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Event round up - 18th June

Event round up - 18th June

South Downs Marathon

Darren Bird and Douglas Mac Taggart competed in the South Downs Marathon, starting at Slindon College and then following a route up to and along the South Downs Way to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park at Petersfield. Darren completed his marathon in a very respectable 3.27.13 whilst Doug completed his 150th marathon in 4.58.37.

River Arun 3.8km swim

Twelve members competed in the 3.8 km swim from Arundel to Littlehampton on Saturday morning. Sarah Moore finished in a fantastic 11th position and was the second woman to finish on 53.07. She was followed by Katie Chatfield on 59.21 (71st), Mark Jordan 1.00.02 (77th) and Mike Jaffe 1.05.52 (135th).  Debbie Nisbet 1.08.21, David Ricketts 1.09.38, Simon Hodges 1.11.00,  Sharon Chaldek 1.11.38 and Rose Ryan 1.15.58 were not far behind.

ArunSwim18thJune

Dambuster Olympic Distance Triathlon at Rutland Water

Eight MSTC athletes made the journey up the A1 to Rutland Water on Friday night to take part in the Dambuster, an Olympic-distance triathlon that started early on Saturday morning and was a qualifier for this summer's age-group World Championships in Mexico.

 Conditions were cold and overcast for a 1500m swim in Rutland Water, followed by a 42k bike ride on the roads around the reservoir and a 10k run that went out across the dam and back, finishing in front of a large crowd, stoked up by pumping rock music and an excitable race commentary.

 Callum Murray led the Mid Sussex contingent home in 2.54.26, just 18 seconds ahead of Matt Critchley in 2.54.54, who in turn was followed by Julienne Stuart-Colwill, the first MSTC woman home in an impressive 3.02.42.

 Cliff Wilson finished in 3.14.49, Joanne Barton in 3.19.51 and Ricci Lennon was delighted with a 3.23.13 in her first-ever Olympic-distance triathlon.

 Tracy Brownings wasn't far behind in 3.34.38 and she was followed home by Angela Murray in 3.43.17 and by Clair Hunt in 3.58.44.

 All these results were put into perspective, however, by the overall winner's time, an amazing 1.58.21, not far off the time that the winner of this summer's Olympic triathlon in Rio de Janeiro might expect to post. This was a high-quality field.

Saturday Morning swim in Ardingly Reservoir

Meanwhile 11 members did the regular 8am swim in Ardingly Reservoir, supported by 3 safety observers in kayaks and on the dock.

East Sussex Cycling Association 50 mile Time Trial Sunday 19th June

Nine members competed in the 50 mile time trial along the A22 in East Sussex. Kevin James was first member home on 2.16.04, followed by Neil Giles 2.16.32 and Phil Couch on 2.18.43. Lawrence Wintergold, Colin Chambers and Jez Fallon finished on 2.20.27, with Graham Bond 2.20.54, Steve Alden 2.21.49 and Sharon Chaldek 2.31.12 also competing.

Dart 10K 2014

Dart 10K 2014

I should start by saying that the Outdoor Swimming Society doesn't market the Dart 10k as a race and I'm sure this fact really adds to the festival atmosphere of the event. That said; A measured course, Timing chips and 4 waves of differing ability (Leisurely, Medium, Fast and Elite) have all the elements necessary for good competition. Add to that the fast flowing tidal waters of the river make for a potentially fast time.

It is run from Totnes to Dittisham through the very picturesque rolling Devon countryside making it one of those must do events amongst distance swimmers. I entered back in February amid the scramble for places, 800 slots selling out in 45 minutes!

Having completed the swim in 2012, I had a good idea of what to expect, but 2 years is a long time to remember the geography required for good navigation. So the day before race day I dragged my family on to the Totness - Dartmouth ferry, packed with lots of other swimmers nervously clutching maps and route info, for a recce of the course. Taking the slow ferry down the river made me realise that both ignorance can be bliss and 10k is a long way. But it did help to locate where the feed stations should be, having missed one last time round I didn't want to make the same mistake twice, nor did I want to repeat my wasted effort of swimming up dead end creeks. With registration also available the day before all was set for a relaxed evening and smooth morning.

