Con Doherty's Mooloolaba World Cup

Con Doherty Mooloolaba 2019 Swim 2

Con Doherty finished the best of the trio of Irish athletes at Saturday's Mooloolaba World Cup in Australia. He finished 20th in the world class field, with Russell White a minute back in 37th and Ben Shaw crossing the line 22secs later in 41st.

Here, he talks us through the race:

Last time I raced here was 3 years ago, which also happened to be my first World Cup! Chasing Olympic points with a bunch of world class athletes from across the globe is fun, exciting and extremely demanding. Last weekend I was forced to take the role of spectator at Abu Dhabi World Series. I was the first guy on the waitlist with high hopes of getting called onto the start line but unfortunately for me everyone showed up to race. Unable to race, I did some big training which happened to include both the best swim and run sessions of my life!

Con Doherty WC Mooloolaba 2019 Run 1

However, upon arriving in Brisbane, Australia I wasn’t feeling quite as strong in the week leading up to Mooloolaba World Cup which took place this weekend. A combination of travel, training load, and the shock to the body of an Australian heatwave as opposed to a West of Ireland February was a little too much to deal with. A bit flustered from what I was thinking was an impossible drop in ability, I was questioning myself without merit, but such is the nature of mind that it often times jumps on the less rational and unfounded conclusions as opposed to the more realistic ones.

I reluctantly backed off the training load and decided to work with facts and the advice of the people who know me the best. Fortunately, my form came round somewhat for the race, and due to a thunderstorm (the most intense I’ve ever seen!) which happened the night before, temperatures dipped below the 30 degree mark.

Con Doherty Mooloolaba WC 2018 Bike

The Race

Mooloolaba is a beach start into a gradually sloping bay. I started number 19, right beside Russell White with 63 other guys on either side. When the gun went we sprinted toward the water to get beyond the break as quickly as possible. My swim on paper didn’t look good but most of the ground I lost was from getting in and out of the water, which is something that can be worked on, while the swimming itself actually felt pretty good and there were great positives I took from it.

Onto the bike I caught onto the back of a group who worked relatively well to catch the front of the race within the first few kilometres. Mooloolaba has a technical section as you come towards transition, which feeds from a double lane into a single lane. By the time we were halfway through the race, the group contained over 40 guys all jostling for position which made for some pretty tense and sketchy riding. Miraculously, no major crashes occurred as the group entered T2 for the 5km run.

The Run

10th out of transition and onto the crowd-lined and hilly course, I did what I could with what I had on the day. Feeling as though I was running backwards, I actually wasn’t losing that much ground to the front of the race. After the first of three laps of the run, I settled into pace with the guys around me and fought for what I could on the day which was 20th place and 50secs behind the Canadian winner; Tyler Mislawchuk.

It’s not been a great start to the season, but it’s not been bad either. Given my current fitness, if I can bring myself to the start line feeling fresh, I’ll be bringing the game with me to push the guys up front. See you on the next blue carpet, Con.