No meat, no shaving: Noble lives the Olympic dreamBy Colm O’Connor, London - Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Gavin Noble has lifted the lid on some of the stranger sacrifices he has made to achieve his triathlon dream.
The 31-year-old yesterday became the first Irishman to compete in the event at an Olympic Games, finishing a creditable 23rd out of a 55-man field having led the cycle leg for a short spell.
But last night he revealed he doesn’t shave or eat meat two days before competing in an effort to improve his chances.
He laughed: "We all have these superstitions. It’s true about the meat — I don’t like to have it because you can’t be carrying around excess junk in your trunk. There is an old thing that if you shave two days before a race you are losing energy growing it back. I’ve so many different peculiarities you wouldn’t believe."
Hundreds of thousands of people thronged the area around Hyde Park where the top triathletes began with a 1,500m swim in the Serpentine lake followed by a 43km bike ride and then a 10km run.
Most people would shudder at the thought of such an experience, never mind doing so in under two hours. But to Noble this is more than sport. This is his living.
"It is what I do. I swim. I cycle. I run. Maybe it is a bit boring and tedious the odd time but there were a couple of hundred thousand people there today to watch you do your job.
"It is an Olympic Games, you can’t be dissatisfied. You have to embrace it. You have to be positive. I haven’t seen some of my family now for such a long time that when I was running down that final 100 metres I was already thinking of the hugs and the kisses that are to come later on," he said.
Now he is looking forward to some relaxation, and home cooking. "The plan is to go back to Enniskillen and hang out. There is always a full fridge there."