodka hanging out his rucksack bag!! First thing we thought: “he must be a Piranha member”!! We are saved! And, of course it was, our friend Jimmy the Polish man, cycling from Newry. Problem, the poor man was in a similar situation as we were and had not a clue of where the houses were, yeah, after the monastery, the set of trees, you see a cow, but, there was no cow! No cottages, we are lost!! But we got it. Don’t ask me how….
The place was lovely, we met the people, Greg, Judy, Claire and the rest... Checked the house out, not too bad. 3 of us, 1 was missing, Des!! We all met at 8 sharp, and went to the forest for a night run. What an awesome experience. Head lamps on and here we go! 9-10 km, no wind, excellent temperature, what a fantastic way to start the weekend!
Back to the cottages, quick shower, were starving so grabbed the cars and some of us went down to Rostrevor for a bit of food and a quick drink. Great opportunity to have a chat and to relax...but that was it, only one drink, we did behave (well, the truth is that the Pub was closing down),so no other choice than to return to the cottages for a well deserved sleep. The few days ahead of us were meant to be tough. Our friend Jimmy kept insisting in opening the bottle of Vodka, “life is short” he said, thanks god we did convince him not to do so and went to bed at a reasonable time. In the house, 2 rooms, Niall and I, in the big room on the first floor, Jimmy and Des in the small one on the ground floor (cozy and romantic)
8 am, alarm clock went on! What a nice sleep, fully recovered and prepared for more adventure. Went down stairs, ready for breakfast, and, what the hell is going on in here! Found the poor Des sleeping beside the bikes in the living room! “Des, what are you doing here! We know your bike is expensive, but the house is safe dude!” Apparently, the 9th symphony of Beethoven was played last night in the room, conducted by Jimmy. According to Des, it was the loudest and most horrible snoring he had ever experienced! “Can´t be that bad” I said, and we all laughed. Poor man! He only managed to sleep a few hours. He promised to himself, Never Again!
We met the group at around 9.30, we all were going to meet Claire´s dad, who kindly had agreed to take us to the Mourne Mountains that day for a nice climb. Perfect! Weather was steady, somehow sunny, a bit windy and around 3 degrees Celsius. Driving there, cars start to pull over close the sea. I was terrified, are we getting into the water? No f…ckng way!!! There are 3 degrees out there! Anyway, could not believe my Spanish eyes, there was a good few entering those cold waters, what can I say, fair play to them, and without a wet suit, this must be the Irish thing. This irish people are crazy!!
Back to the cars, still without believing what I just had seen, we all headed towards Kilkeel and in 20 mins the destination was reached. Funny enough, weather suddenly changed, and the winds found when we left the cars were quite strong and started to snow so had to use the waterproof trousers, goretex mountain boots, gloves, scarf, hat and sunglasses. It appeared that the storm was very local and due to the strong winds the clouds disappeared from our heads allowing the sun to shine again within 15 minutes. That made the climb more enjoyable since the views we had were astonishing, and the more we did hike, the more beautiful the landscape became. We all had the opportunity to chat again, and to get to know each other, so the trek was very enjoyable. After 2 hours more or less the top of the mountain was reached. Again the views were gorgeous, a loads of pictures were taken, but because of the low temperatures and the strong winds decided to come back down to the cars and to get some food, most of our stomachs were pretty empty, so hot coffee and good food were our rewards! Following the lunch, went to the supermarket to buy stuff for the night, essential material, wine, beer, etc.
Back to the Cottages at around 5.30, some people decided to go for a run!!! You did not have enough guys?? Jimmy, Orla and Tara. Fair play guys, where do you get the energy from?
By 8.30pm we all met in the girl´s cottage, everybody showered and ready to have a bit of party. The plan was to get some pizzas (thanks Claire and Rory!), have a few drinks and then head down to Rostrevor to hit the dance floor. And this was exactly what we did! The night was very funny and the alcohol ran through our veins probably quicker that we did in the forest the other night. Jimmy was excited since finally had the opportunity to open that bottle of Polish Vodka that was carried all the way from Dublin. Anyway, all the dancing and the sweating counterbalanced the alcohol intake! Would love to write more about the night but the truth is that I barely remember parts of it! Blame the Polish Vodka!!anyway, something was telling me it was a good one….
Alarm clock went on like mad around 20 times, it was 9.45am, opened one eye, and…. where the hell am I?? Who are these people??? And why my head is killing me! A few seconds after everything came back slowly, here there was Des and Niall (in the same room??? WTF!I think Des said: no chances I am getting into that box with Jimmy and its music), Rostrevor, training weekend, Piranha Tri, Sunday, cycling, 90 km, shittttttt…..
Meeting time was 10.15 so had basically 20 minutes to get dressed adequately for the bike and get some quick food. Faces around the table in the kitchen were long, and tired. This is what you get when you go to bed at 5am! At the agreed time, we all took the bikes and headed off to the unknown. The first slope going down towards Rostrevor after leaving the cottages felt like if the head was going to explode. Any bump on the road was sensed like a punch in the brain. God, this is going to be harder than I thought.
But what it was supposed to be a nightmare turned out to be a great experience and a wonderful cycle, nice and fresh breeze, sunny day all the way. We went as far as Newcastle and back, and if my calculations are not mistaken we did cover a good 80 km which is not bad for a Sunday. Speed was never an issue, everybody took it easy, the point was to enjoy the moment. Back to the cottages at around 3pm, enough time to have a shower and unfortunately to get back to where we came from, Dublin!
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to the people but you could see all of us appreciated the weekend we just had experienced together. At this point and as I mentioned at the beginning of this report, everybody could feel we had made new friends, and were like crazy to see the pictures taken during the trip. It is funny how sometimes a couple of days are time enough to get to know new people with your likes and to feel comfortable with them. It was pretty clear that I came back to Dublin with only one thought: to do this again!
Thanks again to all the people that made this small trip possible, and thanks to Niall who gently gave me a lift to Rostrevor.
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