pablo (13)

I have to say last weekend was going to be a shock for the team. A little bit of scheming and secret planning between Mike & myself for a bit of an unveil.

I was nervous myself as I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be from the others and Mike was not confirming I was in or out… “Team decision.”

At the end of the day the news went down well and I would be part of Team #TriHarderAR for ITERA 2016!

Happy days!! 🙂

Anyway on to the planned training session for the evening.

Starting with a paddle from Fanore beach we aimed for Ballyvaughan with the goal to get there and back, our longest team paddle, working as a team and sticking together. We also played around with the pairings in the boats too in order to find the best setup and seating positions.

Mirror like conditions for launch
Where Ireland meets the sea
Rounding the headland towards the lighthouse

The conditions were simply stunning setting out though by the time we got to our turning point a squall started to come up and we started to hightail it back to the beach.

Landing on the beach in the dark, surfing the waves in was simply awesome! Felt like we were special forces storming a stronghold especially when we started portaging the kayaks and gear through a camp site in the dark. We weren’t exactly the quietest so #GoDark did not exactly apply (we need to practise that!) and an interesting discussion ensued when a head popped out of a tent wondering if we were stealing their kayaks!

I’d a ‘little’ barefoot run on coarse chip roads to get back to the van to bring it back to the kayaks as a 2k portage was not looking very endearing. Once we regrouped and relocated out of the campsite we transitioned to the bikes.

Mike and I had another unveil:

PYGA – if you could eat a bicycle this would be #NOMNOMNOM

2 demo bikes from PYGA Ireland that we were seriously considering investing in. More about the bikes separately.

We nav’d our way onto the Black Head Loop – trust the map 😉 and started going upwards following the trail. We came across a small group of cows in the dark and somehow managed to separate a calf from the mother and the fecker kept running ahead of the bikes.

Typical!! A Swedish team comes home from a race with an adopted dog, an Irish team gets a calf!! Click To Tweet

Anyway we sorted the calf out and carried on as the weather grew damper. We opted not to collect our CP1 at the lighthouse, the rocky scramble would have been dangerous in the dark on wet slippy surfaces and kept going over walls and styles to a fork. BHL turns off and rises quickly on a raggedy hike-a-bike section. We made the right call and dropped from this point to the road and looped around on the longer section which was far quicker to rejoin the BHL more or less where we would have been but 2 hours earlier than predicted.

The BHL then goes up again towards the Holy ‘Shit’ Well (in-story, I’ll tell again, my 6 year old came up with it) and over the top to rise up and drop again. Unfortunately some wild screams alerted us to Kate having an off behind us on the descent. She banged a rock quite badly with her face and earned a small cut on the cheek. Shaken and giggling with shock we picked a route out and high-tailed it to the cars to get her cleaned up.

Down through the Caher Valley and a straight shot to the cars, a wipe and a clean up later we opted to spin to Doolin and back for a bit of road biking just to round off a solid training event.

Paddle File: 27km https://flow.polar.com/training/analysis/637383116

Bike File: 57km https://flow.polar.com/training/analysis/637387850