Galway Triathlon Club is all set for season ahead

Galway Triathlon Club's Beginners Officer Valerie O'Gorman (centre) pictured with GTC club-mates in Westport last year. Left to right: David O'Donnell, Bridget Jacobsen, Lorraine Stenson, Valerie O'Gorman, Lornie O'Dwyer, Claire O'Shea and Tommy Monaghan.
Galway Triathlon Club's Beginners Officer Valerie O'Gorman (centre) pictured with GTC club-mates in Westport last year. Left to right: David O'Donnell, Bridget Jacobsen, Lorraine Stenson, Valerie O'Gorman, Lornie O'Dwyer, Claire O'Shea and Tommy Monaghan.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

AS is the practice with Galway Triathlon Club at this time of the year, they will hold their annual ‘Beginners Morning’ in the Salthill Hotel and Ocean Fitness this Saturday from 9am to 1pm.

Spearheading GTC’s open day are Beginners’ Officers Valerie O’Gorman and Rachel Scott and, in all, approximately 50 ‘newbies’ are expected to attend their workshop, which will consist of talks on the three aspects of triathlon – swimming, running and cycling.

The various presentations will detail what GTC offers as a club, not only in terms of their timetable of training sessions for all three disciplines but also the coaching tools they employ to improve the technique of their members.

There will also be talks on bike skills and cycling in a group (they run a beginners’ cycle group in February); a talk about transition (moving from one discipline to the other on the day of the event); and on nutrition.

“On Saturday, we will just be advising people to choose the right level for them and we will also have a slot on picking a race,” relays Beginners Officer O’Gorman, a national school teacher at Scoil Ida in Salthill who is a relative newcomer to the sport herself.

“We are working off power-point but really they are just as a guide. It is an inter-active forum, made accessible to all. We would hope people would at least come away with two tips on each discipline about what they need to do. Race season runs between June, July and August and there are different distances people can race in – be it Sprint, Olympic, middle distance or a half Ironman.”

For many, the thought of a half-Ironman (covering 70.3 miles between the three) might be an alien concept but it shouldn’t be. The majority of people will begin with the shorter distances and, depending on their level of interest, may then look to graduate to the longer events.

In effect, this was O’Gorman’s pathway to completing a half-Ironman, Challenge Galway, in June of last year. “I actually sat at this beginners’ talk in 2014 and it is funny now that I am organising it from the other end of the table,” she smiles.

“I was always sporty. I played basketball with Titans here in Galway, Gaelic football with Tuam/Cortoon and then tag rugby on a social level. I always liked to run though and I just wanted to train, really, for a purpose with a group of people and that is what the triathlon club is about.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.