The sunny weather provided a treat for the large number of club members who traveled to Sidmouth last Sunday for the second race in the Spring Aquathlon series. Eight of the nine who had raced at Dawlish were racing again, looking to repeat or further improve upon their strong performances last time out. They were joined by a further seven club members meaning that the University had a very strong presence at this event, not including everyone who traveled to Sidmouth simply to cheer everyone on (and possibly also for the promised post-race picnic!).
Sarah McKenna kicked things off for the club early on, racing in the shorter Novice event. It was the first time Sarah had ever swam competitively but she loved the atmosphere and the race and finished a strong 6th.
Laura Wakeham and Jess Hughes were first up in the full distance race. Laura made a good return from injury to finish 8th, whilst Jess finished 20th. The University was very well represented in the next wave, with Sam Malins, Lee Markham, Flo Taylor and Joe Osborne all racing. Sam was very pleased with how the swim went considering she hadn’t swum in a pool before and, despite finding the run slightly tough and feeling ill on the day, finished 22nd. Lee described Sidmouth as his favourite race to date and finished 12th while Flo finished 9th with both knocking several minutes off their times from Dawlish. Joe dominated the wave (unsurprisingly considering he was inexplicably put in a wave much slower than the swim time he entered with) and finished a strong 4th overall.
Laurence Higgins was also very happy to improve on his time from Dawlish. He focused on improving the transition and the run and finished 16th, though he still feels there are is more improvement to come. Milly Lewis felt she had a great run and secured 10th place. She also deserves credit for organising a wonderful club picnic after the race. Ollie Teenan struggled slightly at the start of the run but still finished 7th. Meg Berry and Clare Parkin were in the next wave, as well as club captain Mathias Loft who, after a tentative start due to not having swum much before the race, promptly disappeared to finish an incredible 2nd overall. Clare had been struggling with injury prior to this race but still finished an impressive 4th, only 17 seconds behind Meg in 3rd.
The final wave saw Harriet Browning looking to repeat her Dawlish victory alongside Jack Bristow, who had swapped waves to cover for James Phillips’ absence due to injury. Both found their swim was slower than at Dawlish but Harriet felt the run in the sunshine more than made up for it and was very happy to finish 1st again, whilst Jack put in what he felt was his strongest 5K run ever. Unfortunately, confusion caused by his wave swapping meant his time wasn’t completely accurate, though he still finished 5th.
Once again, the club can be proud of all its members for their performances and the atmosphere created by everyone cheering on their fellow University Club members was fantastic all day.
Some quotes from those who took part:
“Everyone did really well and there was brilliant team spirit” – Harriet
“I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the club cheering everyone on, and thought it was nice that lots of people turned up to support, even if they weren’t racing.” – Sam
“The teams spirits were so high, which helped encourage a great performance from everyone.” – Lee
“The Exeter Aquathlon series races are always such great events as it’s a chance to put your training into practice and support your team mates.” – Clare
“It was a great day for racing, with a well organised race and sunny weather” – Mathias
The full results for University of Exeter Triathlon Club members are as follows:
Mathias Loft, 2nd – 26:50
Joe Osborne, 4th – 28:53
Jack Bristow, 5th – 29:07
Ollie Teenan, 7th – 30:39
Lee Markham, 12th – 33:25
Laurence Higgins, 16th – 36:32
Harriet Browning, 1st – 29:07
Meg Berry, 3rd – 31:00
Clare Parkin, 4th – 31:17
Laura Wakeham, 8th – 33:06
Flo Taylor, 9th – 33:42
Milly Lewis, 10th – 34:13
Jess Hughes, 20th – 40:35
Sam Malins, 22nd – 42:11
Sarah McKenna, 6th – 37:55
Full results can be found here.