Race report: Jubilee Swim by Coach Ben

Having never done a long distance endurance swim before, I wasn't sure what to expect and what would be going through my head 1km in. Swimming in a bit of a bunch, the answer turns out trying to remember my GCSE Geography.

The Jubilee swim is along a man made flood relief channel between Maidenhead and Windsor. The total distance covered is 10km, however there is 3 weirs along the route where you have to get out. This breaks the swim into 4 more mentally acceptable distances and without the walking in between the swim is 9.5km total.

Now some may think I could probably only train up to one of those legs, and yes there is a relay option for those who like that idea. Others may think 9.5km would be a really long way round and round the lake. This is not a lake swim you get the advantage of the current! It may not be massive but your lake swim equivalent time would be an overestimate because you are gently assisted by the river.

There was 4 waves -150 in each. This year the water temperature was a cosy 17.6 C, there was a fair few people swimming in skins. The race is well run, there are plenty of kayaks for safety and they even take on the odd bolshy swan.

The race HQ and finish are fairly minimal. This is a great event with friendly souls, less than an hours down the road.

For most of the swim you spread out in a wide river. It is a little busier in the water during the first swim leg, where there is a combination of trying to keep up with those around you and a slightly narrow part of the river. there are people to draft and positioning within the river to consider.

Back to the 1km in and GCSE Maths: the shortest distance between two points is a straight line ans GCSE Geography : where is the river's fastest current when it goes round a bend?

The Answer (after double checking) is around the outside of the bend. 1km into the swim you are still thinking how do I save energy for later, just like a Triathlon!

If you have done a race, why not review it, to give your impression of the event to other club members. Some of the best races I have done are those based on recommendations from others.

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