Saturday, 27 August 2016

114. Steeplechase

Event: Steeplechase  
Date: 21st August 2016 
Location: Colchester Harriers Athletics Club
Cost: Free 
Rules:  The Steeplechase is an obsticle race around a running track over a distance of 3000m and gets it's name from the horse racing event. In the women's competition, five hurdles 30 inches high are placed around the track. One hurdle is located in front of a water jump through which athletes travel. The hurdles are much sturdier than normal hurdles and don't fall over if hit. Athletes can use the hurdles to step on to help jumping over. Over the course of a race. athletes tackle 28 hurdles and seven water jumps. The winner is the fastest competitor over the line. 

The Event: 

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: 9:08.37 (3000m), Habiba Ghribi, Tunisia. 
Sarah: 10:47.23 (1500m) 
Ellie: 17:24.10 (1500m) 

Sarah: Somehow, after four years and 113 events, we found ourselves on the date of our deadline, and up at the track for our final event! In true 114 Olympic Games style, things didn't go smoothly; despite our coach Chris' best intentions, someone drained the water out of the water jump, so we were left with a deep, slippery slope to drop in to and climb up! We ran our Steeplechase over half the Olympic distance, and it was a really enjoyable event to go out on! We were helped round by two of the Harriers, and it was fun clambering over the solid hurdles and into the water drop. We had friends and family there to cheer us on, and it was a really fun way to end our Challenge!  
Ellie: OUR LAST EVENT! This is such an odd feeling, to be writing up our last event. It feels so unreal! I'm really glad to be with the Harriers for this as we've been working with them for a great deal of the athletics during our challenge. The steeplechase is a real test of endurance involving a 3000m race, hurdles (that are really solid and would be very sore to mistime) and water (very slippy surface even without the proper water levels!). It was so nice to have some guidance from Eliza and Luke today and to have our long-term coach, Chris, there too. We also had friends at the track to cheer us on, which was lovely. So what now? A new challenge? Well, in the short term, we're off to the pub!

Huge thanks to Chris and the Harriers for all the help and support they've given us during the Challenge!  

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

113. Marathon

Event: Marathon 
Date: 15th September 2013 and 14th - 18th August 2016   
Location: The Essex Way & 2012 Olympic route
Cost: Free 
Rules:  The marathon is raced over 26.2 miles on a street course. The athlete to complete the course in the fastest time wins.

The Event: 

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: 2:23:07, Tiki Gelana, Ethiopia. 
Sarah: 8:40:00  
Ellie: 10:37.00

Sarah: When we started this challenge, I thought it would be easy to find time within the four years to train and run a marathon. Alas, life, work and the little matter of 113 other events got in the way and after two operations on my leg last year, I had to accept it wasn't going to happen. Luckily back in 2013, one year after Rio, I went mad and decided to walk 26.2 miles one day. I'd had it in mind to do for a while, so got up early one morning and dragging Greg along with me, headed to the Essex Way. The route runs 82 miles from Epping to Harwich, and I drew up a 26.2 mile section from Aldham to Harwich. Things started really well. In fact for the first 13 miles everything was going smoothly and we were really enjoying it, making excellent time! We'd had a couple of hiccups with wrong directions but quickly righted our paths. Then the erratic signposts disappeared completely, our map-reading let us down and we found ourselves on a five mile detour. With perfect timing, the rain started pouring, the aches set in and our spirits sank. Luckily I'd borrowed a Garmain watch, so I could keep track of the distance or I would have had no idea how far we'd traveled! We finally got back on track, soaking wet and just wanted to get the damn thing finished. There were a couple more unintentional detours, but we eventually got to the imaginary finish line. With all the detours, we didn't make it to Harwich, and actually finished in Mistley. It was certainly an experience, and I was more than a little hobbly the next day. I still hope that one day I might run a marathon...maybe the training will be more realistic to fit in without the other 113 events! 

Ellie: I always knew that to run or to walk the marathon in one go would be far beyond my capabilities. After the Race Walk I found it difficult to walk for a week so I knew I had to modify my approach for this event so that the same didn't happen again. I chose to walk the 2012 marathon route, which is really picturesque, over 5 consecutive days. It was a lot more manageable than I expected and although not something I'd want to do regularly, it was a really nice way to see the city and get a bit of 'fresh' air and exercise. It is also so inexpensive as exercise and sightseeing goes! Above is my silly face - one mugshot for every mile - including some helpful walkers along the way - Elaine and John, Wellington, Justice and the Queen Mother to name but a few! 

