First competition of the year in the bag. A challenging one as it comes after the Christmas break, and one where you can test yourself and set some objectives for the coming months.
For many Spencer swimmers without access to a long course pool facility (many are still lamenting the closing down of Crystal Palace back in 2020), the challenge is even greater, so well done to all that signed up and raced on the weekend of the 21/22 January.
As ever when Spencer swimmers compete, there were remarkable performances to be noted: record breaking ones, and of those who braved to try new events or are in the process of coming back from injuries.
Diane Ford, World Record Breaker
In the 80-84 category, the truly outstanding Di delivered two World Record breaking performances in the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke; in the latter she went 6 seconds faster than the previous record. On top of these, Di also broke the European record on 50 breaststroke. Fabulous swimming.
Chris Dunn, 11 events, 11 wins, 6 records
The extraordinary Chris, at 77, gave a lesson of stamina by racing in 11 events, winning all of them and breaking 6 records along the way. Chris broke the 200 free European record (2:35.40), the 400 IM British record, and broke event records in 800 free (11:30.10), 50 free (30:73), 100 back (1:28.44), 200 IM (3:12.69), 200 back (3:10.87). Inspiring performances and humbling for many of us watching from much younger ages!
I have a history of entering this meet and then wimping out at the last minute, but not this year 🙂 I’ve just aged up (55-59 years) and needed to get some times on record in anticipation of entering Nationals later in the year. I wasn’t feeling great going into the weekend but I did manage to swim all my events, namely 200, 400, 800 free, 200IM and 100 fly.. I was delighted (amazed actually!) to win gold in the 100 fly, plus silvers in the 200IM and 800 free with a 4th in the 400 and 6th in the 200. But more importantly I now have those times on record for future reference.
The highlights for me included swimming head to head with teammates Laura, Suzanne and Hana, and watching the amazing Spencer-ite record breakers. It was great to catch up with many familiar faces again (both from Spencer and further afield) and I even had time to relax with a coffee (thanks Jane!).
It was great to represent Spencer Swim Team at the K2 Swim South East long-course championships. This was my first long-course competition since returning to swimming as an adult, so a new experience. I tried out in some longer-distance events, 400m and 800m freestyle, as well as 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle and 50m fly. I received great advice from many of my Spencer teammates on how best to approach these longer races, and I largely stuck to my race plans, resulting in some satisfying performances that will provide qualifying times for future events. I managed to produce performances that delivered age-group bronze medals in both the 400m (5:17) and 800m (11:16) freestyle, and a silver medal in the 200m (5:25). It was a good couple of days of competing and set some benchmarks for the year ahead!