Conceived by Dingle endurance swimmer Nuala Moore, this unique triathlon, with its equally unique name, sees seasoned competitors line out with triathletes of all levels.
The 7 frogs triathlon was set up to allow people a way into the sport. It is an event that really allows people to compete at the level that suits them but never judges.
We are all very challenged by judgement and despite what we say it’s not easy to start anything, it’s not easy to begin and so this event is perfect. For me the winner is the person who commits to the event. We all go home as achievers and we all give 100%.
The event is Sprint and Try a Triathlon
distance starting at 2.30pm Sprint Distance is :750m Swim-20km Bike – 5km
The Try a Triathlon: 350m swim – 10km Bike – 3km Run
The swims are off the Slipway at the Maharees and the Bike route of the Sprint takes you on one route around the Village of Castlegregory going clockwise with the flow of traffic.
The run route allows the runners off the main road and turns left after Spillanes down the back road and from there past the Green Room and turning at 2.5km to bring you back the back road again.
The Try a Triathlon is a
more local route to the Maharees section. The swims are deep water start and in
the Try a Triathlon and Sprint if you decide that the swim is not for you .. we
will allow you to finish the event –you will get a finish time that reflects
your event (but obv won’t be the winner! ) but you can at least get to
experience the event.
The ethos of my event is very much one where the top end athlete can be proud of those who are starting out and those starting out can be inspired by those who are brilliant and, at the same time, be very proud of themselves. We can all race together.
Castlegregory is a village on the Northern Side of the Dingle Peninsula in Co.Kerry. There is a small peninsula north of it usually referred to as the Magharees (from the islands off it. Magharee = Machairí (same word as Machair in Scots Gaelic) and means plain, prairie etc).
At the tip there's a village called Fahamore (big lawn in Irish). This area is flat. Brandon Bay with its 10 mile beach is the best surfing place in Europe. Not only is it stunningly beautiful but it attracts surfers from all over Europe. There were English, French, Dutch and other surfers there at the weekend and this where you perform the 25mile cycling leg of an Olympic length triathlon.
Here are comments from an enthusiastic group from Chicago who ran the race last year.
1. Castlegregory is set in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland – overlooking the Maharees, Tralee Bay, Mount Brandon and the Connor Pass.
2. There were no serious triathletes with bikes worth €5,000, so everyone was there for a good time, not a quick time
3. Our Garda car got privileged parking, 2 metres beside the transition racks. Sweet!
4. Ned the Natterjacks pub was the only place to be on Saturday night
5. Where else would you get Meatloaf pumped out on loudspeaker at the finish line (ok, only Nuala would like that)
Race day is different to most. We saw it from the other side. Well, you could call us “race organisers” even if we don’t have a certificate in “race organising” from triathlon college to prove it. We were there to help Nuala. She’s amazing in that she doesn’t have a long list of things to be done – it’s all in her head. Our job was to organise raffle prizes as well as put up signs on the run route, indicating where the 5km and 10km runners should go. Responsible job to give us eh?
Did you ever think of how to organise a triathlon race? The list of things to be done before a race is LOOOOOOONG when you think about it.
First get 200 people to register – by post! Then sort out cheques and application forms. Type the race briefing. Organise the chip timing guy. The PA guy for the music and microphone. The hardware store guy for the bike racks. The swim hat guy from England. The marshalls & volunteers for the day. The Mallow Inshore Lifeboat. The Gardaí. And of course the Trionics crew.
Amazingly it all comes together on the day (only a few small hickups, mostly caused by us!). After all that Nuala still remembers things like bringing cable ties, thumb tacs and she even notices when you (aka Dave) forgets to bring a few prizes down from the presentation.
The race itself was great. So different to Chicago or Athlone or Athy. Most races are mad busy, packed with people moving around at great pace and determination.
In Castlegregory, the race atmosphere was really calm. We were nearly late for the swim start off the pier, as Pete’s goggles snapped when he got in the water.
The race start was delayed for a minute as Pete shouted up to Nuala to find another pair of goggles. She threw a pair down. But they were also broke, so Pete ended up swimming 1500m without goggles. Now we know why he’s called The Hero.
The bike ride was spectacular, heading out the road to Dingle, up a bit of the Connor Pass and back in by the beach. The race marshalls did a great job of shouting at traffic – I can’t even repeat the abuse they got back from drivers, in case any children or HR people read this. The route was so quiet – at times you couldn’t see a cyclist in front or behind we were so spaced out.
The run route was along the Maherees country roads, so NO traffic and just the sound of the Atlantic Ocean. It was a great run. Although you’d want to check Pete O’Grady’s run time, as there’s doubts over whether he did the full 10km. Either that or he was a victim of identity fraud.
The prize giving afterwards was interesting. People won huge zebra coloured blankets (Dave came 3rd in his category), there were Elephant towels and all sorts of very practical things. No sign of energy bars or compression socks among the prizes, which wasn’t a bad thing.
Nuala was the MC throughout the whole day and did a great job. Her sidekick all day was her dog, Halle, who is the first half-blind diabetic dog I’ve ever met. But still a cute dog!
There were tons of people from the area involved, but I must mention Frances and her daughters, who helped all day, as well as Mags who sorted out registration. These women were part of the “Killinascully Ladies” who competed over the past number of years in hi-vis jackets. A sign of the competitive times we live in is that they ditched that idea this year and went for pure speed. Fair play.
So all in all a great weekend. The weather was amazing – dead calm, flat sea and warm enough for shorts in late September is never bad! The race was deadly – so chilled.
The setting is amazing. The characters down there are two a dozen as well, so plenty of fun to be had. And over €5000 was raised for Children’s Medical & Research Foundation, Crumlin. We even squeezed in 18 holes of golf in Castlegregory on the Sunday – but you could stay a few days more and do a bit of surfing or just chill by the beach. Sign us up for next year…
The registration will be in Waterworld Dive Centre, any interest please contact me Nuala at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call