Thursday, 21 June 2018

Swimmers go Bridge to Bridge

HUNDREDS of people took part in a 14km swim from Henley to Marlow

HUNDREDS of people took part in a 14km swim from Henley to Marlow.

The fifth annual Bridge to Bridge Swim in the River Thames took place on Sunday.

The competitors set off in three separate waves depending on their likely speed and were then split again into different paced groups led by an experienced swimmer.

The slowest group set off first at 8am and wore green swimming caps to identify them. They were followed by the medium paced swimmers at 8.30am in blue caps and the fastest swimmers in their pink caps at 9am. Each group was flanked by a safety team in kayaks.

The course was split into four sections ? Henley to Hambleden lock, then to Medmenham, then to Hurley up to Temple Lock and the final section to Marlow bridge.

At each lock swimmers got out of the water to eat and drink.

Great Britain triathlete Kirsty Myles, 29, from Wargrave, was part of the final wave. The former GB rower said she had always wanted to take part in the event but had been too busy training for or competing in triathlon events.

Miss Myles said: ?I usually do about 10 training sessions a week. The swim was really fun, even though usually I only swim 750m. Once you get in the water you just switch off and get on with it.?

She was accompanied by her friend and fellow athlete Phoebe Lucas, from Harpsden, with whom she trains in the pool at Henley leisure centre. Miss Myles said: ?We kept each other going the whole way. I felt okay the next morning but by the afternoon I was knackered.

?I?ll probably do this again next year. All the Henley Swim events are great and very well organised. We?re lucky to have them as they appeal to a range of people.?

Miss Myles, who is training for a European age group triathlon next year and the world championships in Adelaide in November, was the third woman to finish ? and 15th overall ? in a time of three hours, 27 minutes and 39 seconds.

The event was won by Shawn Morgan in a time of three hours, three minutes and 44 seconds, which was almost 15 minutes faster than the winning time at last year?s swim.

Jeremy Laming, organiser and co-founder of the Henley Swim events, said 400 people took part, although 600 had entered.

He said: ?All the feedback we have had so far is positive.

?We made some improvements which seemed to go well.

?We changed some of the safety aspects ? we encouraged people to pick a group to swim in and if they insisted on swimming solo they had to wear a tow float.

?The water quality in the Thames is great at the moment and the temperature of 18.2 degrees helped the competitors on the day.?

Mr Laming, a former rower, said all the events would take place again next year, including the Henley Classic before the royal regatta and the Club to Pub swim.

For more information, visit www.henleyswim.com

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