Highly recommended. The Swim Oxford lock 2 lock series just outside of Oxford is a beautiful part of the Thames. We raced over 4 km on Sunday morning & it really is just a beautiful stretch of river. It was my first OW swim race of the year so always a little nervous thinking about all the little things that can happen and are you prepared for them.
For the first time since 2002 my goggles were split across the nose bridge by a wayward heel. It occurred during an unexpected fast start from a few of the local swim club youngsters I had been watching warm up on the start line. I started Polo drill to keep my face out and all I could think of was ‘Don’t panic.’ Another voice was saying ‘game over. Let’s go home! remember 2002? you won’t fix this.’ For safety I tried to move left to the edge of the scrum and let the pack come by. Once I was out on the edge I recalled how my Speedo Elites did have the style of nose bridge I should be able to reattach if all the pieces were still intact. If I had not put the goggles on under my swim hat I doubt I would have them so that was encouraging. They snapped back into position and I was able to get them back onto my head. Maybe a few minutes lost and it was like f1 starting at the back of the grid. No pressure just weave my way through and enjoy a nice 4km training session. Panic over, just swim. Well done for keeping calm and fixing the problem. I was quite pleased with myself, I actually listened to some of my own advice and it paid off. In 2002 I had the old style of Swedish Goggles with a string nose bridge and once that was snapped that really was a big problem. I felt ok so just started swimming and stretching out carefully weaving through the pack that had now got in front.
Maybe about 1km into the event I noticed a stand up paddle board and wondered if it might be the lead? I passed 2 more swimmers and felt it was then just me and the lead. Being Fathers Day, the swim then took on a different note. I started to spot fisherman along the bank and that was my Dads sport. I could hear him cheering just as he had many years ago at swim galas.
The rest of the swim was pretty uneventful and I held the lead for a very pleasant remaining 3km’ish. I will be back for the 6 or 8km that the organisers host. I have started to use a watch for recording stats as we help test the new Speedo On website so have a look at the map and times below.
I was very pleased with the result and my current level of fitness. I had used a swim thin so not the greatest amount of buoyancy but a great alternative if the water is warm. Henley next week and not long now until Lake Genava. So the moral of the story? when you think it’s all over, just double check, it might not be….and even if adversity strikes you might still get the result you want. You might have to work a little harder but I have not enjoyed or basked in the efforts quite as much as winning this one.