Triathlete’s swimming gala
When I got the email sent round the club’s triathlon section advertising a fun swimming gala, I thought “why not?”. It was at the newly refurbished Commonwealth Pool, with loads of races to choose from. Only triathlon clubs were invited, and I reckoned my swimming could stand up to the competition. It couldn’t be as bad as trying to swim in a lane next to those 15 year olds at their club sessions. When I arrived it was all a bit chaotic, which lead to a logistical boo-boo on my part! More on that later …
I was already signed up for the 200m freestyle and got myself into one of the club’s 4x100m relay teams. I like everything except backstroke, but my favourite is breaststroke. So I decided to also do the 100m breaststroke, the 4x25m IM (Individual Medley –one length of everything) and the butterfly leg of a 4x50m relay.
In preparation for the race, I had dug out a tight fitting non-saggy costume. The only one I could find was from way back when I was at Bristol University for a year, but it was the best I had! I also had the shiny brand new goggles I won at the Snowman. I was ready.
We had about 5 minutes. I tried diving from the wall. All went well, goggles stayed on. Then I contemplated the diving blocks. Wow, they looked high! I gave it a go and got a major adrenaline rush! Goggles still on, me still in one piece. The only difficulty was judging my depth as we were in the diving bay – deep enough for a 10m high board!
Race 1: 200m freestyle
Won my wave in a time of 2:39:00. Awesome! Didn’t know I could still go that fast!
Race 2: 4x100m freestyle relay
I was on last leg. There was a girl just ahead in the next lane. I wanted to beat her. I was catching up. My style was out of control. I nearly killed myself. She just held it on the touch. I was very wibbly wobbly and had trouble breathing and walking.
Race 3: 100m breaststroke
Should have been my best race but I was not feeling recovered from the last one. Did a time of 1:34:26. Well off my pb from 15 years ago, but not too bad!
Race 4: 100m Individual Medley (IM)
Oops! I was out of the water from the breaststroke and straight back onto the blocks for the IM! No rest at all, except what I could muster from dawdling out of the water. I did actually realise this mistake before we started, but Chris wouldn’t let me change. He said as a Celtman veteran, this should be easy peasy for me. Afterwards someone said my lips were the same colour as my hat (blue). I was a bit tingly. 1:26:21.
Race 5: 4x50m Medley relay – Butterfly leg
I just tried to hold my own, I can’t even remember where we finished!
Race 6: 4x50m T-shirt relay
Yes, we had to swim in a t-shirt. There was only one per team. Changeovers between team members were done on the poolside at high speed. We had a system. We won!
And then it was off to Hemma for a buffet, chat and celebrations. ERC won the gala by sheer weight of numbers, but I think a good time was had by all!