Australia Day Aquathon 2018
I completed my second Aquathon on Australia Day.
The Australia Day Aquathon consists of a swim in the Wollongong Harbour and a nearby walk/run. The distance that participants completed was dependent on their personal preferences. As this year was my second time participating, I wanted to do a longer distance, specifically the “Short Aqua” 400m swim and 3km walk, however I didn’t have enough time to prepare due to being caught up in my “fun walking not running tour” so I decided to do the “Try Aqua” distance–200m swim and 2km walk–again.
Due to my surprise last year that I wasn’t in fact being timed, I made sure to buy digital watches to wear on each arm to time myself, only to be surprised again this year that the “Try Aqua” participants were being timed this time. The timing involves participants wearing a computer chip attached to a velcro strap, which are placed above the ankle. Nevertheless, I still timed myself with my watches.
Like last year, I socialised with my fellow Aqualetes before starting, as soon as I got in the water, my timing chip was coming loose but luckily didn’t slip off. The water was lovely but a bit “bumpy” unlike last year where the water was completely still. The swim course was similar to last year, however the lap was more of an oval shape and closer to the shore, in comparison to last year’s swim. After the swim, due to being timed, instead of running straight up the stairs to the transition area, I ran across the sand over a timing mat and then up another set of the stairs to the transition area.
The run course was held at Cliff Road, on the actual street, as opposed to adjacent to the Continental Pools as there was construction work near the pools. I found that this was a much better choice as the course was much wider and no kids ran into me this time. The walk was mostly enjoyable, except for the fact that I made the big mistake of not wearing socks and ended up with blisters. I made this choice as I wanted to make the best time possible and I recall putting my socks and shoes on last year ate up more time than I liked. The turnaround point was near the Novotel.
I finished with a time of 32 minutes, 33 seconds, I was disappointed that I didn’t get in under 30 minutes, but I know the reason for this was my choice not to wear socks and the subsequent blisters that made walking painful. I was happy with my swim–8 minutes, 21 seconds, whereas my walk was a disappointing 24 minutes and 11 seconds.
Despite my disappointing time, I still had fun and will do it all again next year, hopefully I’ll actually meet my “Short Aqua” goal.
The below picture of me at the finish line was taken by the official photographer, Abbey Digital, it was the only photo taken of me on the day.