Profile, Interview & Race Report with Anthony Murray Sea2Summit Supreme 2011 Winner
Name: Anthony Murray
Club: Westport Covey Wheelers CC
Occupation: Proprietor of ‘Antventures’
How long have you been cycling?
Two years. Anthony’s first spin with the Coveys was on a cold winter’s morning when he and his brother, Finbar, turned up in tee-shirts, football shorts and runners! They were told they’d be better off at home but they persisted, and nearly froze. Anthony stuck it out and we didn’t see Finbarr for ages after that!
What bike are you currently on?
Lapierre, An aluminium frame with carbon wheels. He is currently looking for a new bike sponsor! Anthony commented on all the young cyclists wanting carbon bikes and recommended sticking to the aluminium frame when starting out.
Biggest Achievement to date?
European Duathlon Bronze Medal in 2011.
Have you had a busy season?
Yes. Having started the year on a high with National and Euorpean Duathlon championships, Anthony has also competed in a number of Cycle Races and Adventure Races including placing 2nd in the Harlequin where he lost out to our own Con Doherty. He also was a part of a team which took Silver at the All Ireland Mountain Running Event.
Short Term Goals?
Gold Medal in the European Duathlon Championships in Israel 2012.
Get stuck into Stage Racing next year and other events like the Mickey Palmer Time Trial Challenge and Ras Mhaigh Eo.
Compete in The Ras and hopefully improve the swimming enough to compete in Triathlons.
Other Local Sporting Involvements?
Member of Westport Triathlon Club.
Sea2Summit 2011 race report: Supreme winner Anthony Murray
After a great year of some adventure races, duathlons and bike racing I was happy that the season would soon be coming to an end in September so I could catch up on some rest and a few nights out with my friends!! (As that tends to take a back seat during race season)
On a Sunday morning spin with the Westport Covey Wheelers I heard the guys discussing the fast approaching Sea2Summit adventure race which I had success in last year in the spirit race. It got me thinking almost straight away about entering it again this year. The lads asked if I would be racing and without thinking I said I would be. So there it was no backing out now! I just added another two months of hard training to my year.
I went home and got in touch with my brother Finbarr and told him I was entering the Sea2Summit race again this year. Finbarr has been a great help to me all year in doing up training plans and tactics for races. Thankfully he agreed to help me out in any way he could, training plans, tactics, encouragement, massage you name it!
Leading up to the race I done most of my training alone, and I made sure to get out everyday no matter what the weather! Training was going well, I tried to keep relaxed and most importantly stay injury free. I mixed it with running and cycling during the week and some up hill running at weekends. I felt in really good shape and I gained confidence through this.
As the race got closer there was a lot of talk about the race around Westport. Every one was interested to find out who would be entering and what the competition would be like. It was hard not to listen to the rumours of guys sprinting to the top of the reek and back in record times and I have to admit it got me thinking and in a way got me focused on training harder! I knew it was going to be tough so I’d better prepare.
The last week before the race proved to be the most difficult for me as it was taper week. Not being allowed to train hard is tough on the mind as you feel that you have to do more or squeeze in one more session. However I took it easy and tried to keep busy preparing my gear, driving the course and some long walks with my dog helped!!
The day before the race I checked out the transition areas and had one more look at the course checking for potholes and any other obstacles that might occur.
I went to register at the CastleCourt hotel were the atmosphere was building! It’s great to meet with everyone and I love the banter before a race!
I hit off for home and tried to sleep, which proved difficult, looking at my watch it was about 3am before I fell off to sleep.
Race morning I woke at 7 am. Bowl of porridge and an energy drink and out the door.
In for the race brief for 8.30 we all listened to race director Paul O’Brien who gave us all the instructions we would need.
Next was the start line were I managed to get a good spot up at the front. The count down began and soon we were running up the road jostling for positions. I wanted to see early on who looked strong so I tried to hold back and let some others take the lead. On to the Greenway I was feeling good, and I decided to push on a bit and I found my self making a gap.
Into transition I had about 20 seconds or so, a small lead but I have done a lot of cycling this year so I felt I could hold the gap. The first cycle out to Croagh Patrick went well, I was conscious to get out there with a lead but I didn’t want to push myself to hard so I kept a bit in the tank for the biggest challenge of the day (The Reek).
I flew through transition and started into a slow run up the steps of the mountain. In my race plan I had decided that once in a lead that I would not look back until I turned at the top of the mountain. In my head I pictured that the guys were right on my shoulder and that kept me running all the way to the cone. It was only at the church when I realised I had a substantial lead. However Keith Ruddy was moving well up the cone so I said I better get off this mountain pretty fast!
Coming out of transition at the bottom of the reek I had a 6 minute lead. Exiting the car park I turned left for the Maum mountain cycle. I knew I had enough of a lead at that stage but it was a question of holding onto it, the Maum cycle was long and tough and anything could happen so I had to stay focused.
I got into my time trial position and got myself into a rhythm. Going up the Maum was very tough and the top couldn’t have come quick enough! A quick dib in at the top and it was all down hill into the village of Drummin. I was starting to feel the effects of a fast reek here, as I began to hit the dreaded wall! Looking back it was my own fault as I didn’t eat enough food early on in the race. Novice mistake! It felt like the road went on forever as I cycled towards Westport.
I finally got to The Point transition were I saw Race Director, Paul O’Brien. He shouted words of encouragement along with the other marshals! Greatly appreciated at that time!!
Hitting out for the run home I still had a good lead, it was all about finishing the job from here. So I thought.
As I ran towards the obstacles I had a slip in concentration and I tripped and hit the ground hard were I got a massive cramp in my right leg. I have never really suffered from cramps and to be honest I thought my leg was broken. Luckily Finbarr my brother was there who shouted at me some nice words of encouragement, although I couldn’t repeat them here!!
I gathered myself together and started jogging, I had to lift my leg over the bales (obstacles) and then hit off on the long Greenway run home.
Once on the greenway I started to feel good again. The cramp went and I got into my rhythm. As I ran under the last bridge on the Greenway run it was only then when I began to feel excitement. I began to enjoy the run home; I knew I had done the business.
Running down the last hill onto the main street I seen some friends who had gathered and were shouting encouragement, I couldn’t believe I was going to come to the finish line in first place. Running towards the finish I belted a fist in the air with pure delight! The hard work had paid off.
I met with friends and family and it was a really proud moment.
I would like to thank everyone who had a part to play in the Sea2Summit adventure race. It was a fantastic event and everyone had a super day.
Thanks to Finbarr for all your help. Thanks To Triona my girlfriend who has been a great support to me all year. Thanks to all my family and friends!
Thanks to all my club mates at Westport Covey Wheelers for a great year.
Finally congratulations to everyone who took part and made the race!