European Triathlon Union Aquathlon Championship in Bratislava

I was thrilled when I found out I had qualified and then been selected to compete for the GB age group team in this race. Especially as I only entered a qualifying race when persuaded by a good friend and fellow Triathlon Reddditch member to ‘give it a go’! The lake was lovely and clear and not too cold. I could have done without seeing photos of a dead Catfish and a Terrapin in the lake taken by a fellow competitor a few days before the race! But luckily it was not enough to put us all off.

I didn’t have the best race morning as I ripped a large hole in the leg of my wetsuit whilst putting it on just before the start. Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot I could do about it and just had to hope too much water wouldn’t get in. The female athletes all went off together whereas the males were split up into different age groups. Your name was called out and you had your own little numbered area to line up behind on red carpet….made me feel like a PRO!!!

The start was a run and a dive into the lake with a scramble for clear water and the best line heading for the first buoy. I got quite battered and bashed by fellow competitors but that’s what happens when you race for the front with some very quick other fishes! The Aussie style exit and run back into the water made it more interesting and my second 500m lap was much calmer and less brutal.

We had been warned in the briefing that any kit not placed in your box in transition would incur a time penalty so not wanting to spend any time in the penalty tent i made sure all my kit was inside the box and went off on the run course. The run was 5 laps of 1000m with a nice hill included. It was great to see Louy and Karen on the run each time but I was very glad when the 5th lap came and I could head to the finish.

I finished 4th in my age group and was really pleased with my achievement for my first GB race. The race itself and the support was amazing, an experience i will never forget and I was honoured to have been selected to be a part of it. I will certainly aim to compete for the GB age group team again. – Lisa Rushton

 

I was delighted to qualify for this championship alongside fellow Triathlon Redditch Triathlete Lisa Rushton as well as my best tri buddy Karen Riley. I knew about my limitations with short distance races so I decided that I was going to be as relaxed as possible with this race. The event itself was held at Lake Drazdiak in Bratislava, Slovakia. I had never visited Bratislava before so turning this race into a short break was an added bonus.The 1000m two lap swim involved a run in from the pebbled beach and an Aussie exit to start the second lap. The 5k run had 5 out-and-back laps and involved 9 dead turns and a climb if over 80 m in total as you went up and over a raised area a total of 10 times during the 5k run.

Race day itself was very special and an experience that I’ll treasure for ever. All of the age group female athletes competed in the same wave. We assembled in the start area and we’re called out in age order to take our position behind our own numbered position on the carpeted beach; being called out by name and country felt amazing especially with friends cheering when my name was called. My swim went incredibly well and I completed it in a time which I was very pleased with. I was the fastest triathlete in my category for my transition (which I cheered about rather loudly when I found out after the race, only to know that Karen and Lisa both had amazing transitions too – we giggles lots about my excitement about having a fast transition in my age-group!) My run was a good, consistent run however nowhere near the ability of the others in my age group. It was lovely to see Lisa and Karen on each lap (and always somewhere near that little hill.)

Overall I was 10th in my age group and very proud of what I had achieved and had the bonus of a short break away with some amazing friends. Shorter races are not my strength but I’d definitely like to do the ETU Aquathlon next year and hopefully more athletes from Triathlon Redditch will join in. If anyone would like any information or advice then send me a message as it’s such a fabulous experience! – Louise Beasley