After the rain, the hail and the wind swept conditions of the precedent meet, the BUCs Sprint Triathlon, it was gratifying that the weather for the Exeter University Aquathlon was rather pleasant. With a large contingent from the club racing, some of whom finishing their seasons for the foreseeable future, others warming up for events such as BUCs Standard Distance, and the London ITU, the Aquathlon had a relaxed, albeit, tangibly competitive atmosphere. Before going any further, its integral to point out that the Exeter Triathlon Club, who organize the University Aquathlon each year, put on another great event, and as someone for who the vast majority of their races this year have been organized by this group, I can’t thank them enough for their typical friendliness and helpfulness.
First off in one of the early waves was Florence Taylor, who posted a strong time, and wave position in the swim, before running well to finish at 35:52. In the next wave Matt Hacke and Sophie Walton swam, both doing well on the 5km, running this section at 21:23 and 21:46 respectively. Throughout the day, its worth noting, the club posted a series of impressive run times, considering the, to borrow Sophie’s term, ‘fun’ of the extremely steep hill that had to be completed twice over the course of the route.
That’s not to say however that the performance by the club in the pool was lackluster, and as the meet progressed, and competition in the water got correspondently faster, the University athletes competed well in the 600m. Eleanor Vale and Alice Carr swam in Waves 3 and 4, both finishing strongly in their heats with times comfortably under 10 minutes. Again, both performed admirably on the run, Alice feeling that she raced more strongly than the BUCs Sprint considering there was no cycling section. Despite the fact she found the infamous hill rather tough, the adrenaline rush at the finish balanced this. As Wave 4 wound up, around 9.45am, it was great to see our racers sticking around to cheers their teammates on the swim, joined by a few members of the club who weren’t racing, but still happy to give their time to support those competing. The atmosphere on poolside was extremely enjoyable, even if some of the music being played can only be described as ‘questionable.’
Next up was Joe Greenman in Wave 5. Having raced myself in this wave at Dawlish last month, I can vouch for how competitive this particular field is, so it was great to see Joe stay in the mix throughout the swim. Whilst he couldn’t quite believe the size of the hill, which slowed his runtime slightly, he felt the race was well worth getting out of bed for, partially due to the great weather that foregrounded the meet. In Wave 6, Harriet Browning, last year’s Women’s Captain, and club alumnus raced, and unsurprisingly performed well – her swim time of 09:10 standing out as particularly impressive, alongside a solid 5km time.
Wave 7, at 10:15 am promised to be the most competitive of the meet, with the current and incumbent men’s Captains, Jack Bristow and Ollie Thorogood competing against an extremely strong field. Both were formidable on the swim, with 08:14 and 07:52 respectively, and Ollie would go on to post a sub 20 minute transition and run to confirm himself as the overall winner of the Exeter Aquathlon series, which included this race, Sidmouth, and two meets at Dawlish in early 2015. Jack meanwhile, with a series of prestigious summer races planned, including the BUCs Standard Distance on the immediate horizon, decided to withdraw himself as a precaution, seen as he didn’t have the legs to complete the run without risk of harming himself. Whilst he was disappointed with not being able to compete for the series title, hopefully this will pay dividends in the races later in the season! Still, he was extremely happy to see his teammate Ollie win the title, and to see a great turnout by the club as a whole to support the University competitors.
The final waves saw Hilary Davey, Greg Webb and Alex James race. Hilary posted a strong swim at 09:33 and a solid run to get an overall time of 36:16, whilst Greg, in his first race for the club, performed well, notably running a 22:33 on what was, as aforementioned as tough and hilly course. He felt he learnt a lot from his first competitive meet and will look to build on this at the BUCs standard distance in a few weeks. Alex meanwhile, was also using this as a warm-up for a bigger race, that being the ITU Triathlon in London, which he will be running in a few weeks, with club mate Pablo Hutchinson also competing. Again, Alex posted a decent time on his first race of the season, finishing a promising day for the club. All in all, the Exeter Univeristy Aquathlon was a successful event for EUTriC, and we’re looking forward to following the fortunes of our athletes over the course of the summer, whether they be in BUCs, London, or, most importantly, for the Intramural Netball team. A great day, and congratulations to all who competed.
Ollie Thorogood: Position – 1st. 00:07:52 00:19:44 00:27:36
Matt Hacke: Position – 15th. 00:10:40 00:21:23 00:32:03
Harriet Browning: Position – 19th. 00:09:10 00:23:09 00:32:19
Alice Carr: Position – 25th. 00:09:27 00:23:49 00:33:16
Joe Greenman: Position – 29th. 00:10:10 00:23:18 00:33:28
Sophie Walton: Position – 35th. 00:13:04 00:21:46 00:34:50
Greg Webb: Position – 39th. 00:13:18 00:22:33 00:35:51
Florence Taylor: Position – 40th. 00:11:01 00:24:51 00:35:52
Hilary Davey: Position – 42nd. 00:09:33 00:26:43 00:36:16
Eleanor Vale: Position – 45th. 00:09:44 00:27:41 00:37:25
Alex James: Position – 46th. 00:12:56 00:24:46 00:37:42
Jack Bristow: DNF.