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Breca-fest & Batons

Another couple of weeks have flown by and once again we start with a couple of water related events. Paul takes up the story.

This weekend my team mate Craig and i undertook the inaugural Breca Gower run swim event. 45km and 9 swims down the welsh coast to finish at mumbles pier near Swansea. The trip down on Friday had strong winds and rain and the sea was very angry but forecast for a better day on Saturday for the race. The 10 am start saw approx 130 teams of 2 set of on the first leg of a 4km run. Then a 400m swim out to Worms Head in some of the most challenging sea conditions. Wave after wave smashing into you stopping your stroke, when you did get a couple of good strokes in between mouthfuls of sea water your arm extended out through the wave into fresh air or as you tried the recovery part of the stroke you were then too deep make it work.

The 400 swim times very were slow but with over 200 swimmers in the water it was a spectacle. The next stages were parts of coastal path and scrambles across rocks. After 5 legs about half distance and 3 hours in Craig had developed a bad calf injury and we were forced to retire from the race. We had our own support team Oz and Ade and we had retired not far from our camp site, a quick shower and change and we went to the finish to see the first teams home.

They completed at around 6:30 hours, the Breca Buttermere we did three weeks ago was won in just 5:20, the extra time a testament to the challenging course and conditions. All who watched have now shown an interest in wanting to have ago inspired by the awesome environment and the challenge the event represents. I will be returning next year to have another go at completing this challenge.

Also swimming was Linda who who completed a 3.8k swim at Cirencster in 1:32. She noted that it is a long way to swim even when not faced with the bike and run after. Fair play though, she stuck to her plan of staying calm, going at her own pace and not worrying too much about anyone else.

After a lot of administrative anguish caused by withdrawals due to injury and other problems, Chris somehow managed to get three TTC teams to represent us at the Nottingham Triathlon Relay Event.

Although it took place at the National Water sport Centre, a building that looks like something the KGB would be proud of, the perfect weather and great team spirit made up for any misgivings. The format for the day was that each competitor in the four person team had to swim the 500m open water course in turn, passing the baton, an armband, on to the next team member. The last swimmer then passed it on to first cyclist and so on. As you can imagine, with over 200 teams in our event, transition was pandemonium! Its also weird seeing a team mate recovering while you wait to do your bit.

Having said that, the Tewkesbury Tri-ers, (Ed, Dave T, Liz and Kate) must have done something right as they finished in 3:48 to take 47th place. The were followed home by the Trids, (Richard, Gareth, Caroline and Linda) in 4:10 and the Tri-ards, (Dave, Kathy, Julia and Terry) in 4:37. Definitely an event to consider next year although next time I would recommend taking at least a gazebo!! Thanks and well done to Chris for getting us all to the start line.

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