11km by Lake and Path

Posted: July 8, 2015 in Running, Swimming
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Steel 2

All was quiet in transition, we were the last to go

It didn’t start well; getting to Eton Dorney for the Aquathlon was fraught with cars and delays. I rushed through registration, hastily got changed and then got told off by a marshal for using my mobile phone in transition. Just to compound the problems I managed to walk pass the swim start and had to be called back.

The event was a 1 km swim followed by a 10 km run. The water was warm enough so wetsuits were optional. I took the option not to, so that I’d save the “trying to get it off” time in transition. Bobbing around in the water before the start was very pleasant and validated my decision. About half the field had taken the non-wetsuit route. I’d swum in this lake earlier in the season, so the general layout was familiar, in contrast to last time I was going about one tenth the distance, twice round some buoys before heading out to the run.

Steel 1

The calm warm water that we were about to disturb

After the calm of waiting for the start the swimming frenzy started on the sound of the horn. I saw a group disappear in front and thought that was probably the last time I would see them. I did take great delight in passing someone in a wetsuit, no idea why, it just felt good. Things had settled down by the end of the first lap and the field was a little more stung out. I always get the feeling that I may be last at this point in a swim but a swift glance behind showed me a fair number of yellow capped heads. This was good. The second lap was all about steady swimming. I like to start slow and maintain that speed, this usually means that I catch a few who start fast and fade. Today was no exception.

I saw a small shoal of fish just before the exit ramp, they were small, stripy and brown. They were just milling around being totally unperturbed by the constant stream of swimmers leaving the water. they were truly living the life aquatic.

The run was four laps of an out and back course. This meant that it was going to get all very familiar. It was a warm day as well so a spray had been set up near the start of the loop to cool the runners down. I really didn’t like running through it but had to twice a lap. It also happened that the race photographer was just after the spay, so every picture was of me wincing. It’s not a good look.

The great thing about doing out and back loops is that you get to see everybody else. Normally when a fast person passes that’s the last I see of them, this way I can see exactly how far ahead they have got. It’s never as far as I think it would be.

I’m sometimes amazed at how slow some really athletic looking people run and how fast non-athletic looking people can run. It really does show that appearances can be deceptive. I passed a number of whippet like people who seemed to have given up but was passed by some who were defiantly wayward of the stereotypical body shape.

Some people are very distinctive, there was the tall bloke with the beard, the man of the fuller figure, the woman in a sling and many others. Some I was gaining on some were gaining on me. One very large man reminded me of an old Reebok advert, he seemed to be gaining on me all the time and all I could think of was the advert “belly’s going to get you”. He was not going to catch me. I was going to make sure of that.

Steel 3

Beer! Beer at the end of a race, how terribly civilized.

There was beer (non-alcoholic) just behind the finish line. I didn’t need any further incentives to cross the line. I was very pleased with my race and celebrated with a couple of  beers and an ice cream. It’s not textbook post-race nutrition but it works for me.

Steel 4

Quality nutrition and hydration for a summers day (I went to the ice cream van)

  1. […] was a last minute decision to enter the Steelman Aquathlon and between making the decision and turning up on the start line I had managed to pick up a calf […]


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