Winning my first open water swim race, CapitalTri

Winning the Capital Tri Open Water swim race
West Reservoir, calm before the storm

West Reservoir, calm before the storm

On Sunday 19th May I entered my first open water swim race and by complete surprise, won it! Capital Tri, sponsored by Sport Pursuit and Whole Foods was hosted in West Reservoir, North London and provided an awesome location for a cheeky Sunday morning swim race.

The results, first in my category, 6th overall

The results, first in my category, 6th overall

I’d cycled 110kms the day before so woke up late, grabbed my bike and cycled up to North London hoping to get there in time. Luckily my wetsuit is too big for me so it takes hardly any time to get on and I arrived just in time for the race briefing.

Still feeling half asleep, I watched everyone squeal after jumping in the 14degreeC lake before taking the plunge myself. Ooh that was cold. There was a 10 second countdown and we were off.  I had entered the 3km race, which meant I had to swim a total of 4 laps along with a bunch of friends from London Fields Triathlon Club. By the time I reached the first bouy on the first lap, I felt like I had been overtaken by everyone and this panicked me which meant I couldn’t breathe properly.

Towards the end of the first lap I had settled into a rhythm and was just swimming on my own. I remember thinking that this was one of the cooler things I had done on a Sunday morning. Don’t get me wrong, a fry up on a hangover is great fun – but this was different, unique and great experience mentally and physically for my ironman training.  I also loved that it was so close to home.  Every time I took a breath I could see the London buildings around me and loved how accessible the race was.

55 minutes after the start, I had finished my race and was being helped up onto the jetty.  I felt dizzy and got the shakes immediately, it was freezing so I went to shower.

LFTC pals after we had all done 3kms

LFTC pals after we had all done 3kms

I also enjoy the race de-brief amongst competitors.  I don’t know if anyone actually listens to what anyone else says about their experience or whether it even matters. We just enjoy sharing the experience and talking about it afterwards.

I’d had some forewarning that I’d got a good result by a friend, but I never would have imagined I’d won.  Whilst I scooped 1st place (female) for the 3km with 55 minutes, Dan King from LFTC won 1st place (male) with a fantastic 49 minutes.

Dan King and myself

Dan King and myself

My prize was amazing – a Whole Foods Hamper with loads of delicious goodies, a £25 Sports Pursuit voucher and a medal. I was so pleased!!

During the swim I had been thinking about how motivating it would be to win a race like that. Now, it's given me the confidence to go forth and try harder!