So to race morning, up early, big bowl of porridge with honey, check my bag for wetsuit, tri suit to go under for added  warmth (11 degrees C last time!), hat, goggles, gels, water, bananas, glide,  warm clothes for the other end and I was all set. I blagged a lift from the B&B with some fellow swimmers I'd reconnected with from last time so Jo and the kids could make their way to the finish in their own time.

Down at race HQ, all we had to do was collect timing chips and be ready for our wave briefing. I had chosen to go in the most popular Medium wave, but it really makes little difference as everyone follows the same path and crosses the timing mats immediately before entry into the river. Though my plan to be at the front of the wave to minimise overtaking was scuppered by chatting too much and I soon found myself at the very back. Good job the river is wide!

Water clarity at the start was never going to be good with the brackish run off from Dartmoor but at least it was a warmish 17 degrees C. No time for my usual warm up routine, straight into a steady stroke. The first stretch of the river is fairly straight with one important instruction to keep to the right so as to avoid oncoming traffic of the boat variety. I set a course to the centre of the river and set about over hauling those ahead. It didn't feel too long before I could see the first feed station. I swam up to the platform and braced myself against the flow. Fished out a gel from up my wet suit sleeve and took on some water (bottled). I took a sneaky look at my watch as I pushed off, I was 54 minutes in. This got my brain working as I tried to predict my finish time. First feed station was published as being at 4k.  It took me a while, but  calculated this to be 13.30 minutes per Kilometre, 135 minutes for 10k or 2hrs 15. Not possible. I soon realised the feed station was in the same place as last time and that was said to be at 3k and there was no way I was swimming that fast, flow assisted or otherwise. I promised myself no more time check till the finish.

The next two kilometres see the river flow through quite wide meanders, requiring good sighting and positioning to get the best route. This is also one of the most beautiful sections with steep wooded sides to the valley. After this the river opens out into the most exposed section where it is up to 1km wide. This presents a few new challenges, for the first time it becomes quite possible to swim up a creek if you're not careful, also some sections of the river are very shallow and the amount of silt churned up can create a total brown out. I touched the bottom a few times with my hands and had to modify my pull stroke to pass closer to my body. And lastly wind blowing against the flow created quite a big chop. Waves of 12 to 18 inches making for interesting experiences, on more than one occasion I found my upper body completely out of the water as I crashed through. This did test my bilateral breathing as you couldn't rely on getting a clear breath in. At about this point the first of the Fast and Elite wave swimmers started to pass me.

I found the second feed station and took the opportunity to take on my second gel and a few glugs of water. Not wanting to hang around too long I pushed the empty wrapper back up my sleeve and kicked on. It is amazing what a 30 second breather and a burst of sugar and caffeine will do. I was feeling in good shape. True to my promise, no clock watching but I knew I still had between 2 and 3 km's to go.

The route takes a final right hand turn, through 90 degrees with about 500 metres to the village of Dittisham. On seeing what I thought was the turn point ahead I decided to push hard for the finish and maximise my chances of a PB. You guessed it, it turned out to be another creek. I have to admit to a moment of panic, not knowing how much further it was and suffering self-inflicted oxygen debt. A little self-reasoning and I realised I couldn't be much more than 500 metres short. One stretch of the reservoir loop. No problem.

At the real turn you find yourself swimming past the moored pleasure boats and get a real sense of the 'run in', spectators line the shore for the first time and you can see the marquees and catering stalls on the Ham. I even spotted my daughter and gave her a big wave, must be something about my style as she had already picked me out.

It was fantastic to be greeted at the finish by my family, my 74 year old Dad even ran back to the car to pick a pair of flip flops for me to ease the stony walk up to the field. Hot tea in a commemorative mug, medal and event photos were waiting.  It was a great village fate like atmosphere with local produce stalls, Ukulele band, art exhibitions, Lamb roast, burgers, cheese and cakes of all shapes and sizes. Just what you need to refuel for the five hour drive home. As to my time,  I clocked a PB of 2 hours 34 minutes and 19 seconds. A big thanks to everyone who gave me a confidence boost when my training plan was knock off course on Lindfield High Street. You really can do quite a bit more than you think.

