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JESSICA THORPE WINS ENGLISH AQUATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS
English Aquathlon Championships Race Report
by Jessica Thorpe
 
 
This year English Aquathlon Championships were held in Falmouth, Cornwall. Although a long long way from London I felt on good form, having gained Silver at European Championships in Germany a few weeks earlier so was keen to race however far away it was. Cornwall is meant to be nice for summer holidays anyway right?! As luck would have it English summer weather delivered a classic race day of heavy rain and wind. 
The weather certainly made a tough registration and warm up ahead of what was going to be a pretty tough race...A fellow competitor described the event after as a steep swim and a steep run. How right he was. With a mixed start a few hundred athletes lined up on the beach waiting for the gun. With elbows out to keep my space and the first hundred metres of the swim full of fist fighting and dunking I finally reached clear but very rough water. Unable to see any of the buoys I headed out to sea hoping that I was heading in the right direction. After nearly a 1km of rolling waves, rehydrating on sea water and avoiding the enormous jelly fish I finally made it onto the beach again for a quick transition and out onto the 5km run. Upon exiting transition I was told of #1 ranking which came as a complete surprise as I certainly hadn't felt like I'd had a good swim but also a massive energy burst for the next part of the race. The run course led up along the coast then up a steep 1km incline around the local castle and back down to the beach. From here on I just focused on the guy in front and tried to hold onto him for as long as possible and not let anyone overtake. Motivated by all the superb marshals who stood in the pouring rain shouting encouragement (as well as thoughts of a hot bath, breakfast, sleep...) I finally found myself sprinting down a flight of steps back onto the beach for a very sandy sprint finish. Certainly not my most elegant race but I got the job done & that's all that matters. I've now qualified to represent Great Britain at World Championships in Chicago in September. Fingers crossed I can find enough pennies to fund the trip and my form continues to improve. Many thanks to the great team at Swiss for their coaching and support to get me this far. Onwards & upwards.
 
-JESS