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