Is it going to be? Are they allowed? What’s the temp? When will we know?
All the talk before Aquathlon Race 2 was of the weather, specifically whether the lake was above the allowable temp for wetsuits!
Facebook was awash with queries during the day, the transition area was all about the neoprene, and Floaty Pants is now on the banned list!
As it transpired, it was a non-wetsuit swim in a balmy 25 degree lake, the Super Sprint & Sprint racers had their choice of tactics removed – it was the same for us all.
Although, that didn’t detract from the marvellous array of swim & race attire on display – from budgie smugglers to full on sleeved tri suits & all that falls in between!
Bob Marley said it best - The sun is shining, weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your Aquathlon feet. I’m sure that’s the lyric….
In fact, the weather was the least of our problems – or to be accurate, the least of our course construction team. Or Martin, as we like to call him.
It seemed that the diggers had been out in force & decided to dig up the start of our run leg course!
An emergency H&S assessment was made & the new route was set out – massive thanks to all involved for making a potential crisis into a quirky add on!
On that note, as always, it’s the volunteers, timekeepers, registration, marshals & organisers that make these races possible - Hillingdon Triathletes put on so many races each year & rely so heavily on people giving up their time & sacrificing their own racing ambitions, so even though it’s said after each event, it is truly appreciated by everyone who races these events! Thank you so much!
So, onto the action!
The evenings events were MC’d by Martin & he gave us all we needed to know to get our racing heads on!
The Super Sprint racers were off first, and what a turn out we had for the first race – 17 Racers! It was the first aquathlon for some & boy were they attacking it with gusto!
Into the lake for a cheeky warm up before the klaxon went off for a 375m swim into the sun!
While the Super Sprinters were tearing through the water, Martin got the Sprint racers into the zone! Before the briefing was through, the first Super’s were coming out with Isabelle first out of the water – moving so fast she was a blur to the rest of us! Sisters were doing for it for themselves, as it seemed the ladies were emerging from the lake in double quick time. One by one, the Super’s came into transition & sped out for their lap of the water.
The Sprinter’s were next up – into the water for a warm up before selecting their starting positions to head off into the sun. Get smart, look at the experienced racers & do what they do. From now on, I shall always follow Lesley!
Follow the feet in front of you, keep right after the tall buoy, whatever you do, don’t stand up & run around the shallow bit, Aussie exit style (cough, Clark, cough).
The sun was sooo low, sighting was virtually impossible. It was only when you were unintentionally punched or kicked you that you remembered you were racing, and the racing line was important.
Around the buoy before the island, mercifully the sun behind you now, one more turn & you were on the home straight – you could ‘actually see’ where you needed to go!
300m to T1, give it the beans!
Into T1, trainers on, race belt/numbered vest on, dizzy head telling you straight on & a friendly marshal giving you all the encouragement you need to smash the run!
Two laps of the lake over trail & grass – this is a tough run, not for the faint hearted.
The first Super’s were finishing as the first Sprinters were starting their run, and naturally it was Isabelle & Finley up front – names for the future, I’m sure you will agree. No pressure.
There were still some Sprinter swimmers emerging from the water, big beaming smiles across their faces – its amazing the feels you get from non wetsuit swimming – you did this on your own, no aids, buoyancy shorts, fins or neoprene, it was you versus the H20, and you smashed it!
Thundering footsteps of the front 3 were echoing around the lake, feet moving so fast as to render them invisible. You couldn’t separate them with a gnat’s wing! Which was appropriate as there were many gnats to choose from!
The full results will be available in the fullness of time, I won’t spoil the surprise for those that were unlucky enough to miss this first open water aquathlon of the year!
Needless to say, a massive, enormous well done to all who competed, all those who helped to stage this race, those that stayed behind to cheer on their club mates & those that made the presentation happen!
In my humble opinion, these races are all about the fun of racing with & against your club mates - my top 5 smiles whilst in the middle of strenuous activity tonight were (in no particular order) Debbie Brown, Dennis Carey, Chris Laycock, Angie Adcock & Lesley Levison. I may not have seen others beaming as they wanted to vomit, don’t shoot the messenger!
Eye of the Tiger goes to Kate Conibere – Girl does not want to get beat!
And if you think that was big, wait until the morning Aquathlon on the 20th August at the same venue!
What do you mean, you haven’t entered? There are super league points at stake, and its your last race before THE NATIONAL RELAYS!
Get involved, get in the race, get behind your club – don’t get sad because you missed it!