1:01:44 – 1st. (~2k swim, 7.5k run)
A very civilised local race starting at 6:15 on a Saturday evening. Rachel and I arrived at about 5pm to register and catch up with friends that had also entered. Like most swim runs this had minimal rules with you allowed to use pretty much anything and there was a little transition area so you could leave stuff there when the run or swim was circular.
There was much discussion about whether to wear a wetsuit or not as it was a hot day and the tidal pool was relatively warm. I stuck with the wetsuit as I thought it’d be quicker and I didn’t fancy the sea swims without one. Anyway it wasn’t as hot as Scilly Isles.
We were all taken by surprise when the gun was fired by a very official ASA starter. It was a quick 2k dash twice round the little park. There was a little confusion as the short course was doing only one lap and started that lap at a different corner. A couple of fast guys went off way quicker than I could go. A few others went by and I pushed but it was too fast for me; my breathing was through the roof. I eased a little and entered the swim about 6th and the leaders looked to have a decent lead.
I quickly passed three ahead and by the turn (~200m) I caught the leaders. As I swam back I thought to myself “the gain they made in 2k of running I made in 200m of swimming. I should win this”. I set off on the next run at a more conservative pace. It was a lovely 2.7k up and around a headland giving fantastic views west towards Exmoor. I’d not realised how beautiful it was here. I walked the uphills. Halfway round I was caught by the front two and with about 1km to go by another guy.
The next swim was along the length of the pool. I went in to the lead with about 100m to go. Got out scrambled down to the sea and set off back parallel to the pool to scramble up a little beach. I was pleased for my wetsuit now. It was also a little choppy and the going was a little tough. Out on the beach I looked back to which some spectators shouted “no need to look back they’re not close”. On the 1k run I didn’t see anyone. Back for the biggest swim (~900m) – to the pier round the first leg and back to the slipway. Again it was quite tough going and there were small dinghys out so I was very careful to keep an eye on them. Getting out on the slipway was interesting as you couldn’t see it through the murky water and the dinghies coming in meant I’d approach it a bit to close shore and needed almost to ‘mantel shelf” out.
Now only the 1.6k final run along the pier. No one in sight behind and a chance to enjoy it. I saw Rachel coming back as I went out along the pier. I joked about how she’d snuck ahead of me. In fact, not knowing the course she followed some locals who claimed the rest of us were going the long way. They were doing the short course so thats what she did ending 5th overall, 2nd lady and only 31s behind 3rd. `I enjoyed the rest of my run along the front and back to the marine lake.
What a great little race. Hopefully it’ll be run again. Afterwards we all went back to the sailing club for showers, food and a drink. What a great location with the bar having a fantastic view out across the estuary.