1. Take Kayak lessons before hand, it is noticeable that those with a basic understanding of kayaking are able to take time out of their fellow competitors during this section.  It is also a great spot to refuel and recharge.  In saying this with a good time here it is possible to knock at least 3 minutes of your time here simply by putting some training into it.

2. Use straps on your bike pedals.  If you have both bike shoes and running shoes then you will have to change your footwear 4 times costing you 2 minutes each time.  It is better therefore to use tow clips or a specialist device such as Power grips .

3. Know the route up Croagh Patrick. This will allow you to pick the most effective route up and down.  There is a lot of debate amongst the elite runners as to whether it is faster to go straight up or follow the zig zag path.  Depending on your level of fitness it might be better to take the path or go straight up the hill.  Knowing the route  will allow you to save precious time on this decision.

4. Carrying your bike down the Skelp path.  A lot of people try to cycle this session whereas I would recommend that you throw the bike over your shoulder on the worst of the downhill part and run as you should be able to run quite fast downhill especially if you have a light bike.  Unless you are on a mountain bike then it is not worth cycling the entire off road section.

5. Footwear, while road running shoes offer good protection from asphalt on Gaelforce West you are looking to run as fast as you can down a very steep mountain.  grip is essential in allowing you to do this and there are a number of manufacturers out here who make shoes solely for off road running.  My favourites are inov-8 and icebug.

Regards, Shane

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