Sunday, 14 August 2016

112. 800m Freestyle

Event: 800m Freestyle 
Date: 10th August 2016 
Location: London Aquatics Centre
Cost: £4.50 each
Rules:  Competitors swim 16 lengths of freestyle as fast as possible. Some part of the swimmer must touch the wall at the end of each length and at the finish. 

The Event: 

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: 8:14.63, Katie Ledecky, USA.
Sarah: 29:00.00 
Ellie: 26:20.00

Sarah: Our final trip to the Olympic pool for the Challenge, and it was a big one; the 800m Freestyle. We both decided to give warm ups a miss and just get on with it. We dove in and got stuck in for the next half hour. At points I felt like I was pretty much stationary, and I kept getting preoccupied by a niggling pain in my hand. Otherwise, I'm not sure what I was thinking about; mainly trying to concentrate on keeping my breathing even and not bashing in to other swimmers. I'm pleased coming in under 30 minutes, and can't quite believe we're now done with the swimming! 
Ellie: That's our final swimming event ticked off and, for some reason, it feels like a particular mile stone. I've loved swimming all my life and this was a great event to finish on. it's a significant distance but easily achievable in an evening. I feel really powerful in the water - my size and my disability don't effect me as much as on dry land and I can feel the progress I'm making. I seemed to be in the zone tonight and I'm super proud of my time. I even got to change into the medium speed lane which I've never done before!

111. Triathlon

Event: Triathlon 
Date: 15th July 2016 (Ellie) & 29th July 2016 (Sarah) 
Location: Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford (Ellie) & Various locations around Colchester (Sarah)
Cost: Free swim, £2 for the Santander bike, Free 'run' (Ellie). £4.90 swim, free cycle and run (Sarah).
Rules: The Triathlon is a multi-disciplined event, with three stages linked by transitions. The order of the events is; swim, cycle, run. The length of each stage can change depending on the event, but the Olympic distances are always; 1500m swim, 40K cycle and 10K run. The fastest athlete to complete the overall course is the winner.  

The Event:




Cycling around the Olympic Park and Victoria Park
Walking through the Olympic Park

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: 
Nicola Spirig, Switzerland. 1:59.48 - Olympic Distance - 1500m Swim, 40K Cycle, 10K Run.

Our Results:
Sarah: 2:17.25 - Sprint Distance - 750m Swim, 20K Cycle, 5K Run.
Ellie: 1:50.00 - Super Sprint Distance - 400m Swim, 10K Cycle, 3K 'Run'.

Sarah: How much training is required for a sprint triathlon? Well, it turns out if you're not bothered about your time, then not a lot! This was hard, but I was expecting that after not putting in very much preperation. I even forgot to get any energy snacks or isotonic drinks, so ended up doing my Triathlon on a bowl of Cheerios. I was least looking forward to the swim, but it turned out to be my favourite stage, and I felt completely pumped when I got out the pool. The swim to cycle transition wasn't too bad, but my legs started to feel a bit wobbly during the cycle. I eventually finished, locked my bike up and attempted to run. Oh wow, the transition from cycle to run was so hard! My legs felt like they were made out of concrete, and it took about a mile for them to settle down. The middle section of the run was a slog, but the endorphins kicked in again on my way home, and I finished the race feeling euphoric. Then sick. And it took me about three hours to cool down to any kind of normal temperature. This was a big one, and I feel really proud having completed it. As the Challenge draws to a close, I'm wary of commiting to any other sporting events for a while, but I could definitely see myself returning to this one, but maybe doing a bit more training next time.... 

