I donned my wetsuit for this race, a 10km swim in the future Olympic rowing venue.
3 laps, sounds easy enough. Start line I am at the front, getting ready to kick off as the horn goes. My aim is to get on Mark’s feet and stay there for as long as possible. Horn goes. I’m on his feet. I’m on his feet. I’m not so much on his feet. I’m on the next guy’s feet. He disappears. I feel like I’m getting trampled!
Ok so I am not at the front of the front group and although it felt like the whole wave had come past me I peeked up and was pleased to see that I was at the back of a lead group. I found some obliging feet and settled in for the ride.
The first lap was good and I didn’t lose too many places but I was kicking too hard and breathing too hard so I knew this pace wasn’t going to last! There was still a lot of elbowing and general challenging for places next to the lane rope or feet. I found a couple of non-wetsuit guys who were swimming side by side and nestled in between their feet, they dragged me along for pretty much another lap.
My shoulder started hurting at about half way and although I hadn’t planned on stopping at any of the feed stations(A slight detour from the course) I decided that after the 2 lap turn I would have a little metal and physical rest. I was on my own by the time I got to this point and feeling pretty tired. I stopped at the aid station and my calves gave a little twinge as I stood up. I had a few glugs of Powerade then spotted another guy swimming off from the jetty. I chased after him and got on his feet, settling in for the final lap.
By this point I didn’t think I was placed anywhere, although in hindsight I had only seen one other lady!This lady was somewhere behind me and with a km to go she pulledup beside me, looking very strong. I thought about letting her go but carried on matching her speed. I looked up and saw the final turning buoy was not too far away, the finish was just beyond. I pushed, and so did she. I pushed a little more, she matched me. We went round some slower swimmers still on their 2nd lap and came back together. Right. Here goes. She turned her head to breathe away from me and so I kicked. hard. I kept kicking and pulled with all my strength. To my delight I had a glance behind and she hadn’t kept up with me. This final push saw me overtake about 4 other guys. The finish was in sight and I was back on my own.
I swam up to the jetty and took my time climbing out, no way was I going to run up the ramp and get cramp!Someone was yelling “come on!You’re 3rd!”.
I was so suprised at how well I had done, 3rd lady and 27th overall. I’m not sure if it was the wetsuit but my stroke seemed to tire very quickly. I don’t think I really needed to stop at the aid station but it was definately a short mental break if nothing else. In hindsight I would have taken on more food before the race as all I had was half a gel and some energy drink(I really need to stop getting so nervous!)
As always, Human Race organised a great race and it was a good training swim, even if it did knock me out for the rest of the day!