5-3-1 Charity swim 2014

5-3-1 Charity swim 2014

The 5-3-1 charity swim was a great success with several participants completing all the distances on offer to swim a whopping 9km! Early reports indicate the event has raised over £1000 for the Lauren's Silver Swimmers charity. Louise and Stuart Silverlock were most grateful and sent the following letter through to Mark Jordan. 

Dear Mark,

We wanted to write and thank you for organising the open water swim at Ardingly on 2nd August 2014 in aid of Lauren's Silver Swimmers. It was an extremely emotional day for us as it brings to the forefront again the loss we have to go through on a daily basis. Although the charity was something we wanted to achieve, it is still immensely hard to put into words how we struggle on a daily basis.

I would be grateful if you could forward this letter to everyone involved with the day along with our sincere thanks for the kindness shown to both myself and Stuart. It highlights in more detail the aim of the charity which I found somewhat difficult to convey yesterday.

LaurenAs you know, we lost our daughter Lauren in December 2012 aged just 9. Lauren was born at 24 weeks and spent the first 6 months of her life in many hospitals around the country. As a result of her extreme prematurity Lauren was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Lauren was a fighter from birth and seemed to take great pride in proving all the medics wrong. We were told of many things Lauren would be unlikely to achieve, although what they didn't realise was her great strength and personality that would prove everyone wrong. Lauren achieved everything in her short life and much much more.

When Lauren was a year old she was given Aquatic Hydrotherapy treatment which was to prove invaluable to her overall wellbeing and body strength. However this treatment was given to her for only 6 weeks, having one half hour session each week. It was then up to us, as her family, whether we were able to continue to provide Lauren with further treatment, of which there was no question. The treatment in the water has outstanding results, allowing children like Lauren to achieve their full potential. This treatment however is expensive, costing in excess of £45.00 for a half hour session. Of course we did our best as a family to ensure she received this treatment weekly as it was clear that the benefits were huge. Lauren enjoyed her sessions and it gave her an experience that most children take for granted, swimming.

The focus of the charity is to be able to subsidise the cost of Aquatic therapy for children that would benefit from regular and constant treatment. Our long term dream is to build 'Lauren's dream', an aquatic pool available for all.  

With the generous support of people like you and all of those involved with the swim, we will be able to help many of these children.  

The generosity of everyone yesterday, giving their time to take part in this event, is something we will never forget. I know the final figures haven't been calculated as yet but the amount that has been indicated to us is truly amazing and it is thanks to people like yourself, dedicating so much time and effort in organising the event, that will enable us to continue to work towards 'Lauren's Dream.  

Thank you to everyone that was involved in the day, the organisers, the people in the safety boat and canoes, the people on the side ensuring no-one skipped a circuit!!, and to all those that entered the water and swam for so long. I really am humbled at what I witnessed yesterday and feel thank you is not enough to show how much we appreciated you all giving your time for our charity.

Best Regards 

Louise and Stuart Silverlock

 

For more information on our charity and upcoming events please email me lasilverlock@yahoo.co.uk .

 

Cold Water Swimming Championships

Cold Water Swimming Championships

As one of the original team from Toting Bec's South London Swimming Club who put the Cold Water Swimming Championship's on the map in 2007, this event is an absolute must for me.  I swam every Sunday through the winters of 2002, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the Lido and still miss that great comradely and "sensation" when racing there.  Feeling the water's temperature fall slowly from October to February is as much nerve racking as it is exhilarating, but the times when it fell as low as 1 degree Centigrade are few and far between.  Sadly I never got the chance to break the ice to swim at the Lido.

So when I jumped into the 1 degree water for my first race, I was genuinely shocked.....not just because I am not acclimatised like I used to be, but I was also entering unknown cold territory.  I screamed with cold, my body tensed up......then the beeper started and the race (30m freestyle) had begun.  With my arms pumping and legs doing a 6-beat kick, I was on my way.  The water ahead had amazing clarity, I could see no one close to me.  I had won but there was no time for hanging around.  In one fluid motion I touched the wall and leapt out of the pool.  My body felt like a stone standing on the side for 2 seconds before the blood starting returning to my body, and that incredible feeling started.  The buzz is pretty post-coital in nature.

