A warm, dry, and windy Sunday morning saw Michelle Convoy take on the challenge of swimming 2000 m across one of Europe's largest man made reservoirs, Rutland water.
SwimRutland sees competitors swimming across the main body of Rutland water from Normanton church to Whitwell. Conway along with fellow swimmers boarded Rutland Waters ferry boat Belle, which took swimmers to the start line on the south shore, ready to swim back across the expanse of water.
SwimRutland was Convoy's first open water race. She was confronted by tough conditions with choppy, swirling water caused by high winds. Coupled with an early 5.15 am registration. Convoy explains “This was my first ever open water race and I opted for the 2km distance as opposed to the 4km, 8km, or mini course distances.” “The 2km swim starts with a lovely boat ride to the opposite shore allowing a swim back. Water came at you from all directions akin to swimming in a washing machine”
“My personal best where I came 16th (not last ) in my age bracket 50 – 55.” “ It was a slow start due to the choppy conditions but a strong finish gave me the time of 1:11.30 which in the conditions I was happy with”
Convoy wanted to send a big thank you to the organisers. The event was well managed, with many safety crew members both on land and in the water ensuring everyone was supported.
Husband and wife triathlete duo, Paul and Vicky Dunthorne traveled to London to compete in the 2020 London Triathlon. Labeled the world's biggest triathlon, boasting 11000 competitors over the 2 days. This was their second Olympic triathlon in less than a month.
Spectating on Saturday and competing on Sunday, the couple were met with appalling weather conditions, torrential rain, and strong winds. In fact, the Saturday event saw an evacuation of the swim and a suspension of racing for an hour because of a lightning storm!
Water conditions in Royal Victoria dock were choppy so they felt it was like swimming in a washing machine full of people!
Paul did his quickest open water swim and had a good ( but very wet ) ride. He found the 3 lap out and back run a tad dull ( apart from the monsoon ) but was pleased once again with a sub 3 hr finishing time. Unfortunately, he lost his tool kit and emergency cash stash somewhere near the final bit of the bike leg so someone has a nice topeak tool kit and £30.
Vicky stayed at the back of the swim to help a first timer, then stopped twice on the bike to help with two punctures along the embankment. She also stopped to help a man who had been knocked off his bike near Billingsgate and was in the middle of the ( very wet ) road. When she returned from the bike leg, She was wetter than when she exited the swim !! Paul had finished and was waiting for her in transition, as the tracker had shown she had stopped for quite some time.
Continuing with the run, she supported a young man. A first timer only 10 months post leg surgery. He could only walk and slow jog so they stayed together and raced to his first triathlon finish line. Vicky explains, “I got more joy from helping 5 other triathletes that day than I’d get from any PB’s”!
“A great event with brilliant organisers. Never felt crowded whether we were spectating on Saturday or taking part on Sunday”