Ellie: I have invented a new type of Triathlon, it is called the leisure triathlon. I wanted to complete my triathlon in the Olympic Park; I live so close and definitely don't take advantage of it being on my doorstep. So I started with a lovely swim in the Olympic Pool - realising again that I am so much quicker if I don't move my legs. Then I borrowed a Santander bike and had one of the most pleasant and pain free cycles of recent times around the park and into Victoria Park. I then completed my run (walk obvs) by walking home. I managed to pick a really lovely evening, I chatted to people, heard the musicians at Lovebox in Victoria Park, saw bats, rode past my old house and petted a Chihuahua. I would highly recommend a similar activity to anyone looking for some low-impact sport and the combination of sports meant I didn't get bored with any one activity; the cycling gave me time to explore my neighbourhood in a low-impact way. I'd really like to do a proper super sprint triathlon now and get a medal given to me rather than buying myself one from eBay.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

110. Track Cycling - Omnium

Event: Track Cycling - Omnium 
Date: 17th July 2016 
Location: Preston Park Velodrome 
Cost: £70.00 each for the session (five events)  
Rules: The Omnium consists of six events with a points-based placing system. It's usually held over two days. The events are:
1. Flying Lap: individual time trial over 250m with a 'flying start'.
2. Points Race: 20K points race with scoring for intermediate sprints and for lapping the pack. 
3. Elimination Race: the last rider over the start-line every two laps is eliminated until one remains. 
4. Individual Pursuit: ridden over 3K.
5. Scratch Race: over 10K, all riders compete to be the first over the line. 
6. Time Trial: over 500m, two riders start on opposite sides of the track, and ride at once.

The Event:
Flying Lap

Points Race

Time Trial

Elimination Race

Individual Pursuit

Scratch Race

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: Laura Trott, Great Britain. 

Sarah: We left the small matter of the Omnium to last; an event that in itself has six sub-events. By this point in the day,we were pretty knackered, but we dug in and I really enjoyed this intense event! My favourites were probably the Flying Lap and Elimination Race. By the time we got to the Scratch Race, my legs were getting so tired and I had to force myself to keep pushing as much as possible. What an amazing day we had on the track! I bloody love cycling, and the whole day was so much fun. It really gave us insight into the skill and tactics involved in all these event, and I can't wait to watch the track cycling in Rio, understanding a little bit more about what's going on! 
Ellie: Although, not my favourite events I've really enjoyed today. Getting all of our friends together and doing something out of the ordinary is really lovely and I'll remember it for a long time. It also reminded me of when Sarah and I went to Amsterdam at the very beginning of our challenge and spent a day cycling around the parks and talking about the 4 years to come... it's gone so quickly! 

A massive thank you to Carl, Clare, Claire, Greg and Laura for all their help, patience and stamina today. We genuinely couldn't have done it without you. 

109. Track Cycling - Keirin

Event: Track Cycling - Keirin 
Date: 17th July 2016 
Location: Preston Park Velodrome 
Cost: £70.00 each for the session (five events)  
Rules: Six riders follow a motorised derny around the track, which gradually picks up speed before leaving the track with around two laps to go. The derny increases speed from 30 km/hr to 50 km/hr. Once it's left the track, the riders race to the finish line. 

The Event:

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: Victoria Pendleton, Great Britain. 
Team 114 Results:
1st - Clare (5:01.99) 
2nd - Laura
3rd - Sarah
4th - Claire
5th - Greg
6th - Ellie

Sarah: We roped Carl in to be our derny, and he did an excellent job leading us round the track and gradually increasing our speed. On our longer track, we rode two laps behind derny-Carl and one lap racing. As with most of these races, we all started jovial and jostling for space, but as it got nearer to Carl leaving the track, it all got a bit tactical!  It was lots of fun, and as with all of these track events, I'd happily do them again!  
Ellie: Well, the allure of cycling was really wearing thin by this point. I'm quite happy cycling for pleasure, pootling around but anything where I 'have' to go fast or long distances isn't really my thing.... that being said, it was really nice to watch the race finish and see everyone else compete to be the best! 

108. Track Cycling - Team Pursuit

Event: Track Cycling - Team Pursuit 
Date: 17th July 2016 
Location: Preston Park Velodrome 
Cost: £70.00 each for the session (five events)  
Rules: Two teams of three cyclists start on opposite sides of the track. The winner is the team that finishes the 3K race in the quickest time, or if they catch the other team. Cyclists on the same team take it in turns leading, like a relay. After they have done their stint at the front, they move to the back. 

The Event:

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: 3:14.051 - Danielle King, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell, Great Britain. 
Sarah, Laura & Greg: 5:21.79 win
Ellie, Carl & Clare: Caught at the above time - 3.5 laps. 