And this is the reason why cold water swimming is so addictive.  Yes, I am a fully paid up member of the Nutter Club (along with lots of you reading this article) but a few of us get our kicks from freezing waters.  The beer tent, hog roast, hot tubs, sauna and comradely all add to the experience.  Oh, and reaching two finals (freestyle and "head-up" breaststroke) also help.  What started in 2011 with five members of the Tri and Swimming Clubs going up to London has turned into 10.  Tim Fraser from the swimming club scooped a gold and silver.  Our two relay teams acquitted themselves well and we all had a superb day.   Next time we might have to break the ice.........here's hoping!

Matt Record

 

"From outside looking in you cant understand it -from the inside looking out you cant explain it."

It is said that with cold water plunges the non-initiated can only stare and ask "why?" Well that's not really true I also was asking myself that in the run up to the Cold water championships. I was looking for any excuse to pull out but as I was not only entered for the freestyle I also had the joy of the relays so there was no way I could let my team mates down. With gritted teeth and grim determination I accepted that it was inevitable and actually started to look forward to it.

Ok that's a lie, the first time I did this event in 2011 I looked forward to it as I did not know what to expect, this time I knew exactly what was coming. The water temperature was somewhere between 0.5 and 1.5 degrees depending on where it was measured the distance was a width of the Tooting Bec lido (32-35m) in just speedos goggles and a hat.

The journey there was good fun I travelled with Matt and Jamie (we were also in the same relay team)  we were also accompanied by some of the Marlins. We managed to stay off the hip flasks until nearly all the swimming was over, unfortunately Matt downed my hot mulled wine after one swim final while he was waiting for the next, I say unfortunately as he thought it was hot Ribena until he finished his gulp and then coughing spasam.

The rules state that you have to all drop into the water hold onto the edge with shoulders under the water and wait for the count down this felt like 5 mins but in reality 5 -10 sec's then off. There were some quality swimmers there who I think had the advantage of not spending so long in the water. 600 individual swims so it was quite a large meeting with some of the most eccentric people you will ever meet.

Anyway a great day with some bone chilling painful swims, would I do it again... Of course cant wait until 2014.

Steve Mac

 

This week has been interesting; challenges at work, sleepless nights with children, a house without heating, a sick wife, a couple of trips to the Dentist (what kind of individual would become a Dentist anyway?) a few swim and run sessions that pushed the limits (the heavy meals beforehand were a mistake).  Regardless, life is now thoroughly enjoyable as the National Cold Water Swimming Championships are out of the way.

There is absolutely no justification as to why.  There is no need to jump into freezing (literally) water and swim about like a loon, however 600 of this nations "finest" disagree.  The Eccentric Magnet that is Tooting Bec Lido was to put on a show - they came from everywhere, all taking pride in a bond created over sadomasochistic joy!

I often think that with sport you are given a bottle of pain to deal with as you see fit.  Regardless of the competition, you should have an empty bottle by the end; be it a 400m swim, 10mile TT, Marathon, Ironman, Ultra, etc.  Emptying the bottle in 20 odd seconds can be quite an eye opening experience, while using it up through anxiety before you start inevitably ends in grief.  Having completely emptied the bottle, to find out the body wants to continue with jaw grinding grief is "un-fun"!

Like reaching blindly into your toiletry bag and feeling the sweet sensation of your Mac 3 razor lacerating your fingers, so it was to be, one race after the other until Jagermeister and Whiskey dulled the sensations and nullified the singing of the local hula ladies and their ode to the Lido.  

Seriously though, I can't wait to do it again, it must be like childbirth!

 "Make pain your friend and you will never be alone".

Jamie Goodhead

River Arun 3.8km swim - BAR Race 4

River Arun 3.8km swim - BAR Race 4

BAR Race 4 - Arun 3.8km swim - Saturday 23rd June 2012

 

Although it was overcast and with a howling wind 14 hardy MSTC athletes took to the murky waters of the River Arun. Steve Mac jetted in specially following a week of 'one on one' alpine action with his coach. With the altitude training he was hoping for another big performance. Pete Harris tried the opposite approach by avoiding swimming as much as he could before attempting the race.

