British Gas ASA National Masters & Senior Age Group Championships 1 24th – 26th October 2014
Crediton & District Swimming Club now has a National Champion amongst its ranks
The weekend is the pinnacle of the masters swimming calendar. It is the culmination of all the training, ploughing up and down the pool, and covering thousands of metres in the pursuit of great times and results. This year, one of the coaches in particular (Martin), used his experience and invested time in changing and developing the strokes, so we were ready and in the right condition to perform on the big stage and what a weekend it turned out to be.
Three of the four travelling swimmers were not 100%, although each recorded season’s bests in their speciality strokes and distances. Rob was still recovering from a rib injury, while Matt and Emma have had a very busy year getting married and moving into their own home in Exeter. They were great support throughout the weekend, even when I had lost my van keys and had to diversify so that Rob and I returned home safely. One of the things I will take away from the weekend is the support we have for each other; before, during and after racing (in the pub) and this was backed up by the Devon fraternity, including many from Exmouth and a few from Totnes and Tiverton who would watch and encourage each swim we swam.
Back to the swimming and the weekend it turned out to be. By the end of day I won two bronze medals in the 200m Butterfly (2.37.31) in a season’s best and the 200m Breaststroke (2.45.95), 4 seconds inside my personal best.
By the end of day 2 I added gold after a slow start in the 100m Butterfly in the morning, followed by a determined 50m Freestyle (27.70) in a time not achieved for 6 years. It was during the evening that I swam my swim of the nationals in the 400m Individual Medley. With my nearest rival next to me going out and leading the first 200, I had to dig deep and came back and won by 5 seconds – My first ever gold at the nationals. After fuelling up and some sleep we were back at the pool on Sunday morning for day 3 and the 200m Freestyle. By now my body was falling apart but spurred on by the win the previous day I swam another lifetime PB (2.14.24). The last swim of the meet was the 200m IM, where I came 4th last year and I knew another PB was required to win a medal, and a PB was recorded (2.28.43), which gave me a silver medal. I finished the championships with 5 PBs and 4 medals – I was chuffed.