That may sound a little harsh, but trust me I know what I'm talking (writing) about. If we decide to do something it has to be done according to our rules. If that is not possible, because the outside world decides to put some limits, we will still do whatever we planned. Usually within the limits. We don't necessary plan everything in advance. But if we do, all the details have to be planned and agreed on months before the actual event. If they are not agreed on immediately, we get really impatient.
We start speaking with the raised tone of voice, wave our arms and generally give a very aggressive impression. But hey, we can improvise as well. A short trip to Bere Island parkrun – not a problem at all! And then you have the best way to get us going. Just tell us we can't do something. Even if we realise that it is the case, we will try to do anything to prove you wrong. It is historically proven! Sometimes on smaller and sometimes on a bigger, nation-wide, scale. This is probably what happened back in the 17th century when we held a two-year long party in Moscow.
A list of somehow 'weird' ideas is endless. And yet they sometimes come with something bigger in mind. Not only to show and impress people around but actually to work for the benefit of everybody. I suppose this is what happened to Michał when he came up with the idea of doing the full Ironman. Michał has done plenty of triathlons in his life and he has won some of them. He has already completed 70.3 Ironman in Dublin three times. And it was obvious that at some stage he will make an attempt to compete in 140.6 Ironman. All in all, it’s just a bigger distance (‘yeah right’ says the voice in my head). I think the actual plan was to do it this year in Barcelona, but you will have to speak to Michał to confirm it. And since you have to keep yourself occupied in the time of limits and restrictions, why not spend the whole day outside? Practising – some sort of baptism of fire. The whole idea was to do the IM race in accordance with the current 2 km radius and, which is obvious, with the rules of the road. Michał’s support team is luckily located in the same area and similar limitations apply to us. Doing everything within 2 km range? Yeah, of course! That's not a problem at all. And if you’re doing something big like that – something that will catch people’s attention, why not do it for a good cause? In the time like this the choice of the fundraising goal was more than obvious: Beaumont Hospital.
And so because of that we met at Michal’s place on early Thursday morning to support him throughout his race. The weather forecast was not really encouraging but there is not much you can do about it anyway. So what’s the point of complaining? When Michał had all the things ready to go we went to Broadmeadow Park in Applewood. There is a one-kilometre lap over there where he planned to do his running part. And shortly after 7am he started his challenge. Unusual for a triathlon to start with running but since it was rather impossible to do the actual swimming part it had to be running. The first 10km went flying despite some social distancing controversy. Both Michał and his support runner finished it in under 1 hour.
After a brief moment to change clothes, drink and eat a bit Michał started the cycling part. It was around 8:15am. The lap took him from Applewood Community Centre, through Castleview Extension and Glen Ellan Road to the traffic lights near St Colmcilles GAA Club. There he took left to Balheary Rd and towards the Golf Course. There he turned left again and cycled towards the Church on Newtown Cottages/Balheary Rd. The route took him a bit north and then back towards Applewood, passing Swords Celtic on his right. The nine-kilometre lap finished in Applewood Community Centre. There was a small issue on the second lap when he had to change a wheel. Luckily it happened when he was near his home so there was no major delay. He was able to continue in no time. The water station near the GAA Club was the place where he stopped to eat and drink, and to get energy gels and isotonic drinks. He got some support and clapping on the way from some strangers from River Valley parkrun. He noticed two members of the Trevaskis family. But unfortunately due to being so focused on his task he didn't acknowledge Ross's shouts and clapping coming from the GAA field. There was also one a bit uncomfortable moment when Garda checkpoint was set near GAA. It doesn't always happen that you have five Garda cars stopping suddenly right in front of your car. Michał was of course stopped, as well. However, after a short conversation, and assurance that everything is done within the set limits, they let him go. Michał reached his cycling goal of 180 km halfway through the lap. But since the running part was planned to be done in Broadmeadow Park again, he had to continue cycling until he got there. The time was shortly before 4 pm.
And then again he needed a moment to change into running gear and get some food&drink. The last part started. This time we were able not only to provide him with snacks on his 1-km lap, but also to actually run with him. There was no plan to beat some record, but rather to complete the challenge. So Michał continued the challenge running and having occasional breaks for just walking, not to drain the body completely out of energy. You can imagine that the small park was not really empty but we had to stick to social distancing rules. There were plenty of people walking, jogging or just enjoying a moment outside in the open air – for the weather was perfect despite the forecast. The support runners changed but continued to stay in the park to cheer, take pictures and shoot short video clips. And of course to chat to Michał when he continued to run another lap in the park. Once again there appeared familiar faces from River Valley parkrun to give Michał some more support. And this is what you need to keep you going despite the physical and mental exhaustion. A group of people that will support you to achieve the target that was set. And to remind you that apart from the sense of sport achievement afterwards, the money that you fundraise will make the difference.
It was getting dark when Michał completed his challenge and was finally able to stop and relax. After more than 14-hour long challenge the cold isotonic drink must have felt heaven sent. The time was shortly after 9pm.
And yes, of course he won.
Now we'll be waiting impatiently for some other events in the future. One of them being the Irish-Polish friendship parkrun. You'll be able to familiarise yourselves with Polish cuisine once again. But before we are allowed to meet and parkrun again please feel free to support Michał. You can still do it using the link below. By supporting Michał you support Beaumont Hospital.
(No, I’ve never made pierogi in my life....What do you mean that’s probably because I don't know how to make them!?!.....Are you trying to say, that I can't make pierogi myself??....What???....I mean WHAT?!?....CHALLENGE...A C C E P T E D...!!!!)