Sunday 19th August 2012
The 2012 Groomsport “Half Ireman” doubled as the Irish Middle Distance Championship and a National Series race so stakes were high. The location of the race on the Ards peninsula meant that wind would be a major factor to contend with (or maybe it was just the pre-race nerves with the prospect of 113km of intense racing ahead).
The Invictus Squad consisted of 5 individuals and 1 relay team together with a sizeable army of family, friends and team mates in support.
The pre-race chat was all about lack of training, poor diet choices and the notoriously brutal run course – so much for positive mental attitude. Then all too soon it was midday and competitors lined up on the beach ready to sprint into the sea to swim two laps in relatively calm water.
First out of the water for Invictus was Cormac McGarry with an outstanding time of 27.21 for the 1.9km swim course. It was then time to commence the mobile buffet that is the 90km bike leg which consisted of three laps of an undulating bike course with a massive headwind on the way out and slight tailwind on the return. Finally it was on to the 21km run its vast array of running surfaces – tarmac, trail, sand, grass, mud and rocks.
First individual home for Invictus was Phil Wood in 6th place overall (individual) with the fastest run split of the day (1.22.54). Phil was closely followed by Cormac McGarry and Steven Beggs in 8th and 9th respectively. This gave Invictus 3 top 10 placings and a healthy dose of National series points.
First home for the ladies was Nicola Kennedy in a very respectable time of 5 hours 49 mins followed by Maeve Savage with less than 2 minutes separating them. Maeve was also an age group winner despite hobbling around the run course with a badly twisted ankle.
Finally the Invictus relay team (brought about by a running injury to Geoff) came home in 28th place overall and claimed 2nd in the relay category. The team featured a guest appearance from Conor Reilly who was desperate to cram in one last race before marriage ends yet another promising triathlon career.
On the whole it was a challenging but rewarding day, but not one for the faint hearted ! Well done to everyone who took part.
Full Results Here