Meet the member – Joe Sweeney
Well Joe, how’s the form? How’s everything going for you?
Keeping the ball pucked out, thanks.
Tell us about how you got interested in Triathlon and how you came to join Pulse?
My lifestyle through a good part of my 20s and 30s wasn’t the healthiest, to say the least. Especially when the kids came along, I knew I needed to turn things around. A mate in work was considering doing a sprint triathlon and one thing led to another…The US invasion of Iraq didn’t have the level of thought and planning we put into that 1st race, I swear.
Joining a club came a few years later. I chose Pulse for 2 reasons – one because of the question below, and the other because it suited location-wise.
Tell us about your first race?
Port Beach! This was before I joined the club. I stood on that Clogherhead sand in my Aldi wetsuit and thought, ‘Holy crap, those buoys look VERY far apart.’
It was a great day, a great atmosphere and race. My abiding memory was that my race number pinned to my shirt was “No.1”. As I hauled my weary ass into T2, who-ever was on the mic that day (Dazz or Dave Adams maybe?) ribbed me about it for all to hear, saying why wasn’t I leading the race so? I gave him the finger. Perfect introduction to Pulse 😊.
What’s your favourite race/distance to race?
Olympic. Just the right mix of training volume, distance, and pace for me. Fav race so far was probably Harbourman in Wicklow on a gloriously sunny day.
What’s your favourite Pulse memory so far?
There have been too many great times racing, training, socialising to choose one.
What’s the best thing about being in a Triathlon club?
It’s great to feel fit of course, but really, it’s all about the camaraderie. The laughs and chats at both the official Pulse sessions and the smaller get-togethers. I’ve met a lot of great folks along the way and some good friends.
I also like how being in club like Pulse can sometimes help lead to a positive change for others. Like I was out cycle with the gang this summer and got chatting to David Gregg. I didn’t know David so well and asked why joined Pulse. He’d wanted to live a healthier life but wasn’t sure exactly how to go about it. He kinda knew Brian Power who was looking like the fit, multiple-Ironman guy he always does. David asked him what his secret was, and Brian put him onto triathlon and Pulse. Roll back a few years and it was Brian asking me how come I didn’t have jowls anymore. I love that – how people making changes to their lives and joining clubs like Pulse can ripple out. Deep, huh?
When you’re not swimming or pedalling or running, what keeps you busy?
The usual – family, work etc…I’m not discussing my more questionable non-triathlon pursuits here 😊
Outside of Triathlon, what’s your favourite sporting memory or achievement? (Doesn’t have to be your own!)
May 25th, 2005. Enough said.
Obviously, Kona is the dream for a lot of members, but are there any other bucket list, once-in-a-lifetime type races you’d love to experience?
Kona isn’t on my list tbh. Maybe Escape from Alcatraz Tri where you swim from the island to San Fran and bike/run around the city. That looks class. Or Challenge Wanaka for those unreal views of New Zealand.
What’s the next Triathlon goal you’d like to tick off?
It’s happening in 11 weeks. GULP. IM Portugal in Cascais. My 1st (and probably last) full distance. It’s been a bit tricky to keep the motivation going with the uncertainties Covid brought, but it now looks like it’s happening so it’s full steam ahead with the training. There’s a cracking group heading over (see above comments about making good friends – John G, Debbs, Nicola M, Marion, Ciaran, Clare, Gordon, Gary, Grant, Richie. Alas a few others in the gang can’t make it). Some are doing the 70.3, a couple of us the full. I’m nervous about the race but know we’ll all have a ball on the trip.
What’s your favourite book/movie/tv show? What do you like about them?
Crime novels – Robert Crais and Michael Connelly especially. Also, a big fan of science fiction and all things dystopian. I’m currently rewatching The Sopranos after 20 years. Top notch tv.
What are the go-to tunes/podcasts for a training session?
Rock or at least something with a strong beat. People who listen to audio books or podcasts while running are just plain weird.
Who inspires you, be it in sports or in regular life?
I’m not really inspired by anyone famous. It’s more those ordinary Joes who quietly overcome adversaries and go on to lead positive and uplifting lives. There are several such people in Pulse.
What one nugget of advice would you give to a new member starting out on their Triathlon journey?
Join a club, listen to the advice they offer. Don’t remortgage the house to buy all that gear until you have a few races under your belt and are sure triathlon is for you.
Finally, can you tell us an interesting fact or story we don’t know about you?
I’m bald by choice, not by nature.