Sarah: A single lap of an Olympic velodrome is 250m, but Preston Park velodrome is much longer at 579.03m a lap. This means the track is far less steep and has much longer straights. For all our track cycling events we halved the number of Olympic laps to take our extra distance in to account. Before we reached the starting line, my team shared some tactics and had a practice on how to maneuver from the front to back of the line to make sure we didn't crash in to each other during the race. We set off and found our pace and decided we'd go for the overtake for the win rather than going to full race distance. In theory the plan sounded fine, but when we made the break, our tight peloton opened out and we had to close back together so not to leave anyone behind. On our next try we were expertly blocked by Clare and Carl on the other team, but eventually made our way through their weaving! 
Ellie: This event was much more style with a team around you and cooperation one of the main things to keep in mind. I felt a little like I was ugly duckling in company of swans but it was nice to just be on the water with them!

107. Track Cycling - Individual Sprint

Event: Track Cycling - Individual Sprint 
Date: 17th July 2016 
Location: Preston Park Velodrome 
Cost: £70.00 each for the session (five events)  
Rules: Two riders start side by side and cover three laps, but only the last 200m is timed. Riders need strength and speed as well as tactical awareness as riders will change their speed and position on the track to try and surprise the opponent. Generally the races have a slow start and a game of cat and mouse ensues. The result is based on the best of three races. 

The Event:

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: 0.11.218 seconds - Anna Meares, Australia.
Sarah: 0.14.77
Ellie: 0.20.97

Sarah: This is always such a fun event to watch on tv, with the tactics and almost stationary starts on near-verticle velodrome walls showing just how skilled the pros are. We got an even better understanding when we did our taster in Manchester velodrome and experienced just how steep the banking is for ourselves. Luckily this outdoor track is far lass daunting with only a couple of steeper corners (which were still pretty gentle!). In our race, we started fairly leisurely, then at our 200m marker, I decided to step on it; trying to use the corner banking to nip up behind Ellie then drop down in front. It was lots of fun, and I would happily do it again and again! The tactics would be different in each race, and I really like the idea of trying to out-smart your opponent. 
Ellie: I was completely out-foxed in this sprint which is a little annoying as Sarah was essentially telling me what she was going to do before she did it... 

106. Track Cycling - Team Sprint

Event: Track Cycling - Team Sprint 
Date: 17th July 2016 
Location: Preston Park Velodrome 
Cost: £70.00 each for the session (five events)  
Rules: There are two cyclists on a team, and each team starts on different sides of the track. Each member of the team must lead for one lap, but you cannot overtake your teammate before the line. The event is raced over two laps. The competition is held in heats with the fastest teams progressing to the final. 

The Event:

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: 0.32.978 seconds - Kristina Vogel & Miriam Welte, Germany.
Sarah & Greg: 1.20.20
Ellie & Laura: 2.03.04

Sarah: After our taster session in Manchester velodrome a couple of years ago, we have been trying to arrange the track cycling events. As there are only a few velodromes in the country, let alone in the East, we found it very tricky. We were unable to get any affordable options at the indoor velodromes, so we set our sights on the outdoor tracks, and luckily Preston Park was a winner. We roped in some friends and spent a sunny Sunday afternoon racing round in circles. Our first event was the team sprint. Greg and I decided to take the first half of the race at a comfortable speed then ramp up the pace for the finish. It was really fun zooming around with the only focus to go as fast as possible!  
Ellie: Not owning my own road/track bike has put me at a little disadvantage on this event. The lovely people at Cycle Brighton kitted me out with a functioning bike but it was very heavy and I didn't really understand the gears! This actually led to some really nice support and advice from fellow riders and soon I was racing about, adjusting the gears like there was no tomorrow. This was a flat out start to our velodrome day with 2 laps to be completed as quickly as possible between 2 riders. It was a great event to kick off with!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

105. Equestrian - Eventing

Event: Equestrian - Eventing 
Date: 2nd & 3rd July 2016 
Location: Brook Farm Stables, Alresford Essex    
Cost: £26 each per lesson 
Rules:  The Eventing event has both individual and team competitions, and consists of three tests. The first phase is the dressage test, then the cross-country, then the stadium jumping.

The Event:



Olympic Gold Medal, London 2012: 
Individual: Michael Jung, Germany
Team: Thomsen, Schrade, Klimke, Auffarth, Jung, Germany. 


