Tuesday, 17 May 2016

96. 25m Pistol

Event: 25m Pistol
Date: 14th May 2016
Location: Jersey Shooting Club
Cost: £23 each.
Rules:  The first qualifying stage is the Precision Stage, where athletes shoot six series of five shots each, with a maximum of five minutes to fire each series. Fired at a precision target - 50mm diameter.

The second qualifying stage is the Rapid Fire Stage, where athletes shoot six series of five shots, with three seconds to fire each shot, and a seven second break between each series. The rapid fire target has a 100mm diameter.
Scores from each round are combined, and the eight best shooters advance to the final. In the final, athletes shoot four series of five shots with a three second limit for each shot.
The Event:

Olympic Gold Medal, London 2012: 591 - Kim Jang-Mi, South Korea. 
Ellie: 258
Sarah: 374

Sarah: After our postponed trip in November, we were so happy to finally make it over to Jersey and meet the lovely team at Jersey Shooting Club. We started with a thorough introduction and safety talk about handling the pistol. We both feel quite nervous for the shooting events, so it was good to run over this again. After the talk and some cuddles with Mr Magnum the cat, we made our way out on to the first range to warm up on the 12.5m targets. With practice and good pointers, we progressed to the 25m range and took a while to get used to the new distance...the targets felt so much further away, definitely reflected in our aim. We gradually found our feet and practiced both the Precision and the Rapid elements of the event. I found I was more accurate at the Rapid fire, I think as I didn't have time to over-think my aim before the target turned away between shots. We then launched in to the actual event; the Precision and Rapid rounds using the same Olympic timings and rules. Between series, Derek used the wand to count our shots and Nikki recorded the scores. I was much more accurate in this discipline than I have been in any of the other shooting events, and chuffed with my end score. We had such a great day with the club, who couldn't have been more accommodating or helpful!    
Ellie: This has been one of the most highly anticipated events of the whole challenge. As the type of pistol used in this event is banned in mainland Britain we contacted UK shooting for some advice, thinking we'd need to go far, far away, and they put us in contact with the lovely Nikki at Jersey Shooting. The whole team were happy to help from the start of our conversations and we booked to visit in November 2015 but a giant storm cancelled our ferry crossing. Thankfully the May weather was very pleasant and we finally made it to the club. It was wonderful to spend the day with the club and I felt so welcome.

The shooting events are always hard for me as they are so out of my comfort zone and I am very aware of the responsibility of handling guns. I do enjoy the routine of loading, adjusting my stance, aiming and firing though and it is really satisfying to make a good shot.
Luck was not with me today and I couldn't get the hang of the rapid shoot especially. However, the club were full of praise and encouragement and we received lovely medals.

Massive thanks to Nikki, Derek, Peter and the whole team at Jersey Shooting Club! And also to Mr Magnum, the big, beautiful cat!  


Monday, 16 May 2016

Bonus Event #6 - Netball

Event: Netball
Date: 5th May 2016
Location: Brightlingsea Sports Centre
Cost: £20 court
Rules: There are seven players in a full team, and they pass the ball down the court and shoot in to their goal. Everyone is assigned either attack or defence positions that define their role within the team and restrict their movement on the court. During play, the player with the ball can't take more than one step before passing it and must pass the ball or shoot at the goal within three seconds. Goals can only be scored by the Goal Attack or Goal Shooter. Matches last 60 minutes and are divided in to 15 minute quarters.


Bibs 5 v 6 Non-Bibs

Sarah: Our latest bonus event saw us take on one of my favourite sports! It proved difficult to recruit enough players for a full team, so we had a really fast and furious half-pitch game with smaller teams. My shooting had got pretty rusty, and I'd forgotten how tiring what a great workout it is, but the match definitely reignited my love for the sport. The game even converted the doubters we'd roped in; it was so much fun and everyone went away pumped up with plans to get a regular team organised!    

Ellie:  After an incredibly busy day at work in London I missed the bulk of this bonus event but it was very nice to arrive and see people really invested in their team. We had a shoot out to end the session and I was reminded that I was much better suited to the defensive positions!

Saturday, 7 May 2016

95. 5000m

Event: 5000m
Date: 27th April + 1st May 2016
Location: Wivenhoe Trail + Colchester Athletics Track 
Cost: Free
Rules:  Athletes run around the track 12.5 times in this long-distance event, completing the race in the fastest time possible.

The Event:

Huge thanks to Eliza, Imogen and Rachel for helping me across the line!

Olympic Gold Medal, London 2012: 15:04.25 - Meseret Defar, Kenya.  
Ellie: 1:11:44.30
Sarah: 35:17.19

Sarah: From the start of the Challenge, I knew I wanted to try this one on the track to experience the monotony of repetitive laps and just make it that bit harder for myself. I was, of course, cursing that decision when I went up to the track, and felt pretty daunted by the distance ahead. Although I'd been training hard, I definitely had the pre-race nerves. Our coach Chris had come up with a really great plan to have one of the Harriers run two laps with me, then swap over and repeat for the whole distance. I'd also roped my husband Greg in to run with me, and they all really helped me along. With them changing every couple of laps, it really broke the distance down into smaller chunks, and I kept visualising where I would be equivalent to in my normal running route. The laps didn't fly by, but they definitely ticked down steadily, and the whole thing was much more fun than I'd been expecting. I even managed a 'sprint' finish when I was joined by all the Harriers in the final half-lap! I'll definitely stick to countryside running in future, but am really glad I was able to experience long-distance on the track.  
Ellie: I am never going to be a runner and I'm not too worried about that but it really made me think about the best way to complete the distance races. I decided that a 5k walk with Sarah would be the best way to do it. I wanted to reassure myself that this kind of distance that can seem quite intimidating is not as far as I thought and so we had a really pleasant walk along the quay and beyond. It was a great chance to catch up and essentially I didn't notice the walking which really is my idea of exercise heaven. I'll be trying this sort of distance more regularly for a wander to let of steam or check out the neighbourhood.