The weekend of 17/18 July was a busy one for the Cycle of America Team!
Saturday morning saw our final day of public fundraising in Ireland, with a collection on Grafton Street on a rainy day. Despite the gloomy weather, the passing public generously donated nearly 450 euro to our charities. Amongst the crowds to walk by was Irish Rubgy Superstar Gordon D’Arcy who wished the Team well and was delighted to pose for a picture.
From left to right: Eoin (cyclist), Mark (cyclist), Gordon D’Arcy and Donal (driver)
From left to right: Mark, Donal and Team friend Ciaran shaking buckets in the rain
On Sunday morning, the Team went for a quick 100km spin through their training ground – the Wicklow Mountains. The wet weather again rolled in, but spirits remained high and the lads enjoyed one of their last spins together before departing for Stateside.
You can view exclusive behind the scenes footage of the training session here:
Wicklow Mountains Spin – 18 July 2010
Mark and William had an early start on Sunday 04 July , getting up at 5am , to be at TriAthlone ’s race briefing for Olympic distance athletes on at 6.30am . After setting themselves up in Transition (set up in the local army barracks) and listening carefully to the race briefing the two boys joined spectators in watching the first waves of tri-athletes setting off in the water while waiting for their turn at 8.40. The early morning start and the wet weather had an adverse affect on spectators. However those that did venture out were treated to a fantastic display of swimming by all athletes. William was first out of the mile long swim , having completed in 36 minutes while Mark followed within 5 minutes. Encouraged by the cheers of the crowd Mark made up the 5 minute gap between himself and William on the cycle with Mark nudging ahead in the second half of the 40km cycle . There was very little separating the two boys as they made their way into transition for the second time to leave back their bikes and head out for the 10km run . William took a slight lead on the run and crossed the finish line first with an overall time of 2 hours and 55 minutes , with Mark finishing the race at 2 hours and 56 minutes . A close run race by all accounts! Both of these Olympian Tri-Athletes should be proud of themselves, finishing 16 th and 17 th overall in their category- a fantastic triumph that speaks volumes about their commitment to training and their fitness levels. Well done lads!
Super-duper tri-Athlete James Hoare was also taking part in the Olympic Triathlon in Athlone representing Ireland in his age category he was up against Europe ’s finest competitors and finished in a time of 2 hours and 8 minutes . An amazing time and also one that means William will have to wax his legs!! Finishing just outside of the handicap of 45 minutes set by James has resulted in William losing the bet and losing the hair on his legs! Hard luck William!
William and Mark were training hard these last few weeks in preparation for the Olympic triathlon taking place on Sunday 4 July in Athlone . That’s right, you read it correctly, no need to adjust your screens- an Olympic triathlon! A grueling mile long swim in the river Shannon, followed by a quick dash to the bike to complete a 40km cycle loop of Athlone town followed by (if still alive!) a 10km run through the town to the sound of cheers and encouragement from the adoring public! If you’re in the area, come along and show your support- a great day out! The Rockies will be nothing to these 2 boys!!
This week we still managed to fit in a lot of training, despite all the media attention from George Hook and The Irish Times! Again early mornings were had, but we have varied the route to include more hill training, after what George said about the Rockies- we’re not taking any chances!!
And just to add a bit of variety to the training we (William and Mark) are also entering into duathlons and triathlons. This training (swimming, cycling and running for anyone who doesn’t know) will help with general fitness levels which can only help us as we take on the Rockies and the heat of the USA !
Training has really been kicked up a gear in the past fortnight. Lie-ins after 7.30 am are a thing of the past. Early morning training sessions at 6am clocking up approximately 50km in the Phoenix Park before work have become the norm. The training doesn’t finish there for the day as evenings after work are dedicated to training for this mammoth cycle. Whether it be on the turbo trainer or to Howth, the training will intensify as the evenings start to get longer.
This past Sunday (7 March 2010) we joined the Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club for an early morning cycle from their base in Dundrum to Roundwood in Wicklow, stopping off at an exquisite café in Roundwood to refill the tanks for the return leg, finishing at approx 2pm! In total the trip was 95 kilometres. The terrain was difficult at times, but luckily we didn’t suffer a puncture between us. Some of the hills gave us a taster of what’s to come when we take on the Rockies!