Sarah: This is a bit like a triathlon for horses and would be a real test of skills for the pros. For us, it was another test to not fall off the horses. We began to see the range of expertise needed for each section of the event, and it was good to get introduced to the riding stance for cross-country. It feels like you're going to tip over the horse's head, and that was going at a strolling-pace, let alone full gallop. Each time we went horse riding, I felt relieved to get back to solid-ground, but I really did enjoy the lessons much more than I'd anticipated. 
Ellie: Horse riding is another sport that requires far more from a rider than what you see on the surface. Things like balance and poise, anticipating what your horse is going to do so developing a relationship with it. There is far more going on than what you see on the surface. These lessons were something that neither of were looking forward to but we've both come away pleasantly surprised and I would definitely do something similar again.  

Saturday, 23 July 2016

104. Diving - Synchronized 10m Platform

Event: Diving - Synchronized 10m Platform 
Date: 6th July 2016 
Location: Waltham Forest Diving Club, London Aquatics Centre 
Cost: £5.00
Rules: The 10m Platform involves diving or falling into the water from a platform 10 metres high. It requires poise and great courage. During the fall, athletes can perform a number of spins, flips and twists before hitting the water at speeds up to 55mph, with as little water disturbance as possible. The Platforms are 10 metres high, and 21ft long with a non-slip surface. The pair of divers must perform five synchronized dives from at least four different categories, with at least one forward-facing dive and one can't be performed from a standing position. The first two dives are assigned a 2.0 difficulty and the remaining three have no set level.   

The Event:

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: Chen Ruolin & Wang Hao, China

Sarah: Before our final diving lesson, I even searched the rules for how to be disqualified for the 10m Platform event; so eager was I to get out of it! After being too scared to do the individual dives, there was no way we were going to do the synchro dive. I haven't even got my arms positioned correctly in this picture. Oh well, we'll chalk this 10m Platform experience up as an incite into our own limitations. 

Ellie: We're writing these updates a little while after the experience and I feel like saying that one day I'll manage this 10m dive. In reality, as soon as we get to the top of the board I felt totally sick and so it is really unlikely that I'll ever manage it but it's been great to join a diving club and have some training in something I really enjoy so you never know.... except I do... but maybe... obviously not... maybe?

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

103. Diving - Individual 10m Platform

Event: Diving - Individual 10m Platform 
Date: 6th July 2016 
Location: Waltham Forest Diving Club, London Aquatics Centre 
Cost: £5.00
Rules: The 10m Platform involves diving or falling into the water from a platform 10 metres high. It requires poise and great courage. During the fall, athletes can perform a number of spins, flips and twists before hitting the water at speeds up to 55mph, with as little water disturbance as possible. Each dive has an assigned degree of difficulty, upon which their score is based, along with the ease displayed by the athletes. The Platforms are 10 metres high, and 21ft long with a non-slip surface.  Women must complete five dives, with no limit of difficulty. The five dives can be picked from the following categories; Forward, Back, Reverse, Inward, Twisting and Armstand. 

The Event:

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: Chen Ruolin, China

Sarah: This was it. The big one. There were many, many doubters that we'd ever complete this. Over the last four years, we've tried to remain optimistic (or naive) and entered in to our lessons with Waltham Forest club with high hopes. Not 10m high hopes though. Following our 3m Springboard events, I was under no illusion that I would ever get off the 10m Platform. Look at it! It's ridiculously high. I was hopeful that I might find someone to push me off the 5m platform, and would enthusistically chalk that up as a success. We joined the club for their dry-side training and a couple of lessons in the pool attempting to master different dives. I was pleased to force myself off the 3m Platform but otherwise, I just wasn't able to progress any further. Despite our nervousness, the club were sure we'd be able to do the 10m, but I can categorically say I will never voluntarily jump off that board! I have huge respect for anyone who can do it - and there were people flinging themselves off as we cowered away. We managed to get ourselves up on the board, but were very glad to return to dry land. We tried. We failed. But we gave it a good go, and pushed ourselves to the limits of our courage. 

