Day’s like this…..

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It was with a heavy heart that we traveled to Puncherstown for round 2 of Naas Tri clubs winter Duathlon; league. Four days after we stood on Kilrush hill, windswept and broken, the bright red of the 795 jersey stood out like a beacon in a sea of mourners, as we said a final sad ,sad farewell to Martin…

Only last Sunday at the Racing 795 Duathlon Martin, strong as an ox, the real Ironman of triathlon, the man that everyone wanted to beat. 2013 was to be his comeback year, Marshalled, as us mortals did the laps, slagged of my bike, and its filthy derailer “If you cleaned your bike the gears might change” we laughed…Later we discussed his grand plan, Ferns to Omagh a fund raiser for cancer homecare, and later still he textd me on the dates…And much, much, later three missed calls from club members..only to hear that Martin had died on the road between Enniscorthy and Clonroche….three missed calls and 795’s world falls apart.

With a hint of guilt we lined up, the Marshall called for a minutes silence in memory of Martin, the spontaneous applause at the end, A dam burst of emotion held back. Glad now to be here, glad now to be taking part, glad now to wear the club jersey, now today of all days in memory of Martin…

Nothing mattered today, the course, the time…All that mattered was that we were here. Lined out, starting over, clearing our wrecked heads. Paying tribute to Martin in the only way we could, by wearing the jersey and take part.

And so it was Me, Mike, Treacy, Dena, Colm…did just that..Took part. On a cold Sunday in Feburary, snow covered peaks of the Wicklow hills. The familiarity of the course made it easier, the roundabout took some casualties off the front runners, and Martin was never far from our thoughts. The day passed. life goes on, what else can we do, live it as best we can till the very end….Ni bheig a léitheid aris ann…may he rest in peace.

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