Blog August 2016

Following my second successful crossing of the Catalina Channel in August last year, and achieving my dream of completing a “Double Triple Crown”. Followed by a race across Boston Harbor which was a fun swim with an amazing open water swimming community, I wasn’t really sure where my path would lead…

Penny during the 2015 Boston Light Swim
Penny during the 2015 Boston Light Swim

Somewhere along the line during the past ten years since swimming the English Channel in 2006, I’d given myself 10 years in the sport of marathon swimming. Not that I think it’s necessary to put a time frame on one’s sporting career or adventures, more that there are so many things to experience in life, I felt I’d be ready for a change… and my 10 years were up!

I was excited about my change in direction as well as the thought of dropping my swim training miles down significantly, the pressure of completing x distance in the water each week was off.

However, there was no chance of me becoming bored….Chris and I joined Triathlon Australia, Chris a former triathlete, after a 20+ year break started regaining his cycle and running skills, and I set about learning to run and ride. We entered a number of aquathlons (swim and run races) in various states around Australia. Threw in a couple of short open water swim races in West Australia while visiting WA for a family wedding. And competed in the Noosa and Mooloolaba Olympic distance triathlons.

At the finish of my first half marathon run!

Then one morning I woke up and said to Chris, “Let’s run the Gold Coast half marathon!” Chris, who was recovering from an Achilles injury said he’d run the 10k and promptly signed us up for the race five weeks later in early July. …And so the running began!

Chris 3rd place in the Gold Coast Marathon 10k event.
Chris 3rd place in the Gold Coast Marathon 10k event.

Chris did really well and finished 3rd in his age group 10k and I was delighted to complete my first half marathon “running”! Something I never expected I’d do, especially since it wasn’t so long ago that I would run to one lamppost then walk to the next. I later learned that I’d run inside the qualifying time for my next age group up (next year) for the New York Marathon! Well having swum it three times, it sure sounds like an exciting idea to run it!!! Watch this space for that one…

20160807_140240Last weekend Chris and I drove north to the seaside town of Yeppoon. We’d signed up for the Olympic Distance triathlon, this would be my 4th at this distance and Chris’ 4th since his return to the sport, we were very happy with our results, with us both winning our respective age groups. Though the best surprise was still to come. Triathlon means sports gear and lots of it! Bikes, helmets, racing wheels, training wheels, bike shoes, running shoes, swim suits, tri suits, wetsuits, goggles, sunnies….the list goes on!

MACH4 wetsuit thanks to DARE2TRI
MACH4 wetsuit thanks to DARE2TRI

One of the big differences between open water swimming and triathlon is that in marathon swimming wetsuits are not allowed and in many cases a wetsuit swim will not be recognized. However the rules of triathlon are different, wetsuits are compulsory once the water temperature gets down to 16C and optional up to 22C. In triathlon wetsuits are commonplace and widely accepted. As one of the few athletes on the start line in Yeppoon without a wetsuit I was very happy to be the lucky winner of a MACH4 wetsuit, a huge thanks to DARE2TRI/AUS!

Lots more news to come in the months ahead. Meanwhile here are the links to other recent updates:

Boston Light Swim 2015

Catalina Channel Swim and double Triple Crown 2015

Some of our new training partners 🙂

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