Ellie: For some reason I thought this one would be fine. Not easy, but doable. As soon as we stood on the 10m platform I knew that it wasn't going to be the case. It is completely terrifying. One of the things that I remember from the London Olympics is a very green looking diver who had misjudged his dive and dislocated his shoulder. If a highly trained individual can get damaged like that then a complete idiot novice like me would stand no chance. I'm really pleased with the progress I made with Waltham Forest, my technique is loads better after just a few sessions. Although I doubt I'll ever get off the 10m platform I would love to continue learning. 

Friday, 15 July 2016

102. Modern Pentathlon

Event: Modern Pentathlon
Date: 12th March 2016, 2nd & 6th July 2016 
Location: Dacorum Modern Pentathlon, Hemel Hempstead & Brooke Farm Stables, Alresford & London Aquatics Centre. 
Cost: £40 
Rules: Over one day, competitors epee fence against every other athlete before moving on to swim 200m freestyle, then ride a horse over a 12-jump course. After the first three events, athletes total scores are converted to a time handicap which determines starting times for the combines run and shoot. During the final two events, athletes shoot a set of five targets with a laser pistol within 70 seconds, then run 1000m and repeat three times. The winner is the athlete who crosses the finish line first.  

The Event: 

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: Laura Asadauskaite, Lithuania


Day One- The things we do for this Challenge. After an incredibly busy working week, I dragged myself out of bed at 6.30am and we drove to the depths of Hemel Hempstead to join the Modern Pentathlon club for the Eastern Region at one of their training sessions. We kicked off with the combined laser shoot and run element; we did ten laps of the track (a total of 4000m; 1000m more than the Olympic athletes!), pausing to shoot our target at the end of each lap. I tried to hold my breath and shoot to get as steady as possible (not that this had much effect on my aim!), and we were told afterwards that it's best to arrive and shoot as quickly as possible whilst your heart rate is still rising. After lunch, we stepped up to the piste for some fencing. It was interesting re-visiting this event, but it's not one of my favourites and I was ready for the metaphorical final whistle two hours later. After the sweaty matches, it would have been brilliant to jump in to the pool for the final event of the day, but unfortunately I'm still unable to get the operation wound on my leg wet, so we had to call it a day. As the club doesn't do the horse element of Modern Pentathlon (surprisingly few clubs in the country do...our nearest is Yorkshire!), we'll stretch our competition to a second day later in the year when we can complete the Show Jumping and Swim elements in the same day. 
Day Two & Three- Well, it was the plan back in March to complete the final two elements in one day, but bad scheduling meant we had to spread them over two days! We completed our horse element in our lessons at Brooke Farm Stables; walking our horses over a course of 'jumps', and a couple of days later visited the Olympic Pool for the 200m swim. Although we've had a bit of a dis-jointed experience of the Modern Pentathlon, I've enjoyed the variety of sports involved and have way more appreciation of how exhausting it must be for the pros completing all of these in the same day. Each event seems so different from the other, and the skill to complete each at such high standard is very impressive. .  .

Thank goodness for Sarah and her car and her being able to drive her car and being able to drive her car at 7am. We began this event in Hemel Hempstead and finished a few months later with our horses and swimming nearer to home. It would be a real test of stamina to complete all of these events on the same day and I look forward to checking in on the event during Rio 2016. 

Run: Never my strength, but I did like the combined nature of this part of the Mod. Pen. as I'm going to term it. To make the Mod. Pen in general and the run and shoot in specific, more interesting to watch for the spectators, the run and the shoot were combined in 2009. Some say the event should be renamed the Tetrathlon... but that is a proper tongue twister! 

Shoot: I really enjoyed the shooting element to the Mod. Pen. It was interesting to use a new type of gun, the laser, and good to hear the different knacks needed to succeed. I also liked that you aren't penalised as such if you miss the target. You can shoot as many times as needed in 50 seconds to reach 5 on target shots with the benefit coming from finishing quickly to continue your run. 

Fence: I really did enjoy fencing. It was nice to revisit the sport and to see what aspects of the training had and hadn't remained in my brain. Enough that I don't think I disgraced myself which is all I ask! 

Horse: After a bit of a delay we picked this event up again and completed our riding/jumping. I'd never ridden a horse before and the mod. pen and equestrian events have been a valuable way to dispel my horse anxiety. 

Swim: After our long distance outdoor swim a few weeks ago this 200m swim seems like luxury and a nice, gentle end to an odd and out of the ordinary event!