Bedford Harriers A.C.





16th-18th April 2010


Official Results

Katarina Darcy  1.5k 54.52
Paul Hudson 5.0k 2.33.42

Race Report.
From Beginner to Swimmer in less than four months and it can be done!
 I entered the Swimathon 2010 to give me a goal to aim for. When I entered it was looking like a very big challenge as I had only swam a couple of metres before (had just received my 10m badge) but I knew that I would have the stamina and determination to complete the distance, however long it would take.
The event was to raise money for the Marie Curie charity, a worthwhile cause, and there were a couple of choices of distances. However, the distances had a time limit of three hours and the rules stated that no swimming aids could be used, therefore no arm bands, floats!!
When I went to registration to collect my number I found that the organisers had entered me into the 5K challenge. I could have died on the spot, due to recent 'difficulties' I have been barely able to run 5K let alone swim it! Fortunately they were able to change my distance to 1.5K however I was still required to swim amongst the 5K competitors. Paul Hudson had entered as a 5K swimmer.
Once changed there was quite a bit of hanging around and it was late starting off. I had originally estimated that it would take 2 1/2 - 3 hours to swim but then knocked the time down to 2 - 2 1/2 after practice. I had also entered as a mixed stoke swimmer with the idea that I would swim front crawl until tired, change to breaststroke and if I had difficulty keeping upright or was getting exhausted I would change to backstroke.
I was the second to start off in my lane, luckily we had a rope on one side and the edge of the pool on the other so at least I had something to grab hold of should I have started to drown. I struggled with front crawl almost immediately so gave up after two lengths and so the rest of the challenge became 2% doggie paddle, 28% breaststroke and 70% backstroke (backstroke for me is the easiest of strokes for varying reasons).
Around half way into my swim I pushed off from the end and my leg and foot went into complete lockdown. I managed to get to the side of the pool and tried to sort it out. The swimmer behind me stopped to see if I was o.k. - much more helpful than the people sitting directly in front of me at the pool side! After a short time I was working again and carried on, having a good long gulp of drink when I reached the other end. This gave me just what I needed to get going again.
After a bit of time I decided that I was going to have a few seconds rest once I had finished the next length. I touched the end and asked my counter how many more lengths I had to go. All he said in a rather casual voice was "you've finished". I was completely stunned. I stopped my own watch and looked down at the time - it wasn't even an hour!!!
I climbed out, received my medal and jumped for joy. How did I manage that?! woohoo! woohoo! woohoo!
Paul was still swimming when I left to get changed as he had a longer distance to swim than I did. I enjoyed the coffee and biscuits afterwards.
Thank you very much to Anne for coming along to support me. I felt a bit guilty for not having stopped at every length to chat but I did manage to get a quick word or two in at every other length.
This was just the competition that I needed to 'jump in at the deep end' and enter a triathlon taking place in a couple of weeks. All I need to do now is to get some L plates for my bike and then there will be no stopping me.

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