By Kevin Leavy
After much organising on the part of Rory O'Sullivan 22 intrepid travellers set out for a week of gut busting Warm Weather Training in Aguilas in the province of Murcia. With so many first timers there was a real buzz of excitement if not in trepidation about what could be expected for the week.
All met at the airport in time for the afternoon flight and surprisingly there was no need for the good people at Ryanair to make a later call for BOB. With much transferring of gear between peoples bags in order to make the miserly weight restrictions which saw Fionnuala and Michael load their tandem rocket onto the check-in scales with Michael lifting the back end of the box in order to keep the bike under weight.
The flight itself was alive with low rumble of innate banter as the excitement continued to build.
Arrival in Murcia assured us of good weather for the week . Sunny, warm days. Not too warm to warrant great concern for the activities ahead, however the battle between sun, Ellen and Elena really only got going on the rest day (Wednesday). At this stage the jury is out as to the victor as all appeared to emit the same level of heat, though the sun failed at night time.
The four-star hotel offered facilities way ahead of most peoples expectations. It offered large suites and the package we were on offered breakfast and dinner as part of the €29 a night. It was clearly one of the better hotels in town offering business conferencing facilities a spa/health centre and wedding facilities. It was soon over-run with loud mouthed, lycra clad, sweaty, bike wielding skinny buffoons, clicking their way across the marble floors terrorising all and sundry. It soon became clear to a couple of excited bride and grooms why they got such a deal for the weekends of 14th/15th and 21st/22ndApril.....
Arrival on Saturday night signalled the beginning of the twice daily gorging festival that no doubt sent panic through the hotel's kitchen and pantry store rooms.
Each day began with an early rise. Up to the swimming pool for 8:00 until 9:30. There were days when the numbers in attendance were thin on the ground however there was a small hard core of individuals who made every session. Then it was a return to the hotel for breakfast.
Breakfast was a rampaging orgy of gluttony supplemented by the obligatory theft of as many cakes, rolls, and fillings that could be jammed into pockets, bags and anywhere else that might avoid detection, in order fuel the body until dinner at 8 pm. A scene played out every day with combat trouser wearing Piranhas regularly displaying unnaturally leg muscles etc. .
There was usually a break of about an hour to allow everyone get themselves together for a cycle. These varied between coastal interval sessions where the stiff breeze proved a challenge to all except the tandem rocket of Fionnuala and Michael. Then there were longer sessions through the hills of Campos Lopez which proved to be technically challenging with switch backs along quiet country road allowing for those of a less risk averse personality to show the mettle. Tuesday saw four of us miss the turn for Campos Lopez and take a more scenic route. This led to the worst bonk experienced on the trip. After joining a motorway (which didn't appear to be an issue there) home I felt my power beginning to wane and asked Jen, Will and Oisinn if they wouldn't mind slowing a little. Within 3 minutes I was panic stricken at the side of the road sweating profusely and empty. We rummaged around for whatever food we had between us. That was enough to get me to the next petrol station. This was not the usual haven you would find in Dublin or Wicklow. Other than petrol the only things that appeared to be on display were beer, porn and contraceptives. It required a second look in the fridge to find coke and any sweets that were on show appeared passed their sell-by date. No matter this stop was enough to get us home along what ended up being a 25km stretch of downhill motorway with the wind behind us. Reaching speeds in excess of 65kph was not a problem.
After the cycles there were short bricks off the bikes followed by a half hour rest to prepare for a longer evening run or interval track session.
Although there was no official Iron Stomach competition there was a closely fought contest between Bob and Oisinn (father and son now re-united). The younger man demonstrated great concentration and stamina to claim the title. On top of the volumous amounts put away his originality in recipes was enough to claim the title (a personal favourite being mussels and coffee flavoured ice-cream). The kryptonite to his appetite appeared in the form of yogurt (hotly disputed as to how this is pro-nounced). As the week went on the ever watchful gaze of the restaurant staff became more vigilant once they realised that food stores were dwindling way faster than they could be replenished.
Room 209 be came synonymous with all things silly. From early morning discussions on the lifecycle and mating rituals of the May Fly, to the role played by the production of Rocky IV in the collapse of communism to 5.30 pm naked star jumps and everything in between. As the week progressed the senior room-mate put an end to the late night discussions that seemed to spawn a wonderful relationship between what must be BFF (Will and Frank), although the marks left on Frank's neck after the first day appeared to suggest something closer.
For our final night we headed to an Argentine restaurant where the proprietor a former professional footballer delighted in regaling us with tails of his youth and showing photos of the many famous footballers he had played with. Clearly this was the busiest the restaurant had ever been as he delighted in taking photos with his i-pad and uploading them to the web immediately. There was a brief but beautifully delivered speech by the (self appointed) commander in chief, Mr Moody – where he thanked Elena and all involved for their contributions to making the trip so successful. It was a touching and eloquently delivered piece of prose that brought a tear to everyone’s eye – particularly Ellen who had forgotten to buy the present and Will who cringed at his drunkenly ramblings on the same subject on Weds night.
A number of impromptu awards were presented that included
· Best WWT newcomer – Frank O’Connor (although this may have caused a small rift in the BFF)
· Pinkest woman – Ellen Shilling/Elena Maslova
· Cutest couple – Brendan and Oisin
· Best Calves in Piranha EVER – Moody
· Early morning chatterbox award – Kevin Leavy
· Punctuality award – BOB
· Best tray server – Katie Fitz
Thanks to an early week excursion by Bob (just after arrival which required a number of days recovery) we found a lively joint 'El Casino' where upon arrival two young ladies jumped on the bar to entertain with high risk dance moves in high heels. Not to be outdone (TJ) Oisinn put all suggestion of injury aside and demonstrated his own bar-top moves. Coach Elena demonstrated yet another of her prize winning talents by winning prizes (in liquid form) for dancing. Not just for technical performance but for energy expended on the floor. Not to be out done Moody (the team senior) rolled out the big guns (calves) and the patented 'Moody Roll' (otherwise known as a tumble) where the DJ was so impressed he even turned the music off each time the move came out.
Swimming was not just confined to the morning time in the local pool but there were a number of open water sessions (taken late at night). Before the committee raise concerns over the safety of such excursions these were all undertaken with experienced lifeguards in the immediate vicinity. The purpose of these events were to improve siting for races though the resultant loss articles of primary clothing (Katie) and accessories (Ciara) would suggest more work required in this area.
Other highlights of the trip must have been the arm wrestling competition where Elena defeated all-comers except the might Will Owens, but that victory is tainted with the suggestion of cheating. Quite where that suggestion has come from remains a mystery. Rubber-man made an appearance at Ciara's belated impromptu birthday celebrations
22 people went out and 21 people returned in what is hoped was a better condition than they went, however that remains to be seen.
The lost Piranha was last seen driving in circles around the confusing one way street system of Murcia – clearly destined to arrive late for whatever appointment he had arranged – wonder who that could be....
IRONMAN ON CHANNEL 4 THIS WEEKEND
Posted by johnwallnutt - Jun 20, 09:25
UCD Intermed lane swim place available june 14,21,28
Posted by sue w - Jun 19, 21:50
Posted by johnwallnutt - Jun 19, 16:56
Tri Suit Wanted
Posted by conorgahan - Jun 19, 16:17
Blue Seventy Reaction Wetsuit 2012 for sale
Posted by damien - Jun 19, 16:08
Hell of the West Entry for Sale- Sold
Posted by jhanley - Jun 19, 15:46
UCD Swim place available for remainder for current block
Posted by gra - Jun 19, 15:22