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OWS Aquathlon race 3 2015 report
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Monday 22nd June 2015


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Richard Stannard report from the third OWS Aquathlon Series event of the year, which took place on Saturday 20th June at the Triathlon Training Centre in Little Marlow.

The race was also held as a tribute to Katie Henderson who was tragically killed recently in a road traffic accident.


OWS Aquathlon Race 3 20th June 2015

A tribute to swimmer and triathlete Katie Henderson

A quiet and still morning greeted the swimmers and aquathletes at the Triathlon Training Centre in Little Marlow on Saturday morning. After a light drizzle the clouds as the athletes set up in transition the clouds parted and the sun began to shine as the swimmers lined up on the start line.

We had heard the tragic news earlier in the week of the road traffic accident involving Katie Henderson of Reading Swimming Club and the Tri Training Harder Racing Team. Close friend and fellow Reading swimmer Lucy Roper who was racing the aquathlon contacted us to ask if she could race in pink for Katie. We agreed and suggested we might be able to get all the athletes to race in pink and to dedicate the race to Katie who had raced at the Triathlon Training Centre in the past.

At 7:45am the horn sounded for the “race in pink” and it was Kai Furnell-Brennan who moved straight into the lead with his fast start. Hannah Kitchen who is preparing for the European Aquathlon Championships alongside course record holder Michael Fabes was quickly on to Kai's feet. Covering that move was India Lee who is also preparing for a European Championships, the Triathlon champs in Geneva next month, on her feet was Michael trying not to let any of the lead trio get away.

With the field of pink stretched out across the lake the lead four moved away from the chasers, and as they turned at the far side of the lake Hannah moved into the lead closely followed by India. With these two only doing the swim as preparation, Kia and Michael were able to use the girl's pace to pull them along. As they hit the shore and climbed the boat ramp it was clear the pink race was also the fast race, with Hannah and India reaching the shore in 9:28 some ten seconds faster than Hannah's swim record. Kia and Michael soon followed and with Michael through transition fastest he was out onto the run in 10:06 34 seconds faster than in Race 1 of 2015 and 21 seconds faster than when he set the record in August of 2014.

Other notable swim performances came from Jan Scott (50+), Mel Brookes(40+), Ian Bennett, Steve Oliver(50+), Neil Turner(40+), John Pryor(50+) and Paul Holmes(40+) all significantly faster than previous performances. With all the dry weather we have had the run course was in excellent condition for some very fast runs. Michael was well into the lead following his fast swim, but it was in the women's race that things were changing. Jan Scott had exited the 750m swim and headed out onto the run in the lead in a personal best swim and transition time of 12:37, but hot on her heels it was the 2014 series champion Mel Brookes who had swam and got out of her wetsuit almost 45seconds faster than her previous best and with her strong running pedigree she was going to be tough to beat.  She moved into the lead early in the four lap 5km run and was never challenged as she ran home in a personal best 31:52. Mel will also be competing in the European championships as too will second placed Jan Scott.

In the men's race Michael continued to dominate and pull away from the challengers. He crossed the line in a course record 27:14, 16 seconds faster than his previous record. Second across the line was Kia and third over the line with her personal best run was Mel.

Further down the field were some other significant performances and personal bests. Steve Oliver(50+), Neil Turner(40+), John Pryor(50+) and Paul Holmes(40+) were not only faster in the swim but also in the run with Steve seeing the most significant improvement this season some four minutes and 45 seconds faster than May. Paul Holmes and John Pryor were both well over three minutes faster. We would like to think that both consistent training and some inspiration from “The Pink Lady” help achieve these times.

Well done to all the competitors on a great days racing and especially Lucy for her wonderful idea and dedication. RIP Katie Henderson.

The next OWS Aquathlon is on the 18th July 2015 enter online HERE.


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