National Series Strategy: Westport Sprint (Race 2) Handbook

June 13, 2017 Leave your thoughts Posted under

Racing season is now decidedly upon us and the second club race Westport will be held on Saturday 17th next. This is a Club Weekend away and accommodation has already been sorted – The majority of those racing are staying in the Harbour Mill Apartments, along the Westport Quays – a stone’s throw from the Race Start / Transition and Finish. It is fairly handy for those last minute forgotten items! A slap up meal in the Helm Restaurant adjacent has been organised for the Saturday evening from 7.00 – A good opportunity to chat with fellow Club members and recount how the race went for you, and listen to their version of events. Enough of the Social side – Let’s get to the Racing!

This note has the following sections:

  • Who’s Racing?
  • Final Schedule and Race Briefing
  • Pre Race Advice
  • Getting There and Car Pooling

Who’s Racing?

There will be an amazing turnout of Piranha’s Racing (all in our new shiny gear), so be sure to cheer on your club mates when possible. 60 Athletes from Piranha are registered to race!

Aidan HughesDavid LarkinWilliam OwensSimon O'Regan
Pat LinehanSimon MontgomeryStephen EustaceBernard Hanratty
Bryan WalshAidan JonesDerek OrganIvan Eustace
John LyonsJohn ClarkeNick Walsh Shay Phelan
John WallnuttFintan PhelanRoss CondyDeclan Lawler
John MackenBrian StanleyDonal O'NeillAdam Goslin
Jamie OldenNeil MurphyMark JenningsNoel Kelly
Killian NolanMorgan McGuireCathal O'SullivanMegan Smith
Margaret WallnuttMarie MoranPetrina MulroeShannon Kelly
Mathilde FaillyAva LyonsJacqui DunphyClaire Gorman
John StauntonDarragh KittDara LawlorNoel Walsh
Lorraine CarrabinSarah SreenanMiriam GroganMartina Duignan
Siobhan FormanAileen McCarthyCatherine DolanCiara Kilroy
Maura OrmistonRegina BoweSusan WylieNicola Hickey-Crowe
Ava CooperRoisin PakenhamClaire MurtaghEimear McHugh


Final Schedule and Race Briefing

As at the time of printing, the race schedule for the weekend is:

RegistrationGracy’s Bar
Westport House
From 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Friday 16th June

From 8:00am – 09:30am
Saturday 17th June
Transition Area OpenThe Quay WestportFrom 08:00am
Saturday 17th June
Transition Closes 10.30am
Race Briefing10.45
Enter WaterAt transition area11.00am
Race Start10am from transitionWave 1 - 11.15am
Wave 2 - 11.19am
Wave 3 - 11.22am
Prize GivingGracy’s Bar
Westport House

Keep an eye on your e-mail inbox \ Westport Tri’s website and social media for any late announcements.

In particular, note that:

  • Registration is open on both Friday evening and Saturday morning.
  • Parking is not permitted on the quayside near transition.
  • There will be three waves, the first scheduled for 11.15.
  • Swimming in the sea brings new challenges, even if the bay is relatively sheltered. Be prepared for a bumpier ride than in Carlow, but if stressed, slow everything down and make sure you’re getting decent-sized breaths. Sighting is also much more relevant than when in a river, so do pop your head up to stay on course. If you can keep pace with a group that’s heading in the right direction, all the better! In Westport you can put your foot to the bottom almost all the way around the swim. So Relax!
  • The cycle course on open roads, so be vigilant. The first and last sections (roughly 3k each) of this largely flat out-back course are twisty and have poor road surface in parts; on the regional road out to Murrisk, the road is straighter and in better condition. Be very careful at the turnaround point, as the last thing tourists = will be expecting is lycra-clad Piranhas, hungry for more!
  • The mount line is a good distance from transition – that’s not a reason to dawdle.
  • The run course is a mix of tarmac and track, featuring a couple of out and back sections. It is also undulating, so thus unlikely to be the fastest sprint 5k that you run. Note that unlike previous years, the run now finishes on the grounds of Westport House, rather than on the quay. Competitors’ bags will be moved to that point by the organisers. Make sure you’ve labeled yours.
  • Obey the rules and be courteous to fellow competitors and race marshalls. In particular: “The torso must remain covered with front zips being undone no lower than a horizontal line running between the nipples”. You might laugh, but Westport is strict on this, featuring on national radio for this very reason not that long ago! J
  • Push hard so you don’t regret it later during the dinner and drinks!


