Abby and her family took part in the Family Aquathlon at Bramcote Leisure Centre this May. If you’ve never done an aquathlon before they may have the answer to many of your questions!
Conversations with Abby’s brother Will and his mum
Will: “Will we need safety pins for our numbers Mum?”
Mum: “Errr, I don’t think we have numbers. Did you have numbers last time?”
Will: “Yes, think we took our own safety pins….”
Mum: “Like I said, I think this year is a bit different to last year. Don’t think you’ll need safety pins.”
Will: “Will we have to wear swimming hats?”
Mum: “No idea, don’t think so.”
Will: “Will we be able to dive in?”
Mum: “Could you dive in last year?”
Will: “Can’t really remember…I’m diving in though.”
Mum: “Ok, let’s just wait until we’re there. They’ll tell us all we need to know when we sign in”
Yes, just a few of the many things I was asked before we headed off to Bramcote Leisure Centre on Sunday 12 May for the Aquathlon. This year we were all taking part, come rain or shine.
The year before I’d seen photos of the Aquathlon “WhatsApp-ed” to my hospital bed. Husband and boys all swimming caps and goggles ready for action at the side of the pool. And then after the action with their medals!
This year I wasn’t going to miss out…
So, we set off to the leisure centre just before the signing-in time of 4.30pm.
I had my bag of stuff ready:
Swimming cossie (check), goggles (check), running shorts and t-shirt (check), towels (one for quick dry during the event and one for after the event – check), trainers (check), wash stuff (check), pound coin for locker (check), water bottle (check)
The boys took a slightly different approach…swimming trunks on, goggles on head, shorts, t-shirt and trainers on already over the top of trunks, towel slung over shoulder. (no bag needed!)
Inside the leisure centre
There were families lined up (us Brits – so good at queuing!), excited, maybe slightly nervous, but ready for the event. Signing in we were told what lane we’d be in and what time we’d need to be ready at the side of the pool. So off we I went to get changed.
After getting ready, we headed out to the “transition area” (the grassy bit just outside the splash pool). This was basically the place where you plonk your towel and running gear. It was fresh out there with only a cossie on but it was a lovely sunny evening – hooray!
Back by the pool
We went to sit down to wait for our time to go. The atmosphere was very light-hearted and friendly as the first groups got ready to swim. At 5pm, they were off – jumping, diving and plopping into the pool!
No time-keeping, or length-counting, no “officious officals”, just families having fun racing against themselves.
Some powered up and down, some swam side-by-side.
Some had watches to time themselves, some didn’t.
Some finished pretty much at the same time, some had to wait a while.
Some wore hats and goggles, some didn’t.
Basically, family fun with as much competition as you wanted to throw at it!
We were up….
Two Baird pairs. I’ve got to admit I was a bit worried I’d be able to keep up with my 13 year old son who swims like a fish…
He dived in. I headed on after him.
….8 lengths later…
We both got out and had our picture taken, me looking a little out of breath compared to him!
Off to the transition, quick dry, trainers on, and off for our 2km run. There were various marshals to guide us along the way and other competitors running back and forth. As we climbed the little hill to the finishing line we were met with claps and cheers and presented with our medals – yippee!
We waited for the others to finish and watched as the other Baird team jogged up the hill to the line. We’d done it….ALL OF US! 😊
Back to the transition we went
Collected our various towels and goggles. Off home for some food.
Back again next year? Definitely!
Note to self: bag of stuff not needed, take boys approach in future!
Hope this helps with what to expect if you’re doing an aquathlon this year.
Abby, Swim teacher at Bramcote Leisure Centre