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National Masters, for the first time!

posted 30 Oct 2012, 09:34 by Pete Hardy

Many of you will have see Richard Ellis flying up and down the Masters lane on a Wednesday night for a little over a year now. After unsuccessfully trying to convince him to do the National Masters Championships in 2011 he finally caved in 2012 and at the ripe young age of 39, I think he surprised himself! He's written us the following report on his experiences. But Richard... you don't get easy training sessions by trying to flatter the coach at the end of a write up. Tina learnt that last year! :D

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Well after deciding to take the plunge in this year’s National Masters Short Course Championships having caught the competitive bug the first morning had arrived.

The training & diet had gone reasonably well in the build-up and after my first ever shave down I felt ready (& 10 years younger lol).

First up on Day1 morning (Friday 26th) was the 1500m freestyle, something I’d never tried before except on distance night aged 12ish. The plan was to try and keep an even pace for the first half of the race, then kick-on and try to break 20mins. All was going to plan until the ‘Kick-on’ part at which point the wheels fell off somewhat although I still managed to finish with 20:07.27 and 6th place in my age group so not a bad warm-up.

Day 2 Saturday afternoon saw me entered into the 400m freestyle, again another first for me and after yesterdays PLAN I decided counting up to 16 without missing any lengths was the most important thing. I went out quite strong and turned at 200m in 2:23 I just needed to hold it together now. I finished with a 4:55.57 and 11th place beating my target time of 5:00 so again happy for a first attempt.

In Saturday evenings session was the flagship 100m freestyle and with over 300 entrants in the male event alone it was sure to provide some great viewing. I’d decided when entering that I was going to put down 60secs not because I’d yet to swim that fast but because I wanted to break the minute barrier.

Well the race itself was a bit of a blur tbh, all I remember was David’s words of ‘Just Nail the Turns’ ringing in my head and for the first time that’s exactly what I did splitting in a 27.9 & finishing with 58.98. So very happy with that, giving me 16th place overall.

Day 3 Sunday morning brought up the final event for me the 200m freestyle an event I’d swam earlier in the year in Scarborough in 2:21. I was feeling confident of beating this time after the 58 in the 100m but having not slept well Saturday night doubts had crept in as whether my body had much left in it.

Again after a strong opening 50 and 100 I split in 1:06 & again with David’s words in my head about treating the 3rd 50 like the last I dug in and ended up with a 2:16.40, a 5secs PB and 10th place.

So there you have it my first, but hopefully not the last, National Masters. I enjoyed the whole weekend and credit must go to the ASA for such a well run event and Ponds Forge wow I want one in Donny.

Lastly I’d like to say a big thanks to our Head Coach David for his support, tips and experience over the last 12 months.