Thursday, 26 March 2015

71. 400m Freestyle

Event: 400m Freestyle
Date: 19th March 2015
Location: London Aquatics Centre, Stratford.  
Cost: £4.50 each
Rules:  Competitors swim eight lengths of crawl as fast as possible. Some part of the swimmer must touch the wall at the end of each length and at the finish. Most perform tumble turns, somersaulting in front of the wall and pushing off with their feet.

The Event:

London 2012 Olympic Gold: 4:01.45, Camille Muffat, France. 
Sarah: 13:00.11
Ellie: 12:33:00

Ellie: The Olympic pool was rammed tonight and I think this helped me to relax as I knew I'd have to negotiate other swimmers and not be able to swim flat out. I dodged some slow breaststrokers, some swimmers swimming depths rather than lengths and the groups gathering at the pool edges. I like the longer distances as there seems less pressure to swim fast. I knew I had time to take my swimming hat off when it was squeezing my head too much, I readjusted my goggles, had a good look around at the other swimmers and on my last lap, picked my swimming cap back up and stuffed it down the front of my swimming costume...

Sarah: Our first Olympic swim for a while, and we chose the busiest time possible to attempt it. After spending ages trying to work out which was the quietest lane, we just dove in and hoped we wouldn't get too much traffic, or create too much of a swim-jam. Our training now starts for the longer swim distances; including the dreaded open-water swim.
On a sad note, our thoughts during this swim were with Camille Muffat; the gold medallist for this event in London 2012, and who was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in Argentina earlier this month. 

70. Synchronised Swimming - Duet

Event: Synchronised Swimming - Duet
Date: 28th February 2015
Location: Clacton Synchro Club, Clacton Leisure Centre
Cost: £4 per session (for 7 sessions)
Rules: Synchronised swimming is one of the three disciplines in which only women compete. The sport tests strength, flexibility, grace, artistry and long underwater endurance. Competitions consist of a technical routine and a free routine. The technical routine sees swimmers perform specific moves with a time limit of 2:20. The free routine has no restrictions on the moves or music, and has a time limit of 3:20. The results of the two routines are combined to produce a final score.

The Event:

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina, Russia

Sarah: We kicked off 2015 by setting aside our Saturday mornings for 6.30am alarms and swimming lengths by 7.30am. After a week at work, it wasn't the easiest thing to do, and the night before was usually spent texting each other how much we didn't want to do it. However, as we've been finding throughout the challenge, as soon as we got to the pool, it was all worth it. And afterwards we felt amazing! We were under no misconceptions about how hard synchronised swimming would be, but I definitely hadn't been expecting it to be as much fun as it is. We learnt a host of moves over our weeks with the club, including: back, front and side lay-out, knee-rise, dolphin, torpedo, Isle-of-Man, back somersault and oyster. The routine we put together was far more advanced than either of us had expected at the start, though we did struggle with the synchronised element of the sport. Maybe we've made up a new event with 'similar swimming'.
Ellie: Similar Swimming, ha! Yes, looking back at these videos that is definitely what I am doing. I think my memory for routines is very much hindered by the early mornings.
Synchronised swimming is definitely a sport that I would try again after we finish our challenge. We really have been on a journey with Clacton Synchro Club. We've had sessions at the start of the year in complete darkness, sessions with the snow falling outside and sessions where the sunshine heralded the coming of Spring. We've gone from barely being able to float on top of the water to following a routine and putting it to music and this is definitely something particularly satisfying. We've had a great deal of specialised help from Sue and all at CSC and I look forward to performing within the team.