Ironman Rollcall – Cork 2019

Fergal Murphy

Fergal Murphy Name: Fergal Murphy
Age:
47
When did you do your first triathlon?
May 2017 - Carlow triathlon in the company of Eamonn Grace and Alan Mahon who kept me calm before the start.
How many triathlons have you done in total?
Only six including Dublin 70.3 in 2017 when the cycle route was nice and flat and Bolton Ironman 2018 alongside Captain Travel Agent himself, Tom Britton. Not enough !!
Is this your first Ironman?
Bolton 2018 was the first and only so far.
What is your weakest discipline?
The first 3 minutes of every triathlon swim that I’ve ever been in have resulted in me suffering what can only be described as panic attacks. Heart rate spikes and I have to fight my brain telling me to get the hell out of the water. Once I settle, I get in to a rhythm but I’m in no way fast. I’ve always been comfortable enough running but I think the bike is probably my weakest. I don’t do enough outdoor training on it and as my strava buddies will know a lot of my bike time happens on zwift on a turbo trainer in the garage at home late in the evening. Not being able to draft and consequently not being able to have a chat during the long ride gives me too much time to think about how tired my legs are getting.
What made you sign up for the Cork Ironman?
20km into the run last year in Bolton I swore to myself that I would never do another Ironman.....but ultimately peer pressure.....primarily from Louise Ruane.
What is your training program like?
Unorthodox..I simply don’t follow one...no discipline and probably involved in too many other pursuits. My preparation last year did not follow a plan either (by the way I’m not recommending this) but even then it was interrupted by work trips or bugs. I try to gradually increase the amount I’m doing in all disciplines as the weeks progress up to an amount that I’m not in danger of injuring myself, simple as that. I try to do a bit 4 days a week but I have to stress I’m not an elite triathlete. We were blessed last year with gorgeous weather which meant I was in the Barrow river 3 times a week, I’d try and complete my own private Olympic triathlon every fortnight after a swim. I’m in the pool at the moment only once a week with Eoin’s class but getting in 1k beforehand to put myself under pressure during the class and then 1k more after usually. This year I’m not putting in as much effort into running due to knee problems. The run is a slog and once a bit of time is made up on the swim and cycle, there’s plenty of time to get through it. With the evenings getting longer I’m going to be hitting Mt Leinster with a vengeance on the bike....quality not quantity. I use a road bike. I’m not in the business of getting a fast time, completion is the prize for me. Trying to do it on the least amount of training is the challenge.
How do you balance work/home life and training?
We have a busy house. I have 3 boys 16, 14 and 12 and a very understanding wife. I’m a mentor with u15 and minor hurling and football teams in Mount Leinster Rangers so I suppose I get to see the lads quite a lot anyway as they’re involved with those teams. I’m lucky, I live less than 5 minutes away from work so that’s a huge time saver for me. I don’t go to bed earlier than midnight so that helps me get some extra hours catching up with Mrs Murphy or out in the garage on the bike. Mrs Murphy is also a KTC member so that helps.
Any tips for triathletes thinking about doing an Ironman?
Don’t set yourself a time the first time. It’s pressure you don’t need. Aim to finish and you won’t be disappointed. Listen to all the nuggets of wisdom, when offered, by fellow triathletes, they do help (I still don’t know where Dinny Brennan stores the fig rolls on the bike though). Even after doing Dublin 70.3 I thought that I’d never manage a full Ironman but if the mind is willing the body will follow.

John Walshe

John Walshe Name: John Walshe
Age:
52
When did you do your first triathlon?
my first triathlon was a try a trí organised by KTC about 7 years ago in the castle park, a 250m swim was the attraction for me as I'd just learned to swim.
How many triathlons have you done in total?
I'm not really sure how many triathlons I've done, reckon about 35.
Is this your first Ironman?
Cork will be my second long distance triathlon, I'd did Ironman Austria in 2018.
What is your weakest discipline?
Don't have a weakest discipline, am slow at the three!
What made you sign up for the Cork Ironman?
Was hard not to sign up for Cork being so near and the fact that it's the first long distance in Ireland.
What is your training program like?
I train 6 days a week, Saturday is generally my rest day and long runs/bike are usually on Sundays.
How do you balance work/home life and training?
It takes a bit of work to keep the training/work life balance right but the team at home kind of know the routine now thankfully.
Any tips for triathletes thinking about doing an Ironman?
For any athletes thinking of doing a long distance triathlon, I'd say go for it, it's a tough but fantastic journey, start out with sprint distance and work on up through Olympic, half and onto full. Try and pick an event that other club athletes are also doing, it's fantastic to have someone you know doing an event abroad. When I did Ironman Austria last year there were 7 other club athletes there and the comradarie and craic was brilliant for the week we were there, that really helped.

Heather Purcell

Heather Purcell Name: Heather aka Miss H (not sure why Kk Tri members call me this but it has stuck)
Age:
49 yrs
When did you do your first triathlon?
Competed in my first Irish Triathlon in 2014 ish 😬
How many triathlons have you done in total?
Have done more than a few triathalons commencing with; tri-a-tri, sprints, olympic, HIM, Double HIM distances. Have had lots of fun, competing wearing the club colours.
Is this your first Ironman?
Fingers & toes crossed this will be my 6th IM Distance Cork will be my 4th IM brand.
What is your weakest discipline?
my weakest discipline is the run, so close but yet so far from the end.
What made you sign up for the Cork Ironman?
Cork will be a fab as the routes for each discipline are challenging, the crowds will be awesome and the sun will shine.
What is your training program like?
My training program is busy, like alot of people it's all about being organised, getting time to train & not beating yourself up when you can't train.
How do you balance work/home life and training?
Finding a balance is difficult usually it involves early morning starts, if possible doing a lunchtime session and listening to your body!
Any tips for triathletes thinking about doing an Ironman?
For anyone interested in undertaking an IM, talk to people who have done it KK Tri Club has one of the highest numbers of IM in Ireland. Be prepared for long hours of training, budget as IM is expensive and enjoy the many great people you will meet along the way. It's the fastest day of your life!!

Tom Britton

Tom Britton Name: Tom Britton
Age:
45.5
When did you do your first triathlon?
June 2017.
How many triathlons have you done in total?
10
Is this your first Ironman?
No Bolton 2017 🙂
What is your weakest discipline?
All of them!
What made you sign up for the Cork Ironman?
Comradeship / supporting anything in Ireland which is for the good 🙂
What is your training program like?
Consistent. Approx 10 to 12 hours per week over a full year . Usually manage to blend it into holidays too 🙂
How do you balance work/home life and training?
What balance? Training most evenings and Sunday mornings . Early start for work - home by 1800 and then onto classes, gym or ring road.
Any tips for triathletes thinking about doing an Ironman?
Just do it! Believe and achieve!!! Having never done so much as an egg and spoon race upto 3 years ago. With high blood pressure and arthritis, 5 stone over weight to tackling Ironman in 3 years ...... never thinking I could. With the right friends, and team around you - anything is possible.

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