I hated school which is probably why I never get round to writing my blog. I always seem to do it in blocks. Here goes again..
Since the last blog Ali and I have been to the Scilly Isles to complete the Scilly Swim Challenge. What an adventure. This was my Christmas present from Ali and an amazing experience and holiday thrown in to the bargain. The islands are beautiful.
We started with a walk from St Marys at about 0530hrs and walked up to the start the first swim a few km away. The route was roughly that below and around 150 people took park including Beth French, the first peson to swim from the mainland to the Scilly Isles....28miles.
The swim was pretty amazing and we were meant to swim within a 50m wide by 200m window but as the day progressed this was not the case especially on the long swim.
I made a point of setting off last from every beach and looked for Ali along the way and only saw her twice during the six swims. The early swims were a little shivery but by Bryher the sun was well and truly up and the day was fantastic with pretty smooth waters. Food stops provided by volunteers on the islands were second to none. On Tresco it was a banquet and a bask in the sun before traipsing across the island to start the next swim. The swim to Samson was short with no food or drink as it was inhabited. Swimming in virtually last I was looking up to see the early swimmers exiting onto the beach then disappearing back into the water like the march of the penguins. The long swim was daunting. I do get scared in the sea and always get freaked by my over imagination. Apparently we did have seals follow us at one point though and I am glad that we did the seal swim on a different day. Once in the middle of the channel spotting the exit became a little easier but it did get a tad boring and St Agnes seemed forever in the distance.
After a another bask and feed we set off for the seemingly easy short hop back to St Marys. Unfortunately we hit a rip tide or strong current on the edge of the headland and for what seemed like an age(and it was) I was swimming on the spot. By looking at my watch I was able tell that something was wrong. Eventually a kayaker told me to head back out to sea and swim around the headland. This swim took me longer than the long swim and my average paced dropped from 1:24/100m to 1:40/100m.
Many swimmers had to get on a boat just to be towed through the current then dropped off again but fortunately I was able to make it albeit slower than expected. All in all an amazing experience and to cap it off we were the first swimmers ever to complete the round trip and we saw dolphins leaping on our return crossing to the mainland
1. St Marys to St Martins 2800m
2. St Martins to Tresco 2200m
3. Tresco to Bryher 1000m
4. Bryher to Samson 1000m then a 25m walk over the beach before
5. Samson to St Agnes 4800m
6. St Agnes to St Marys 2800m
Liverpool National Triathlon Championship
What a wash out. The weather was horrendous with rain covering the potholes on the bike leg and a mass of jellyfish towards the end of the swim leg.
I had a great start and was at the front of the swim in a small group but then my goggles leaked and misted and I couldn't see or sight so I had to roll over and adjust my goggles. I still managed to come out of the water in the top 10 in 21:54. I set off strongly on the bike and felt good but got held a little on a turn with too many riders on the course and not wanting to be nailed for perceived drafting I held back a smidgen. This with hindsight probably cost me a medal. Having not run much all season due to recovering from the knee surgery I set off at a good pace and managed to hold it throughout. I was really pleased to run a short 38 despite literally no run training. I finished 4th overall and missed a bronze medal by less than a minute. Sometimes the effort is better than the result.
Ali did the sprint version of the race an I was able to finish my race and walk with her to the start and watch her get stuck in. Not having the greatest bike leg she also came 4th in her age group. Competitiveness runs high between us!
So onwards and upwards to next year