(First male, Peter Tuohy)
The 2014 edition of the Currane Challenge lived up to its title as the weather conditions did indeed prove a big challenge to overcome. As we assembled on the start line there was a full on head wind mixed with a downpour of rain for good measure.
The race commenced on the bike with a downhill section for about three hundred metres before taking a sharp left. I tucked myself into the group of leaders at this stage and as we took the left turn David Breannan from Castlebar CC went to the front and increased the pace.
This created havoc as everybody was trying to get into the lead group and control their bike at the same time. The wind was now a very strong side wind and everybody was getting blown into the ditch with the strong gusts. I was riding my time trial bike and nearly entered the ditch on several occasions along with a few others! Luckily I managed to cling onto the front group consisting of three as we crested a small climb. David Breannan and David Walshe were pushing hard and it was difficult to get a rhythm going as the winds were so sporadic in places. We worked hard together as we reached Mulranny and made the turn homewards. For a short period there was a strong tailwind and we made good ground. There were some usual winds before we made the left turn to Currane once more. At one stage we had a tailwind when suddenly we almost came to a standstill with a very strange headwind.
Eventually we got to the final left turn and had a strong headwind all the way back to the start. We entered transition together and I entered the run part of the race first with the two Davids hot on my heels. I felt good along the road and up the trail part of the run but as soon as we entered the boggy steep section I suffered and really slowed down. Just before the turn at the top of the climb David Walshe caught and passed me with David Breannan in close pursuit. As we turned I just kept behind until we reached the trail once more. Once we reached the trail I put in a big effort and luckily I was able to overtake David Walshe. The descent was safe and quick finishing once more at Currane Church.
The whole event was organised really well with safety being the main priority. There was everything you would expect from a well organised event from lead cars to a well marshalled course. There was water stops and plenty of food and drinks after the race in the nearby community centre. The awards ceremony took place in a local pub where everybody met for a chat after the race and received their prize or a spot prize if they were lucky.