Cyclist Shane O'Reilly learned the hard way that deer are a lot bigger than they seem after a stag collided with him as he was taking part in the Dublin City Triathlon in the Phoenix Park.
Despite being thrown over his handlebars and cracking his helmet, the 30-year-old Blackrock native managed to complete the final 10km lap of the 40km race and finish Sunday's event in two hours 25 minutes with only minor grazes.
Speaking to the Herald last night, the aircraft leasing worker said he was "blessed" not to have been impaled by the buck's antlers or otherwise seriously injured.
"I was very lucky. It could have been a lot worse, but it's just one of those freak accidents," he said.
He was also lucky to have been cycling at half his normal 50kph as he was going up an incline and three deer ran out.
"On the right side I saw three deer coming up the side.
"All three ran across me. The first one shot across.
"I braked and came flying across the handlebars and landed on my head. My helmet cracked apart on impact," said Shane.
A second deer then struck his back wheel before the third one leapt over his head.
"When I looked up I could see the deer. I was surprised how big it was. I'm over six feet tall and it was towering over me," he said.