I done Gael Force 2009 on Saturday - the event had tripled in size since last year, with 2500 entrants this year! I was a bit disappointed with some aspects of it, some things which were under the control of the organisers, others which weren't. In any case, I made it around the course three minutes SLOWER than last year, which believe it or not, I'm actually relatively happy with.
The main problem I had this year was with the bike, but comparing times against last year, I'm now not too sure it made a huge difference. The main reason I blame the bike is that it was really heavy (compared to my road bike, not last years bike) and the seat was way too low, so I really struggled getting any power. I felt like I was ambling along the whole time.
According to the Garmin, I only lost 9 minutes on the bike leg this year, which considering I was hoping to really knock some time off on the bike is disappointing. Lesson for next year is to bring my own bike - one of my friends here in Cambridge who I trained with was over 24 mins faster than me on this section (which also included a short run and the kayak in this years timings). He'd brought his own bike over and while my average speed was around 16kmph, I'm pretty sure his was more like our normal training speeds of 26-28kmph!
Besides the bike, I'm pretty happy with how things went - I was around 8 mins faster on the first run section, which includes a big hill that I essentially had to hike up and carefully descend. My ascent of Croagh Patrick was over 10 minutes faster than last year which I was really happy with, but my descent was about 11 minutes slower! So that overall balanced out.
Oh well - happy to have got around and surprised how close I got to last years time - I thought at the end I'd be close to 15 mins over it (forgot to factor in the downtime at the kayaks). In reality, those 3 minutes were probably wasted while waiting for some water at the foot of CP before the final bike - if I'd know that at the time!
Run 1: 1.37.29 1.29.43
Run 2: 32.17 32.57
Cycle 1: 1.39.34 1.48.37
Hike(U): 1.01.21 50.32
Hike(D): 33.57 45.15
Cycle 2: 41.19 38.54