Piranha National Series Strategy: Pulse Port Beach Sprint Triathlon (Race 6) Handbook

Hard to believe but Summer is over and Season 2019 is wrapping up nicely with Pulse Port Beach Triathlon one of the last races of the season, almost heralding the wind down after a fairly frantic few months (If you think racing was hard try and do a Handbook for them!). Don’t take the foot off the gas yet… The Men’s Team are leading the National Series and the Women’s Team are on the Podium…

Pulse is a great race to give it your all: A sea swim with a beach start divided into 5 waves, a closed road for the bike and a 4.8k run with a slight descent after the turnaround point. In previous years the weather has been mixed but forecast looks excellent for Saturday!


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?


28 Piranhas are Racing Pulse Port Beach:

Shay Phelan

John Lyons

Tony O Grady

Ken Hughes

Susan Wylie

Sarah Sreenan

Liz Rouine

Audrey Phelan

Deirdre O Grady

Wini Gallagher

Vanessa Fenton

Sean Walsh

Simon O Regan

Jason Mc Fetridge

Darragh Kitt

Paul Jennings

Ivan Eustace

Becky Woods

Marie Moran

Aileen McCarthy

Ronan Corby

Ross Condy

Lorraine Carrabin

Roisin Packenham

Brianne Mulvihill

Adam Goslin

Hannah Gibney

Siobhan Forman





Final Schedule and Race Briefing

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


Registration opens 09:00
Transition opens 09:00
Registration closes 10:30
Transition closes 10:45
Competitor briefing 11:00
Move to swim start 11:20
Swim warm-up 11:30
Swim start wave 1 11:45
Swim start wave 2 11:50
Swim start wave 3 11:55
Swim start wave 4 12:00
Swim start wave 5 12:05
Swim cut-off 12:55
Bike cut-off 15:00
Transition opens (once last runner exits) 15:05
Car park A opens (once last cyclist finishes) 15:05
Run cut-off 15:55
Event finish 16:00
Car park B opens 16:00
Prize giving 16:10

In particular note the following:


  • Roads close at 11 am – Registration takes place beside transition, at Port Beach finishing at 10.30
  • The swim entails a beach start and thus a mad dash to the water. There is a run in towards the course in very shallow water due to the shallow strand– this is approximately 50 metres long – the same applies to the exit. Your actual swim will be 750m. Once in, most of the swim is parallel to the shore one way, so if there’s a wind, that could be a factor.
  • The transition from when you stop swimming to when you start cycling is longer than usual and all the time taken there counts!
  • The cycle route takes place on closed roads and follows a circuit with a couple of sharp bends, but otherwise is reasonably straightforward.
  • The run is an out-and-back route of around 4.8k – downhill second half.
  • Obey the rules of the race and respect your fellow competitors and the marshalls.
  • Above all, don’t allow for any regrets later………push all the way to the finish!


Follow this link for the race briefing.



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.  Note the Roads Close in Port Beach at 11.00h so give yourself plenty of time to reach the Race Venue. The drive takes about 1 hour from Dublin City centre.

The triathlon takes place at Port beach, just north of the village of Clogherhead in Co. Louth and accessed via local road L2244. (GPS 53.827153, -6.261462). Registration, transition and parking will all be at the same location. The Google Maps Location is NOT Clogherhead – It is Port Beach, Mitchelstown, Co. Louth (Otherwise you end up going through Drogheda which can be busy on a Saturday).

In general most people will travel north or south on the M1 and exit at Junction 12 for Dunleer.

Travelling from Dublin and further south you will exit the M1 motorway at Junction 12, proceed to the end of the slip road, and turn right onto the R169, direction Dunleer (note: the M1 is a tolled road between Dublin and Junction 12, cost is €1.90 for a car).

At the next T-junction, turn left onto the R132, direction Dunleer. Continue on the R132 into the village of Dunleer. In the centre of the village, turn right onto the R170, direction Clogherhead. There is a fenced compound belonging to a hardware store at this junction. Follow the R170 and then the R166 towards Clogherhead. There are a number of sharp junctions along the road, remain on the R170/R166. Continue along the R166 until you see a yellow sign directing you to turn left for the Triathlon (you may see signs before this for Port beach, please ignore these and do not turn off the road until you see our sign). Continue to the end of this road and then turn left onto the Coast Road (this will be signposted with a yellow sign). Continue along this road for approximately 2 km and you will reach Port beach. If you miss the turn and end up in Clogherhead village, turnaround and proceed back towards Dunleer. You will come to a crossroads with a church on the right hand side. Turn right at this crossroads following the road signs for “Coast Road” and “Port beach”. Continue along this road for approximately 3.5 km and you will reach Port beach.

Don’t forget to cheer your Fellow Piranhas – Wishing you all a Good Race.

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

Good Luck!

Ross and Siobhan

Ross Condy and Siobhan Forman,

National Series Coordinators.


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