The very British summer did not disappoint we had wind, rain and 4 foot swells in the sea, but still 14 members of Cheltenham Triathlon Club started the Gower Triathlon with over 360 other triathletes.
As the marshals counted us onto the beach so as not to lose any bodies in the water, the horn went off and all 360 men and women started the swim which was a distance of 750 metres. To start the waves looked very innocuous, but after only a few minutes it was clear the swell was getting bigger and was a huge advantage for the strong swimmers who could get out of trouble in the front while the rest of the swimmers were caught in the washing machine of peoples arms and legs all trying to survive in the big swell. Some people resorted to breast stroke which made it impossible to navigate past or even get into any type of swimming rhythm.
Having survived the swim it was a run on the beach to the transition area where our bikes, helmets and shoes were waiting soaking wet and the wind still blowing a gale. The 15 mile bike course was quite technical and ended up treacherous because of the weather conditions. Starting up a steep hill out of Gower it then continued up and down into the mist which should have shown us the pretty peninsular. Still the sheep thought it very amusing these drowned rats on bicycles were up at the crack of dawn to enjoy the Welsh countryside. The cycle ended down a steep tricky hill and back into transition for the run.
The run was a joy just because we were on 'terra ferma' although soaked through we were safe and only needed to run 2 laps of 2.5K which crossed the beach went up board walks and through parts of the village with brave onlookers shouting encouragement at us. Brian with his dogs being one of them trying to take pictures of us all.
Emma Godson and Sue Bathgate were both prize winners. Emma came 2nd lady overall in a time of 1hr 32min and Sue won the super vet prize in a time of 1hr 36min. The very generous prizes included a free entry to next year's race!
Simon Clarke came 4th overall in a time of 1hour 19 mins with Oliver Hilton a very close 1hr 20min. Doug Waymark was not far behind in 9th position in a time of 1hr 22mins. Sally Freeman was 4th in the open category in a time of 1hr 33min and Karen Hilton 4th in the Vet 40 category in a time of 1hr 35min.
Other Cheltenham results were: Tommy Charles 1hr 35mins Anthony Lloyd 1hr 36min, Phil Henderson 1hr 37min, Thomas Cantle 1hr 39min who survived his first open water swim, Mary Sietsma 1hr 39min, Hazel Everett 1hr 40min and Cathy Booth 1hr 56min.