Alice Lane's - Masters World Record Journey

2019 has been a big year in the pool for me. On a personal level, I continue to achieve lifetime best times and I hope this will continue into 2020. However, as a result of some hard training, excellent planning and a lot of forward thinking, I am very proud to have the following achievements to my name:

Short Course

100+ 4x50m Freestyle Relay – British Record

120+ 4x100m Freestyle Relay – World Record

Long Course

100+ 4x50m Freestyle Relay – British Record

120+ 4x100m Freestyle Relay – World Record

100+ 4x200m Freestyle Relay – European Record

120+ 4x100m Medley Relay – British Record

The onset of these achievements commenced in 2017 when I first made the decision to broaden my horizons (and better my social life) by splitting my time between Boldmere and Birmingham Masters.

2019’s masterplan stemmed from just missing out on the 4x100m Freestyle Relay World Record (at the time held by Teddington which meant also missing out on the European and British Record) by 0.27 seconds.

It was the final day of 2018 Short Course Nationals, and we (myself, Katie Walker-Stabler, Anna McCall & Justine Clarke) were all ready to give our best in the relay to break Teddington’s World Record. Unfortunately, that day, despite leaving every last little thing in the pool, it was not to be.

4x100m relays in Masters’ events don’t come around very often and we knew it was going to be a 12 month wait for the next attempt. In that time, we had Long Course Nationals to keep us going and we managed to successfully dominate that weekend, breaking the records stated above.

Sunday 27th October arrived, and we were ready to have another go. We were all feeling incredibly sick with nerves and apprehension stood behind the blocks.

Katie had the lead off leg and clocked another 59. Having never gone sub minute before, she managed it on every swim over the weekend (despite being at a Hen Do on the Friday). It was then my turn, followed by Anna and both of us managed 60 second splits – our fastest short course relay splits ever. When Justine dived in, I think everyone watching pretty much knew we had done it, but I don’t think any of us dared look at the clock after the disappointment of last year. Justine managed to break the 58 mark which resulted in us not only breaking the World Record but doing so by an impressive 2.75 seconds. If you asked us before going in, I think we anticipated beating it by what we missed it by last year. Now we might have made it unbeatable for some time.

At Nationals, you receive a presentation as a record breaker. Ponds Forge, even on the final day, is still full of people. Never have I stood on a podium to such a roar from the spectators. The swim was great but the atmosphere at that exact moment is something that will stay with me for a very long time.

I’m so proud of this achievement, and I look forward to seeing what 2020 brings. Not only are we World Record holders for the 120+ female age group but no other team (in any Masters’ age group) has set a faster time in that relay. So, we are the fastest female 4x100m Freestyle Masters team in the World, EVER. That is pretty cool.

What I love more though is bringing a result like this back to Boldmere. I’ve got Ben to thank for working with me, all my teammates to train with who are vital to keeping me going, and the support of a number of you. I can’t tell you how it feels that you have got my back.

I really hope that results like this mean that as a coach and a swimmer at Boldmere, it will inspire the youngsters to keep going for as long as they desire. Swimming doesn’t end once your teenage years are over, and that is what I am here to prove.