Its seems to be the norm, that regardless of the weather in the preceding weeks and days, Wykeham is generally miserable, damp and windy. This year was no different, however, as alluded to elsewhere, I would certainly prefer poor weather for what can realistically be termed a training or build up swim.
No matter which words you decide to choose, train hard fight easy, expect the worst hope for the best, or God works in mysterious ways. It has to be a good thing to have challenging conditions whilst preparing for bigger and better things.
On arrival it was great to see several regulars including Mark Sheridan, Dee, Pat and Liane Llewellyn, Belly, Sarah T, Dom Gillespie, Jo Blackburn and many more, having registered it was just a case of waiting to start.
As can clearly be seen below, the event follows a multi lap triangular course. Side 1: was with a more or less following wind. Side 2: offered a head wind with Side 3: having right side minor chop. Nothing too testing but certainly sufficient to require a greater effort than swimming in a mill pond. Sighting was probably the most difficult aspect of the day due to the drizzle and the slight chop.
The water was reported to be just short of 15 degrees C though the ambit3 and my body for that matter indicated more like 16 degrees. The safety brief informed us that the course was measured at 1100m loops. I was therefore aware at the outset that a PB was not doable. Generally speaking, I manage the 5k in around 1hour 37 Minutes, last year the finis hydro tracker recorded a distance at 4999 metres !
This year the Suunto recorded as per the image below at 5460m in a time of 1:41:49 my official time on the certification is 1h 41m 42 seconds. The brief was more or less spot on.
Following the 5km event we warmed up, had a snack and some hot drinks, then prepared to re-enter the water for the 1km event. I figured this would be good practice for the Champion of Champions, getting back into the cold water despite feeling toasty warm and comfortable.
The presentation was well attended with some touching tributes to persons no longer with us, then, as is becoming standard practice we had massive success winning several raffle prizes.
A great low key event, excellent facilities and friendly atmosphere. Thank you to all involved in organising, time keeping, first aid and safety cover etc..see you next year.
Event photos courtesy BLDSA