Cobh Triathlon Club

Triathlon Club Cobh Ireland


August 14th, 2011

2016 Ironmen:



Bill Kelleher & Michael O’Driscoll, huge acheivement!!!


Also a huge congratulations to Michael and Billy on their Galway Ironman, massive results!


I often feel that your first Ironman is the best Ironman racing experience  you’ll have throughout your racing career.  You have no lofty expectations other  than to finish and, since you don’t yet understand or have experienced how badly  you might feel during certain stages of the race, your naivete and ignorance  help you get through the bad spots. First times for almost anything are usually  always memorable, especially when it comes to ultra endurance sports racing.

Originally from:

Below is an account of ironman UK kindly given to us by prominant club member and training organiser Chris Coady. This is a great account of an ironman, it takes the reader through the event step by step thanks again Chris.


3.8k swim, 180k bike, 42k marathon


a couple of summers building from Sprint to Olympic to Half-iron distance
triathlons I decided to go full steam ahead and entered the full Ironman.


I followed a 30 week training programme which had approx. 260 training sessions
ranging from an easy 30 min run to a hard 6-7 hour bike and peaking at 20 hours
a week . This consisted of training 6 days a week and generally included a
double session 2 or 3 days and a long run and bike at the weekend. It does
require some sacrifices like missing nights out drinking with the lads, but on
the other hand it gets you out of lots of baby-sitting and cutting the grass. Visiting
my parents became 150k cycles instead of driving. And training on Christmas Day
is a bit weird. A few tough ones spring to mind like a 6 hour turbo session in
pools of sweat, and getting up at 04.30 a.m. on a Saturday morning for a 20
mile run followed by a swim, but you really do adapt to it almost without
realising it.

So with this in the bag I headed for Bolton. There was a lot
of organisation involved in registering, safety checks and dropping gear to T1
and T2. The night before felt like a cross between the leaving cert and my
black belt grading. I was sure I could do it, but you are still entering the

I got on the bus at 02.15 a.m. in the morning for a 06.00
start. The swim went well and I was delighted to get out of the water with 1.14
on the clock feeling fresh. My hands and feet were numb with cold though, and
it seemed to take forever to get changed into my bike kit and get on the road.

The bike course has over 7,000 ft. of climbing, and when you
pass the sign that says ‘Welcome to the Pennines’ near the start you get an
idea of what’s in store. The 180k bike leg is made up of 3 loops which means
you have to do an endless hill called Sheep House Lane 3 times. The first time
I thought ‘Ha you call that a hill! Try cycling around Cobh!’  The second time I thought ‘ok it’s a bit steep
alright’. The third time I hoped my heart rate monitor wouldn’t explode. All
told the bike was harder than I expected and took longer than expected. There
were a couple of times where you just had to grit your teeth and grind it out but
I guess it is called ‘ironman’ for a reason.

I still felt ok off the bike and knew that I was well ahead of
the cut-off so should make it. There’s ‘only’ a marathon left to run and it’s
finished – it’s funny how things become relative! I ran the first 3 miles too
fast so I slowed down knowing that it would be short lived. And so it was: after
a good enough 14-15 miles I started to run out of gas. You expect this to
happen at some stage in a normal marathon and it is not a problem to push
through it. Not this time though, and I wasn’t prepared to push it and risk a
DNF. This is where you remember all the training you have put in and back
yourself to make it. 1 hour faster or 1 hour slower didn’t bother me. You hear
the horror stories and some of them are true, a DNF is a real possibility if
you are reckless. Just forget about time and get to the end. I can honestly say
the marathon was enjoyable.

So after 14hrs6mins and some 226km I crossed the finish line
where they announced “Chris Coady you are an Ironman!”. They try to feed you up
with stuff like pork pies to get some of the 12,000 odd calories back, but I
felt pretty good apart from a slight craving for salt. No i.v. drip required, a
few sandwiches and a bag of salty chips and I was good to go again.

So well done to everybody putting in the effort to get off
the couch to swim, bike or run ! There will come a day for us all when we will
no longer be able to put on a pair of runners and skip out the door, so for now
forget the excuses and just go as hard as you can for as long as you can. It
doesn’t matter about speed, distance or times. Life is a long race, and in the
end it is only against yourself.

See you on the road!