Being the first race of the New Year, and the first of the Academic year to involve swimming, the Dawlish Aquathlon has been a popular staple of the club’s racing calendar for the past few years. The event is run well by the Exeter City Triathlon Club, and with several competent athletes from South Devon competing, it shouldn’t be underestimated as a competitive meet. Whilst The University of Exeter Triathlon Club performed extremely well in Dawlish, there was some stiff competition.
First to race was Ashley Jones who joined the club this year. Ashley raced well, performing well in his wave, and he said afterwards “The swim I feel went well, recording a personal best in the process. The run however was hillier than I predicted and for most of the way round proved hard going; my transition only let me down further. However, for my first swim/run race, I am happy with my efforts and have taken plenty of knowledge on board to put into practice at the next aquathlon.”
Next up, Jamie Pocock, who was coming into the race in excellent form, having recently made some massive improvements in club time trials, took to the pool. Jamie said, “I really enjoyed competing in my first Aquathlon. I was pleased with my swim time but my run was a bit slow as I hadn’t been able to do much training due to a foot injury. I’m hoping to trim a few seconds off my transition and run times at the next race at Sidmouth.” Despite feeling there was room for improvement, Jamie posted a highly competitive time, finishing in 12th place at 30:34.
Ellen Pitcairn-Knowles and Beth Joslin, current Women’s Captain were next to swim. Ellen, being an experienced swimmer but university and club Fresher performed extremely promisingly, swimming the 600m distance in just over 9:30. Beth meanwhile had a great race, taking 3rd Place amongst Senior Women. Beth said, “Dawlish was my first aquathlon and it was a really well organised event with a fantastic atmosphere. Despite being a little disappointed with my swim, I was happy with my finishing time and was thrilled to come 3rd female overall. There were some great results and smashed PBs within the club and it was a very enjoyable day.”
Towards the end of the meet, three of our male athletes took to the course. First up, Fresher, Quang Tran, hot from a gutsy performance at the Dawlish Duathlon came Third amongst Junior males. Wanting to improve further, he said, “Dawlish was my first aquathlon I’ve ever done and overall it was a good experience and has given me lots of ideas on what to work on for next time round. Transition time especially!” Next up came veteran club member Jack Bristow and current Exeter Aquathlon Title Holder Ollie Thorogood. Both raced well coming in 4th and 1st overall respectively, with Ollie seeing out some stiff competition to secure another great win. After the race, Jack said, “I was very happy with how my swim went, I felt strong and able to race tactically. However I didn’t quite have the legs on the run having been struggling with injuries over the winter. Overall it was a decent result to start the year with.” Ollie meanwhile, reflecting on his win thought, “My swim went as I had hoped and I had a smoother transition than I’ve had before. I felt strong on the run but was held up by a car about half way round the course. Frustrated by this, I knew I had to push on to make up for the time lost and I was able to finish strongly. Overall, I was very happy with my race and it was an additional bonus to take the win!”
Whilst many of our athletes feel they can get even better in Sidmouth in a few short weeks, Dawlish was an extremely successful meet for the club. Thanks to all those who came to support, and congratulations to everyone who took part! See you at Sidmouth!