 

 

Before the start there is a lot of time to kill and there were surprisingly few pre-race excuses. Mark Jordan was trying a new excuse every hour (I've been quite unwell, I'm still on antibiotics, I feel very tired etc). From my experience this number of excuses usually means someone is properly fired up for the race, and so it proved! Trevor, on the hand, barely mentioned last weeks nasty fall coming down the beacon and Jamie grunted something about having trained already that day.

 

I knew Mark wasn't really feeling that bad because we cycled over from Haywards Heath, (2½ hours of constantly cycling into a head wind) and I couldn't keep up with him. Callum and Brad kept us company - or I should say kept Mark company as they were always having to wait for me! Loz also cycled over by an even longer route (and then ran to the start of the swim!)

 

This year there were separate starts for the men and women and altogether there were about 300 swimmers. It is quite something to be in a fairly narrow waterway at the off with so many swimmers, because it is crowded and there is a lot of fighting for space. Most of us tend to look for quieter water and try to get into a rhythm but some of the stronger ones are right in the thick of it. The water was definitely faster than last year even with the headwind. It was astonishing though, to see the fast ladies carve their way through the field having started 5 minutes behind. I now realize what they have that I don't - a propeller! It is the only explanation for the amount of white foaming water they left in their wake - very impressive.

 

At the start Steve Mac sped off but Mark took a more measured approach and caught him with 1km to go. In the melee I could not say who was who around me, but Mark was looking for Steve's stroke so he knew exactly where he was. In the end he finished 21 seconds ahead in an incredible 56.18.

 

After Steve Mac, Jamie Goodhead was the next finisher, 2 minutes down in 58.22 and interestingly he won his category. He is recorded in the results as a YOB. I am not sure what he did to upset the organisers in this way, but at least he appeared to be the only one. Next year he is hoping to compete in the ASBO category!

 

Loz Wintergold started at the back of the field and gently cruised through, finishing 4th MSTC in 61.38, just 18 seconds ahead of me. I didn't notice him slip by but I am not sure I could have tried any harder if I had. Andy Jenkins had another very solid swim in 62.49. I don't know if Jon Webster and Jim Graham knew just how close they were with just 9 seconds separating them (64.03 and 64.12). Trevor managed to shrug off his road rash with 67.34 whilst Pete proved what a strong athlete he is to finish in 77.07 on very little swimming.

 

The ladies all did very well. I hope Claire Tomsett is delighted with her performance. She had never swum this distance before and was quite apprehensive before the start. 65.35 was an excellent performance. Julienne has got faster each year she has done this swim, and 68.29 continued the trend with Claire Cresswell just 32 seconds behind.

 

My performance of the day however goes to Rose Ryan. She has been working hard on her swim, but finding our time limited open water swims have not allowed her to swim as far in training as she would have liked. Nevertheless she had a superb swim to finish in 70.23.

Afterwards Loz demonstrated his new superquick T1 transition ideas (hopefully the picture is on the website) before cycling home again with Mark (still not slowing down) Jordan and myself (almost keeping up).

 

Overall it was another great day for MSTC. It is fantastic going to these events and having your friends around you, and a healthy bit of competition thrown in.

 

WELL DONE TO ALL

 

Men - Winner 48.20

 

Mark JORDAN 56.18 10pts 16.49%

Steve MacMenamin 56.39 9 17.21

Jamie GOODHEAD 58.22 8 20.75

Loz WINTERGOLD 61.38 7 27.52

Steve ALDEN 61.56 6 28.14

Andy JENKINS 62.49 5 29.96

Jon WEBSTER 64.03 4 32.53

Jim GRAHAM 64.12 3 32.84

Trevor MOORE 67.34 2 39.78

Pete HARRIS 77.07 1 59.57

 

Women - Winner 47.09

 

Claire TOMSETT 65.35 10pts 39.09%

Julienne Stuart-Colwill 68.29 9 45.24

Claire CRESSWELL 69.01 8 46.36

Rose RYAN 70.23 7 49.27