Pre Race Advice

Race Week

In the week before the race, being well-rested is vital. Triathletes have a (good) habit of being very committed to training and often find it hard not to train! However, the week ahead of a race is one of those times when you should take that break and not feel guilty about it. The training that matters has been done already and flogging yourself a few days before a race is not wise! However, tuning up in the form of short and sharp intervals across all three disciplines is generally recommended. Eat good and nutritious food and stay hydrated.

Make sure you have everything you might need for the day! Of critical importance is your TI card or one day licence – no licence, no race! You should know yourself what items you need, but as a guide, see the sample checklist below:




Other Options

Race Day

Outlined below is a comprehensive warm-up that incorporates all three disciplines and requires a decent amount of time. What is arguably as important as the physical side of warming-up is the logistical and mental preparation. Make sure that you have everything positioned where you want it (the logistics), ideally as early as possible, so that you can then prepare (mentally) prepare. Assuming you have allowed sufficient time, this should incorporate familiarising yourself with the course, in particular, in and around transition. If you have any particular concerns, try to limit these. For example, nervous swimmers might walk to the turnaround point to get the measure of the course and note landmarks that might be reassuring during the race; if your bike handling on a TT is rusty, navigate a few corners. Make sure your bike is roadworthy and operating smoothly (faulty bikes cause anger, anger leads to hate, hate causes suffering………..and we know where that leads!).


Before you rack your bike, try to get 10-15 minutes easy cycle- this will give you a feel for you race position, changing gears and pedaling technique. Keep this cycle at easy intensity- This can be a couple of hours before the race start and the purpose is to give you a feel for the bike (Use run/swim as warm up before race).


 When racking your bikeDo a couple of jogs through the transition and visualise where you have to enter and exit for T1 & T2. Know exactly where your bike is – memorise how to get to your bike quickly. Placing a ridiculously colourful towel on the ground by your bike is sometimes useful as it can be easy to spot as you run along a row of bikes. You can place your runners, gels, visor, sunglasses etc. on the towel so you can grab them before you head out on the run. Alternatively, note a fixed landmark (not a bike!) and practice making your way to \ from the entry \ exit point.


After racking your bike and setting up your transition completely, do a run warm up next – complete 10-15 minutes jog with 5x 10 strides seconds at intensity of 7/10. Aim to finish your run warm up approximately 20-25 minutes of starting your race, then get wetsuit on for swim warm up below.


Try and get into the water to allow time for the body to acclimatize. While you don’t want to get cold, acclimatising as best you can is very important. Dynamic movements of your arms and shoulder are suggested (e.g. circling your arms and practicing the swim motion). Start with some aerobic swimming and add 4 x20 seconds at race intensity, with 1 minute easy between each.

Getting There (and Car Pooling)

Registration and race day parking details are outlined in the Race Briefing. Presuming that most, if not all, will be arriving on Friday evening, try and register then, so you’ve one fewer thing to do on race morning. Head west, watch the sun set on the way! It’s a long drive, so plan accordingly.

Since there is a large number of us heading down to race it makes sense that we try and minimise our carbon footprint and carpool where possible! If you are interest in giving or getting a lift please post up on the forum and take it from there. The more information and flexibility you can offer, the likelier you are to get a lift! If you are taking a lift please take it as read that you should offer to contribute to the cost of the journey for petrol / diesel and tolls, if applicable!

  • On a more sombre note, Piranhas should be aware that a death very recently occurred in the bay where you will be swimming, involving someone known to Westport Tri members. The Race Organisers may ask for a moment of silence to reflect this. It has been a tough time for those involved.

Wishing you all a Good Race.

Any questions then please do not hesitate to contact either of us.

Good Luck!

Richie and Siobhan

Richard Doyle and Siobhan Forman,

National Series Coordinators.



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